How to Clean a Camelbak Water Bottle (Easiest Way)

To stay hydrated and always ready to go, you need to have a clean water bottle that you can grab! Camelbak is one of my favorite brands for hiking gear so I’ve had some experience washing and storing their water bottles.

To fully clean your Camelbak bottle you should follow these six easy steps:

  1. Unscrew the cap
  2. Remove the bite valve 
  3. Remove the straw
  4. Wash with soap and warm water
  5. Let it dry
  6. Reassemble bottle once dry

The rest of this article will break down these simple steps on how to clean a Camelbak water bottle as well as show you all of the things you shouldn’t do when washing your water bottle.

Camelbak Water Bottle

Camelbak Water Bottle Cleaning

1. Unscrew the Cap

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Simply screw the cap to the left until it comes off of the bottle, then move on to the next step.

2. Remove the Bite Valve

The bite valve is the part on top of the cap where you drink water from. All you have to do is pull on it and it will come off. Put the bite valve to the side and make sure you don’t lose it.

3. Remove the Straw

The straw is removed the same way as the bite valve. Simply pull it out of its compartment and put it to the side.

4. Wash With Soap and Warm Water

Now that the water bottle is disassembled, you can wash all of the parts on it easily. Using warm water is important because it helps wash away bacteria along with the soap.

If you want an even cleaner bottle once you are done, you can use a straw cleaning brush to scrub the inside of the straw. Straw cleaning brushes are usually long metal sticks with bristles on the end that you can use to clean the inside walls of any straw. They are a very helpful tool that you can find in the kitchen aisle of most stores.

5. Let It Dry

You can air dry your Camelbak water bottle or towel dry it, but air drying is the better route because it results in a cleaner bottle. Dish towels can harbor a lot of bacteria so your best bet is to air dry. Additionally, dish towels won’t necessarily reach all of the spots in your water bottle such as the inside of the straw, so letting it air dry ensures that there is no remaining moisture.

If you air dry your bottle, make sure that you put all of the parts on the drying rack separately. In other words, don’t put your water bottle back together until you are sure it is dry.

6. Reassemble The Bottle Once It’s Dry

Make sure that all the parts of your water bottle are completely dry before reassembling. To reassemble, simply push the bite valve back onto the cap and push the straw back into its designated spot. Then screw the cap back on and you’re done! Your bottle is clean and ready to be used again.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning a Camelbak Water Bottle?

One mistake people often make when cleaning their water bottles is that they use cold water. Though it may seem unnecessary to use hot water for a water bottle since there is nothing to scrub out, it’s a much more effective way of washing your bottle. Cold water will make germs inactive and stop them from spreading, but hot water will actually kill the germs altogether.

Another mistake people will make is just removing the cap and neglecting to take off the bite valve and straw. Since water gets in the areas where the bite valve and straw connect to the cap, it’s important to clean those spots as well. If you don’t remove your straw and bite valve when cleaning, bacteria will harbor in those places where they connect to the cap.

Lastly, people will often put their water bottle back together and put it away before it is completely dry. This is a mistake because you will trap that moisture in your bottle, and that trapped moisture will become the perfect environment for germs to thrive. This means that your water bottle will be much more prone to growing bacteria. This is why it’s very important to make sure your bottle is fully dry before putting it back together.

Should You Get Rid of Your Camelbak Water Bottle if You Wash It Wrong?

Getting rid of your water bottle is not necessary. If you make any mistakes such as not drying it properly or washing it with cold water, it isn’t the end of the world. Just wash it again, and this time make sure to avoid any mistakes you made previously. Correctly rewashing your water bottle will get rid of any germs or bacteria that it was harboring.

How Often Should You Wash Your Camelbak Water Bottle?

Experts recommend that you should wash your water bottle after every time you use it, just as you would any other dish. If you use your water bottle every day, wash it every day. This is important because you will get rid of any germs and keep your water bottle from growing bacteria.


Here are the most common questions revolving around the Camelbak water bottle and how to keep it looking new and clean.

Are Camelbak Water Bottles Dishwasher Safe?

There are a couple of Camelbak products that should only be hand washed, but their plastic and stainless steel bottles are safe to go in the dishwasher. Most of their bottles have plastic caps that can also be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Can You Put Hot Water in a Camelbak Water Bottle?

Hot liquids should not be poured into a Camelbak water bottle, although warm liquids are fine. If the temperature of the water is too hot it could distort or even melt the plastic components of the bottle.

Can You Recycle Camelbak Water Bottles?

Most of the Camelbak water bottles are designed with stainless steel, which is recyclable. They are also reusable which drastically reduces the negative impact of using a water bottle one time.