The Bottom Line
Camelbak hydration bladders and sucker tubes and any hydration system need to be cleaned regularly after use. These deep cleaning tablets can be used once a month or so to zap any bacteria or fungus. They basically contain bleach in fizzy matrix - similar to denture cleansers. Just pop a tablet into a liter of water in your hydration bladder for five minutes every few weeks and it will kill the bacteria and fungus. However, you can do the same thing for far less cost by just using a teaspoon of bleach in a liter of water.
- Kills bacteria and fungus growing in your hydration bladder
- Expensive compared to alternatives
- Chlorine dioxide tablets.
- Dissolves quickly in a liter (quart) of water in your hydration bladder.
- Allow to work for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
- Deep cleaning tablets to kill bacteria and fungus.
Guide Review - Camelbak Cleaning Tablets
My favorite walking pack is the Camelbak Pixie, which has a 35-oz hydration bladder with a sucker tube. For most walks I just use water in it, but on longer walks I add sports drink. The sugars in the sports drink quickly set off growth of bacteria and fungus if you don't clean and dry the hydration bladder and sucker tube immediately after you walk. As a former microbiology lab technologist, I know and understand this, but it doesn't keep me from forgetting to do it promptly after a long day of marathon training.
Cleaning Your Camelbak Hydration Bladder
After each use, you need to rinse your hydration bladder and sucker tube and set it out to dry. Otherwise, you may begin to see visible growth of bacteria and fungus. Camelbak recommends adding mild dish soap and giving it a light scrub with a dish brush. After cleaning, rinse well and hang up to dry before your next use.
Camelbak Cleaning Tablets
The cleaning tablets should be used every few weeks to kill bacteria and fungus. They are basically bleach tablets - chlorine dioxide. You put them in the bladder with a liter (quart) of water, allow them to work for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You may want to then rinse with baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar to remove the bleach taste.
Worth the Price?
Using a teaspoon of bleach in a liter of water is just as effective as using these tablets, at maybe a cent or two of cost. If you would rather not store bleach in your house, denture cleaning tablets will also do basically the same job at a lower cost.