How to remove a bad taste from a hydration bladder

Written by joe faulkner-edwards
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How to remove a bad taste from a hydration bladder
Stay hydrated on your bike using a hydration bladder. (cycling image by Imre Forgo from

Hydration bladders can be filled with water and slipped into a backpack to provide an easy-to-reach source of fluid when on-the-go. Yet new bladders can taste like plastic while older ones can grow mildew. The secret to avoiding a bad taste is in the prevention. Cleaning and drying out your hydration bladder is key to keeping your water tasting fresh. A number of methods can remove bad tastes from your hydration pack.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • or
  • 2 denture tablets
  • or
  • Chlorine bleach

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  1. 1

    Fill the bladder with water until it is 75 per cent full. Add 1/4 cup baking soda, seal and massage around the bladder. Ensure the water mixture moves into the drinking tube and the mouth piece. Leave to rest for 30 minutes

  2. 2

    Open the bladder. Add a dash of lemon juice. The chemical reaction should flush any bad tastes and odours.

  3. 3

    Empty the mixture. Rinse.

  1. 1

    Fill the bladder halfway with warm water.

  2. 2

    Insert 2 denture tablets and allow time to dissolve. Seal the bladder. Swill the liquid around so it reaches the interior, including the tube and mouth piece.

  3. 3


  1. 1

    Fill the bladder halfway with water. Add a maximum of 3 drops of chlorine bleach.

  2. 2

    Swill the liquid around to reach all components of the hydration bladder. This will sterilise the bladder and remove any bad tastes or odours.

  3. 3

    Rinse several times to ensure you remove the chlorine bleach before use.

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