How to Wash Berkey Filters

Are you looking for ways to ensure your family is safe from impurities while drinking clean, chemical-free water? If so, investing in a Berkey filter might be the solution you’re looking for! This type of filter offers superior purification and protection compared to other systems on the market right now, and it’s also straightforward to care for.

How to Wash Berkey Filters

Berkey filters are designed to be long-lasting, with the ability to purify thousands of gallons of water before needing replacement. However, regular maintenance is still recommended to ensure maximum performance and longevity.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how to wash Berkey filters properly so that they continue working optimally and keep your family safe. Read on for our top tips and advice about cleaning these specialized filters!

What Will You Need?

Before we jump into the actual steps, let’s first look at what you’ll need to get started. Fortunately, washing Berkey filters is a simple process without fancy equipment or cleaning products. All you’ll need are the following items:

  • A sponge or scrub pad
  • Non-toxic dish soap
  • Clean water (preferably filtered)
  • A soft, lint-free cloth
  • A clean bowl or container to collect the filtered water

Now that we have all our supplies ready, it’s time to learn how to wash Berkey filters efficiently and effectively.

10 Easy Steps on How to Wash Berkey Filters

Step 1: Disassemble the Filter

First, you’ll need to take apart your Berkey filter. Simply remove the top and bottom chambers from the unit to do this. Then, carefully remove the elements from the upper chamber and set them aside.

Step 2: Clean the Filter Elements

The second step involves cleaning the filter elements. Take the sponge or scrub pad and a little bit of non-toxic dish soap. Gently scrub the surface of the filters to remove any sediment or buildup.

Be careful not to scrub too hard, as you don’t want to damage the filter elements. Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse the filters thoroughly with clean water to ensure all the dish soap is removed. Then, set them aside to air dry.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry the Chambers

Bottom Chambers of the Berkey Filter

Next, wash the top and bottom chambers of the Berkey filter. Use your sponge or scrub pad with a little non-toxic dish soap to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of each chamber. Be sure to rinse them well to remove any soap residue.

After washing, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry the chambers completely. It’s important to ensure that no standing water is left in the chambers, as this can lead to bacterial growth.

Step 4: Reassemble the Filter

You can reassemble your Berkey filter once the filter elements and chambers are arid. To do this, re-insert the filter elements into the upper chamber, ensuring they’re snugly fitted.

Then, place the top chamber onto the bottom one, aligning it properly. Be sure to double-check that the fixture is properly attached and that there are no leaks. Your Berkey filter is now clean and ready to provide purified, chemical-free water again.

Step 5: Prime the Filter Elements

The final step in the process is to prime the filter elements. This involves watering the filters to remove residual dish soap or dust. To do this, fill the upper chamber with clean water and let it filter through to the bottom chamber.

Discard this first batch of filtered water to ensure no soap or dust remnants are consumed. After this, your Berkey filter is ready to use. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure your filter continues to operate at peak performance, providing your family with clean and safe drinking water.

Step 6: Testing the Filter

After cleaning and reassembling your Berkey filter, it’s important to test it to ensure it’s working correctly. First, fill the top chamber with water and allow it to filter through to the bottom chamber. Once the water has filtered through, check it for clarity and taste. If the water appears clear and tastes fresh, your Berkey filter is functioning properly.

 Cleaning and Reassembling Your Berkey Filte

If the water is cloudy or has an off taste, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or consider replacing your filter elements. Regular testing after each cleaning ensures that your Berkey filter always provides safe and high-quality drinking water.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your Berkey filter continues to work at its optimal level. Experts recommend cleaning the filter elements every six months or sooner if you notice a slowdown in the filtration rate. Always use non-toxic dish soap and clean water for washing, and thoroughly dry the components to prevent bacterial growth.

Remember to replace the filter elements as needed — typically after purifying around 3,000 gallons of water for each black Berkey filter element. Following these steps, you can enjoy clean, safe, and refreshing water daily.

