How do I clean my hydration system?
There are various methods for cleaning your hydration system based on how organized or how lazy you are.
The first thing to mention is that bugs, mould, fungusy things like juice and energy drinks better than water. If you like energy drinks and then leave your bladder in the boot of the car for a month then skip to the industrial strength cleaning section.
|The easy peasy method|
1. Drink water when you're out and about. What's wrong with water? Don't tell me you need your electrolytes replaced regularly or you don't like the taste. If you're not doing a triathlon or in the army and only exercising for about an hour then water and a bit of grub when you get back is fine. If you're hiking for 8 hours, water, a sandwich at the top and a pub lunch and a packet of crisps to finish will replace all your electroytes.
2. Rinse the bladder, tube and valve out in hot water.
3. Leave it to dry. To dry the bladder effectively try and keep the sides apart, you can put a wooden spoon handle in the bladder, a ping pong ball, whatever you want as long as you can get it back out again.
|The Natural Cleaning Method|
This is more like a Gordon Ramsey recipe than a cleaning method, I've left out the f-words, add a few if you're reading this after 9.00pm.
Mix - two spoonfuls of baking soda in 200ml of water
Pour - tip the contents into the reservoir
Add the juice of two lemons
Mix - it will fizz up a bit,, beautiful, absolutely beautiful....
Shake - make sure you get some fizzy stuff in the tube
Leave for 20 minutes
Rinse - clean it out thoroughly with cold water
Dry - keeping the sides apart as above
An alternative to this is to use denture cleaning solution rather than baking soda and lemon. Dissolve the denture solution as per the instructions on the denture tablet packaging, leave it in there for a while and then rinse.
|Industrial Strength Cleaning Method|
If your hydration system has been festering in the boot or shed for a month full of energy drink and saliva, then you've got to get serious:
Get out the domestos - one teaspoon (1 fluid ounce) for every litre of water,
Pour it in getting some down the tube
Soak the bladder for 12 hours
Rinse really well
|Cleaning the valve|
Drop the valve into which ever solution you have decided to use and leave it there for the time you are soaking.
Thanks for reading.