How To Dry A Water Bladder? (Step-by-Step Guide)

How To Dry Water Bladder

It is good practice to wash your water bladder after every use. Furthermore, it is just as important to dry your water bladder as it is to wash it. Forgetting to dry your water bladder can lead to mold growth and unpleasant smells. This can be quite the surprise the next time you go to use your water bladder for running or cycling. In this article, we provide a simple procedure to answer the question: How To Dry A Water Bladder? In addition, we’ll let you know what can happen if you don’t dry your water bladder.

Why Drying A Water Bladder Is Important

As previously stated, forgetting to dry your water bladder can lead to mold. Mold, sometimes referred to as mildew, is a type of fungus that can grow on almost any surface that has moisture on it.

Furthermore, mold reproduces in the form of spores. You can think of spores as tiny seeds that aren’t visible to humans. When these spores come in contact with the right mix of moisture, temperature, and nutrients, mold can begin to grow.

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Typically, mold is most prone to grow on products that are partially enclosed, or cannot be fully opened to dry properly. Thus, if not dried properly, it is common for mold to grow in water bladders or water bottles.

Steps To Dry A Water Bladder

After you have thoroughly washed your water bladder, follow the steps below to ensure it is completely dry before storing it away for the next use.

1. Drying The Hose And Bite Valve

With the water bladder on a table, remove the bite valve from the hose. Lift the end of the hose in the air, allowing all the water inside the hose to run down into the water bladder.

You can also do this the opposite way. Over the sink, hold the bladder in the air and the end of the hose in the sink. This will allow all the water in the hose to run down into the sink.

2. Drying The Water Bladder

After you have done this for a few minutes and drained the bladder as much as possible, place it back on the table. You now have a few different options:

  • If the opening on your water bladder is large enough, take some crumpled up pieces of paper towel and stuff them into your water bladder. Let it sit for an hour or so with the paper towel inside. The excess water inside the water bladder will be soaked up by the paper towel. Check back on it later. Once completely dry, you can remove the paper towel. The easiest way to do this is to turn your water bladder upside down and remove the paper towel piece by piece. As you remove one piece, gravity will pull the next piece in line.
  • If the opening on your water bladder isn’t big enough to stuff with paper towel, you will have to air dry it. While air drying, it is important that the sides of the water bladder do not touch. You can ensure they don’t touch by placing a small whisk, or a modified coat hanger in your hydration bladder. For both cases, leave them in a cool and dry location for a few hours. Air drying your water bladder as described in this method will take longer than with paper towel.
Drying Your Water Bladder With A Coat Hanger
Drying Your Water Bladder With A Coat Hanger – Picture Credit Sierra

3. Ready For Storage

Regardless of the method you choose, once your water bladder is completely dry it is ready to be packed away. Screw the lid back on your water bladder when storing it so unwanted dirt and debris can not enter.


In this article, we reviewed how mold can form inside your water bladder if it is not dried properly. We also provided a simple procedure to answer the question: How To Dry A Water Bladder?

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Facts for this article are referenced from credible sources. For further information, please read these referenced articles from the following organizations:

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