Cleaning your water bladder in your hiking daypack is an essential part of gear maintenance that should be done a couple times each season so you’re not letting bacteria grow in those wet places. Don’t wait until your hydration bladder is slimy or dirty – just go ahead and regularly keep it clean. We’ve already discussed the proper steps for how to clean a water bladder, and now we’ll break down the best hydration bladder cleaning kit to use.
Best Hydration Bladder Cleaning Kits
Editor’s Choice – Osprey Hydraulics Cleaning Kit
We’ve selected this cleaning kit from Osprey as our top choice because it includes everything you’ll need for a good price. Use the reservoir cleaning brush to get to those hard to reach places inside the bladder and use the included hose brush to snake all the way through to the mouthpiece. After you’re done cleaning, use the hanging system to prop the bladder open so it can completely air dry.
- Includes cleaning brush, tube cleaning brush, and drying rack
- Our top pick for the best gear, and is even better when combined with Bottle Bright tablets (below)
- All the tools you need for a great price
- Doesn’t include cleaning tablets (can be purchased separately though)
HydraPak Reservoir Cleaning Bundle (for HydraPak owners)
This bundle is great for anyone who owns a HydraPak water bladder, since it includes two extra bite valves as replacements for your dirty and worn down one. The long tube brush is perfect for running the length of your hose, and the included Bottle Bright cleaning tablets (also listed below) are our choice tablet for cleaning water bladders.
- Includes Bottle Bright cleaning tablets
- Only option to include replacement bite valves
- Includes extras like bite valves and cleaning tablets
- Does not include bladder brush or drying utensil
Hydro Flask Clean and Bright Bundle
This bundle also includes our favorite cleaning tablets by Bottle Bright, but it also includes some different brushes that are ideal for cleaning the inside of the hydration bladder and the nooks and crannies of the hose. The only downside is that it doesn’t include a full length hose brush, which may or may not be a deal breaker for you depending on your needs/desires. It does, however, include a straw and lid cleaning kit, which can be great multifunctional tools for all your water bottles and reusable straws.
- Made of 18/8 stainless steel
- Includes biodegradable, natural cleaning tablets
- Best brush set for cleaning the inside of the bladder
- Does not include snake brush for tube
Bottle Bright Cleaning Tablets
These tablets from Bottle Bright are our favorite small-but-mighty cleaning utensils – no scrubbing required. Simple fill your water bottle, hydration bladder, or water storage of choice with water, then add the appropriate amount of tablets. Let sit for the desired amount of time, then rinse thoroughly. The tablets remove even the most stubborn stains and are great at getting rid of odors and bad tastes. We use them on all our new gear to get rid of the plastic-y taste! They’re also chlorine free, all natural, and fully biodegradable, so you can even use them outdoors.
- Cheapest option
- Biodegradable, chlorine-free, all natural
- Quickest and most affordable cleaning option
- No brushes that could be useful for a deeper clean
CamelBak Reservoir Dryer
If you’ve already got the right brushes and tablets to clean your bladder, you should consider adding these CamelBak Reservoir Dryer utensils to your cleaning gear. They are made to simply hang and prop open your reservoir after washing, so it can completely dry throughout the bladder.
- BPA, BPS, and BPF-free
- Comes with a CamelBak lifetime guarantee
- Simple, cheap, and effective at helping your gear dry out
- Won’t help you get things clean
Things to Consider
First and foremost, the most important thing to take into consideration when selecting a cleaning kit is compatibility. Some cleaning kits are generic, but some are also brand specific. You don’t want to receive your new item in the mail only to not be able to use it. Secondly, you’ll want to consider your individual needs. If you want to take the time to use a hose brush then make sure the kit includes one. If you want a scrub-free option, consider using the Bottle Bright tablets (although we recommend using these in combination with a cleaning kit to get everything squeaky clean!).