CamelBak bite valves give you the ability to stay hydrated on the move without having to carry water in environment-damaging plastic bottles.
Staying hydrated is important whatever you are doing, but it becomes even more important when you are exerting yourself out in the wild. It’s for this reason that we love accessories like the bite valve that make it easier to keep your hydration levels up.
Even though the CamelBak bite valve is an awesome accessory, it does require some maintenance to keep it in full working order for as long as possible.
If your bite valve is dirty, you can quite easily clean it and make it like new again.
In this article, we take a look at the process of cleaning your CamelBak bite valve to keep it helping you stay hydrated for longer.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Camelbak Bite Valve
Good hygiene keeps us healthy and active for longer. There are always germs, bacteria, debris, and grime trying to enter our bodies and make us sick.
If you think about your Camelbak bite valve for a second, it’s not just water that it comes into contact with, it’s your mouth and saliva too.
A damp, warm, protected environment like your hydration pack, tubing, and mouthpiece can be an ideal breeding ground for nasties that you don’t want to digest.
That’s why every part of your hydration pack needs cleaning.
How do Camelbak Bite Valves Get Dirty?
A Camelbak bite valve is a simple piece of kit – it’s a mouthpiece that is connected to a tube that connects your mouth to the water in your hydration pack. It’s basically an over-engineered straw!
However, it doesn’t take much dirt and residue to build upon the mouthpiece, tubing, and pack to prevent your bite valve from working to the best of its ability.
The mouthpiece comes in direct contact with your mouth which is full of germs. While our bodies may do a good job of fighting off most of the germs in there, if they are given enough time to strengthen, and develop into something more sinister, they can cause us some issues.
If the germs from your mouth are left in the bite valve, tube, or hydration pack for too long, they can contaminate your drinking water and make you feel unwell.
It can be tricky to completely dry out your Camelbak hydration pack. Any moisture left inside can harbor bacteria that will need to be thoroughly cleaned before use to prevent sickness.
To make sure your Camelbak hydration pack and all its components are clean, hygienic, and won’t make you sick – knowing how to clean each part properly is very useful.
Cleaning the Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece of your Camelbak bite valve will need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
Ideally, you should clean it after every use – make it part of your routine that when you return from an outdoor adventure, cleaning the mouthpiece is on your list of things to do.
Fortunately, cleaning the mouthpiece is an easy job. All you need to do is remove it from the tube and let it soak in hot water and dish detergent or mild soap.
Rinse the mouthpiece and let it air dry completely before reattaching it to to the tubing.
If you feel that you need to give it an extra clean, after soaking the mouthpiece in the warm water, you can use a Q-tip to clean the inside but this is not usually required.
Cleaning the Tubing
The tubing of your Camelbak bite valve can be a bit more challenging to clean, mainly because it can be difficult to get all of the dirt out of the tube.
Like with the mouthpiece, hot water and dish detergent or mild soap are all that is needed, along with a funnel.
Once the tubing has been removed from the mouthpiece and hydration pack (take care not to drop any pieces), gently push the funnel in one end and pour the warm water and detergent into the funnel and through the tubing.
Do this as many times as you think is necessary or until all the residue has been removed from the tube.
If you have some stubborn grime, as a last resort, you can use a small amount of bleach in the water.
Once you are satisfied, run hot water through the tube to make sure all the detergent has been flushed out, and then let it air dry before reattaching.
Cleaning the Hydration Pack
The Camelbak hydration pack (or reservoir) is the last part that requires cleaning.
Usually, this will need cleaning less frequently than the mouthpiece and tubing, but it is still worth giving it a good clean on a regular basis to make sure it is in good condition and won’t make you sick (or make your water taste bad!).
To clean your hydration pack, you just need to fill it with hot water and detergent. Use a cloth to wipe down the corners and then empty out the soapy water.
Give the pack a good rinse with hot water and wipe it dry. Once everything is dry, you can put it all back together again ready for your next adventure.
If you haven’t cleaned your pack for a while then Camelbak suggests putting hot water along with two tablespoons of baking soda or bleach into the reservoir and letting it soak for thirty minutes before emptying and rinsing.
Use warm water and a drop of mild soap to wash away the baking soda and bleach before washing the warm soapy water away with clear hot water.
Camelbak also offers cleaning kits that can be used to clean Camelbak packs. These include a brush (similar to a bottle brush) that can be used to clean the inside of the reservoir.
Final thoughts on keeping your Camelbak bladder clean
Your Camelbak hydration pack makes staying hydrated in the wild much more convenient than having to get water bottles out of your pack every time you need a drink.
Cleaning your Camelbak bite valve, and all the components that go with it, on a regular basis will keep it in good condition, prevent it from going moldy, and it will keep the nasties at bay.
Camelbak has made cleaning a very simple process that only requires warm soapy water (and maybe a little bit of bleach and baking soda) so it won’t take too much effort either!