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Care and feeding of your CamelBak gear

How to keeps your pack and reservoir fresh and clean

Your CamelBak pack is designed to withstand years of abuse on the trail. In fact, we have an in-house lab devoted entirely to beating up our gear to make sure it can hold up to years of rides, runs and hikes. But to stay funk-free, your pack and reservoir are going to need a thorough cleaning from time to time. Here's how to do it right.

How to Clean Your Reservoir

Ideally, you should clean your reservoir after every time you use it (especially if you're filling it with anything other than water). Here’s how:

  1. Wash your reservoir with warm water and mild dish soap
  2. Make sure to run some water through the tube and bite valve
  3. Rinse everything out thoroughly (especially the tube and bite valve)
  4. Dry it out! Hang your reservoir upside down (some models have hidden dryer arms to hold it open as it dries). Wipe the reservoir with a clean kitchen towel to speed up this process.

But what if you don’t clean your reservoir often, and it gets really funky—even moldy? Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill your reservoir with warm water and mix in either:
      1. Two tablespoons of baking soda,
      2. Two tablespoons of bleach, or
      3. A CamelBak cleaning tablet
    • Mix everything up, and then pinch the bite valve to let some of the cleaning solution flow through the tube.
    • Let everything sit for about 30 minutes.
    • Wash the reservoir out with soap and water.
    • Rinse everything out thoroughly—and don’t forget to run clean water through the tube too!
    If your reservoir was really moldy, you might still see some discolored spots, but once it’s been cleaned, it’s safe to use again.

    How to Clean Your Pack

    If your pack gets a little dusty, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. If it's really filthy and needs a deeper cleaning, here’s what to do:

    1. Soak it in warm or cool water with some mild soap.
    2. Rinse it thoroughly with cool water (skip this step, and you might end up creating some suds the next time you sweat with your pack on).
    3. Hang it up to air dry.
    Your pack can go just about anywhere you go—but NOT in the washing machine. Machine-washing your pack can twist or tear the straps and fixtures, and wear away the fabric’s weatherproof coating. If you decide to go rogue and throw your pack in the wash anyway, just be aware that it voids the Got Your Bak™ warranty.