5 Ways to Clean Your Water Bottles

Water bottles and hydration bladders are some of your most-used pieces of outdoor adventuring equipment. But how often do you clean them? If you're anything like me, the answer is probably not very often. Don't be embarrassed; we've all experienced the unique smells and tastes of bottles and bladders overdue for a cleaning. Freshen up your hydration bladders and water bottles using this week's TrailTime tip.

We've highlighted five ways to give those hydration bladders and water bottles the deep cleaning they need. Here's the list of ingredients we used for each method:

Method 1: 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 Teaspoon Bleach

Method 2: White Vinegar (enough to fill 3/4 of your hydration bladder or water bottle)

Method 3: 1-2 Handfuls Ice, 4 Tablespoons Salt, 1 Lemon

Method 4: 2 Denture Cleaning Tablets

Method 5: Antibacterial Mouthwash (enough to fill 1/4 of your hydration bladder or water bottle)

Method 1: Baking Soda, Bleach


Add 1 teaspoon of bleach and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the water bottle or hydration bladder. Fill it with warm water and let it sit overnight. Rinse the bottle or bladder with soap and water the next day. Let the water bottle or hydration bladder air dry completely.


How to Clean a Hydration Bladder

Method 2: Warm Vinegar


Fill 3/4 of your water bottle or hydration bladder with warm white vinegar. Top the bottle or bladder off with warm water and let it soak overnight. The next day, rinse the bladder or bottle with soap and water. Let the water bottle or hydration bladder air dry completely.


How to Clean a Hydration Bladder

Method 3: Salt, Ice, Lemon


Add 1-2 handfuls of ice,  4 tablespoons salt and 1 sliced lemon to the water bottle or hydration bladder. Swirl or shake this mixture until the ice is partially melted. Pour the mixture out and rinse the bottle or bladder with soap and water.


How to Clean a Hydration Bladder

Method 4: Antibacterial Mouthwash


Fill 1/4 of your water bottle or hydration bladder with antibacterial mouthwash. Shake well. Rinse with soap and water.



Method 5: Denture Cleaning Tablets


Fill your hydration bladder or water bottle with hot water. Add two denture cleaning tablets. Let the tablets fizz. Swirl your bladder or bottle, pour out the denture tablet water and rinse with soap and water.How to Clean a Hydration Bladder


Take a look at the video below to see these methods in action and hear what our videographer has to say about how well they work.



After you've gone through the process of cleaning your hydration bladder, keep it fresh and funk-free with these hydration bladder storage tips.

What do you think about these water bottle and hydration bladder cleaning methods? Share your favorite in the comments below!
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
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