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Cleaning H2O Bladders

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Cleaning H2O Bladders

Postby peakhugger » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:28 am

Since the "Cleaning Water Bottles" thread has strayed a bit, I thought I'd post this tip in its own thread:

Until recently, I had never seriously cleaned the hose between my bladder and mouthpiece. Always washed out the bladder with water and occasionally soap, and ran some through the hose and hung 'er up to dry. Then I noticed (after a year or two) that the hose had started to take on a slightly darker tint. It was really only visible when I cleaned out the tip of the hose at the mouthpiece end one day and realized there was a film starting to form inside the hose. After some brainstorming and a few false starts, I came up with the following procedure:

1. Acquire supplies: cotton balls, isopropyl or other alcohol, and an old wire coat hanger (without the cardboard piece)
2. Remove hose from bladder and mouthpiece (warm in hot water for a bit if it's sticking)
3. Unwind and straighten coat hanger, check that the hanger is longer than the hose (if not, get a bigger hanger)
4. Douse 1/3 or 1/2 cotton ball in alcohol, insert into end of hose, and then use straightened coat hanger to force the cotton ball through the hose (I'd advise starting with a smaller chunk of cotton too avoid getting it stuck)
5. Admire (or gag) at the amount of nasty junk that accumulates on the cotton ball and rinse the hose out
6. Repeat steps 4. and 5. until junk is depleted, probably 4-6 rounds
7. Reattach hose and mouthpiece to bladder, heating slightly if necessary (a bit of alcohol may also help any stubborn fittings); rinse and dry

Worked like a charm for me, and now I'll be sure to do this at least annually...
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