Step 8: Storage

If you’re not planning to use your Berkey filter for an extended period, storing it properly to prevent damage and preserve its filtration effectiveness is important. Start by disassembling the unit, following the steps outlined above. Clean and dry all parts thoroughly.

Then, store the dry filter elements and chambers in a clean, dry, and safe place. Remember to keep the components away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. When you’re ready to use the filter again, reassemble it and run at least two water cycles through the system to re-prime the filters before drinking the water.

Step 9: Troubleshooting

You may occasionally need help with your Berkey filter despite following the cleaning steps correctly. Double-check that the filter elements are correctly seated in the upper chamber if you notice a slower filtration rate. If the problem persists, it may be time to replace the filter elements.

If your water has an unusual taste, ensure you’ve rinsed the filter elements thoroughly after cleaning, as residual dish soap can affect the taste. If the issue continues, consider testing your water source. Understanding common issues and how to troubleshoot them helps maintain the efficiency of your Berkey filter system.

Troubleshoot Them Helps Maintain

Step 10: Enjoy Your Clean Water

Congratulations, you’ve successfully cleaned and maintained your Berkey filter. Now, you can enjoy the benefits of clean, pure water. Remember, regular maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your Berkey filter but also ensures the quality of your drinking water.

Each time you drink from your Berkey filter, you can have confidence knowing you’re consuming water free from harmful chemicals and contaminants.

By following these simple steps, you can continue enjoying safe and refreshing water from your Berkey filter for years. So don’t wait any longer; start cleaning your Berkey filter today and taste the difference in every drop!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Avoid Scratching the Surfaces
  1. Use Soft Tools: To avoid scratching the surfaces of your Berkey filter, always use soft cleaning tools like a sponge or soft cloth during the cleaning process.
  2. Monitor Filtration Rate: Keep a close eye on the filtration rate of your Berkey filter. If it slows down significantly, it’s usually a sign that you should clean your filter elements.
  3. Store Filters Properly: If storing your filter elements for an extended period, consider storing them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. This can help prevent bacterial growth.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Never use harsh cleaning chemicals to clean your Berkey filter. These could damage the filter elements and contaminate your water supply.
  5. Perform Regular Checks: Regularly check the rubber gaskets and fixtures for any signs of wear or damage. These parts are crucial for ensuring a good seal and preventing leaks. Replace them as necessary to maintain the efficiency of your Berkey filter.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can further ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your Berkey filter.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Neglecting Regular Cleaning: Don’t underestimate the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance for your Berkey filter. Ignoring this can reduce the filter’s effectiveness and shorten its lifespan.
  2. Avoid Using Hot Water for Cleaning: Never use hot water to clean your Berkey filter. High temperatures can damage the filter elements and affect the filtration process.
  3. Avoid Storing in High Temperature Areas: Do not store your Berkey filter in places with high temperatures or direct sunlight. These conditions can degrade the filter elements over time.
  4. Avoid Using Abrasive Cleaning Tools: Avoid harsh scrub brushes or steel wool, as they can scratch and damage the filter’s surface.
  5. Avoid Cleaning with Dirty Hands: Always clean your hands properly before starting the cleaning process. Dirty hands may introduce bacteria into the filter system, compromising the quality of your filtered water.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure the optimal performance of your Berkey filter and enjoy clean, safe drinking water for longer periods.


In conclusion, when washing your Berkey filters, you must take the time to remove all the invisible contaminants and dirt properly. Regularly washing them ensures that your filter performs exceptionally and that your family will be safe from water-borne illnesses.

Furthermore, using the appropriate materials discussed in this blog post, such as hot water, white vinegar, sea salt mixture, and more, helps break down the buildup within the filter. Taking a few moments each week or month to clean your Berkey filter will help protect you and your loved ones from common water contaminants.

Hopefully, the article on how to wash Berkey filters has helped you understand the importance of regular maintenance for your Berkey filter. So, don’t wait any longer; take a few minutes today to clean and maintain your Berkey filter and enjoy safe and refreshing water daily!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

Leave a Comment