camelbak taste, awful

I need help. I can not get the plastic taste out of my Camelbak. I have washed, soaked, turned inside out and exposed to the sun. Nothing works. I am about to bleach it. Can anyone give me some advice?

Is it new?

fill it with rum.

Bleach should work.

Baking soda
My wife is also sensitive to the plastic taste (for water bottles, too). With new bladders we fill with water and a couple of T spoons of baking soda and let it sit for a while. After that she continues to add a small piece of lemon peel to the water each time she uses it.

Google this.
Google this: How to get the bad taste out of a camelbak?

I have had mine for over a year and use it at least 3 times a week for cycling. I have never noticed a bad taste, but I let my wife have a hit off it once and she freaked out from the taste :-o i guess it is what you get used to. When i am falling down hot, cold water is great and I think if there is a bad taste my brain is ok with it.

This is what the CamelBak instructions say:

To clean:

  1. Remove bladder from pack and disconnect tube.

  2. Clean inside of bladder using mild soap, hot water, and a soft brush. Rinse. Air dry with cap open.

  3. Clean water tube using a small soft tube brush. Rinse.

    To freshen

    Soak with baking soda. Rinse. (Use 2 teaspoons baking soda plus water.)

    To sanitize

    Soak with bleach. Rinse. (Use 2 teaspoons bleach plus water.)

    Good Luck,


I had the same problem, did all
the suggested remedies and it still tasted awful. Good luck.

The only answer…
…and tip that really works that I have ever tried came from my son who spent a year in Iraq drinking out of one almost daily. Mask the taste with some sort of powdered drink mix. I have used Crystal Light but most any favorite powder will work. There are a lot to choose from.


Denture cleaning tablets
Warm water, one fizzing tablet. Leaves a minty taste.


PS: These are what CamelBak sells, but are cheaper at the local drugstore.

is it a “REAL” camelbac? or a knockoff? i have had both and the real Camelbacs dont have that plastic taste while the knock off ones do.

Good Point

Soak it for a hour or so with about 1/4 cup of vinegar and fill it with water.

2nd the vinegar.
Sanitizes, and leaves a great taste.

I second the baking soda


Mine is the real one.

How old is it?
camelback had changed to a different material a couple years ago, supposedly for reasons you mentioned. Replace your bladder with a Platypus version, I prefer the Platypus bladder which has a far more neutral taste, but I prefer the Camelback bite valves. I clean mine occasionaly with nothing more than a mild bleach solution. I have noticed that IF I use any mix in my H2o that the next batch of plain H2o does taste tainted with a slight aftertaste from the mix.

Use Nestle or Fruit2O flavored water
masks the camelback taste very well, and since it uses Splenda instead of sucrose/fructose as the sweetener it won’t grow black goo.