How To Clean Water Filtration Systems? 3 Cleaning Process

The answer, to some extent, is yes. Cleaning a water filter and reusing it can help you extend its lifespan. It may also save you some money since replacement cartridges can be expensive. Before cleaning a water filter, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, as the method might vary from product to product. Generally speaking, to clean a water filter properly, follow these steps:

First, remove the filter cartridge from the housing containing its media. If required by the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific product, remove all its parts to clean them separately.

Clean the item with warm water and soak it in diluted bleach or vinegar-water solution for 10 minutes. Rinse again with warm water to remove all soap. Read on to learn more details.

Here is How to clean water filtration systems

 Normal Water Filtration

  • 3 soft cloths
  • Warm soapy water
  • A shop vac


  1. Remove the drip tray: Take out the drip tray from the water dispenser.
  2. Clean the drip tray: Clean it either by using warm soapy water or by placing it on the top shelf of the dishwasher. If there is a build-up of minerals, prepare a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 2 parts water, and soak the drip tray.
  3. Wipe the unit: Take a dry cloth and wipe the entire unit, including the outer surface and any dust that may have accumulated.
  4. Clean the coils: Locate the coils on the back of the unit. If you notice a thick layer of dust, remove it using a shop vacuum. This step helps improve the efficiency of the water dispenser.
  5. Prepare a wet cloth: Soak another soft cloth in warm soapy water and wring out the excess water. Make sure the cloth is damp but not dripping wet.
  6. Wipe down the dispenser: Take the damp cloth and wipe down the entire dispenser, including the dispensing area, buttons, and any other surfaces needing cleaning. This step helps remove any dirt or residue that has accumulated.
  7. Dry the outer surface: Use the remaining dry cloth to give a final wipe to the entire outer surface of the water dispenser. This helps remove any moisture and ensures a clean and dry finish.

By following these steps, you should be able to effectively clean your water dispenser using warm soapy water, a shop vac (for the coils), and soft cloths.

Sediment Filters

Things You Need

  • Strap wrench
  • RO membrane cleaner
  • Bottlebrush
  • Hot water and dish soap


  1. Disconnect the filters: Depending on the specific design of your RO system, locate and disconnect the carbon filters or any other filters that need cleaning. This may involve unscrewing or releasing them from their respective housing.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: Fill a basin or sink with a mixture of hot water and dish soap. This will be used to clean the filters.
  3. Clean the carbon filters: Submerge the carbon filters in the soapy water solution and use a bottle brush to scrub the filters gently. Pay attention to the nooks and crannies of the filters to remove any accumulated debris or contaminants. Rinse the filters thoroughly with clean water afterward.
  4. Clean the membrane housing: If you haven’t already done so, refer to the previous steps in the previous response to clean the membrane housing using a strap wrench, hot water, and dish soap. Ensure the housing is cleaned and rinsed properly.
  5. Clean the RO membrane (if necessary): If you have multiple membranes in your system, repeat the membrane cleaning process as described in the previous response. Use a commercial membrane cleaner specifically designed for reverse osmosis systems and follow the instructions provided.
  6. Rinse and reassemble: Thoroughly rinse all the cleaned components, including the carbon filters, membrane, and housing, with clean water. Once dry, reassemble the RO system by re-attaching the filters to their respective housing and ensuring all connections are tight but not overly tightened.
  7. Reconnect the RO system: If you diverted water away from the system in step 1, reconnect the RO system to the water line and ensure that everything is properly connected.

Following these steps, you should be able to clean other filters, such as carbon filters, in a reverse osmosis system separately from the membrane housing.

Carbon Block Filters

 Things You Need

  • A knife
  • A garden hose
  • A scrubbing brush
  • 1/2 gallon warm water
  • 1/2 gallon distilled vinegar
  • A medium-sized bucket
  • Nylon ties


  1. Prepare the materials: Gather a knife, garden hose, half a gallon of warm water, distilled vinegar, a scrubbing brush, nylon ties, and cold water for rinsing.
  2. Remove the netting: Carefully cut around the perimeter of the activated carbon filter cartridge with a knife to remove the outer netting. Take caution not to damage the filter media inside.
  3. Cut through the paper layer: Once the netting is removed, cut through the paper layer inside the cartridge. Leave at least 1/2 inch of paper attached to the core of the cartridge so that you can roll the paper back up after cleaning.
  4. Peel back the paper layer: Gently pull the paper layer to peel it back from the core of the cartridge. This exposes the dirt and contaminants trapped in the paper layer.
  5. Rinse the cartridge: Use a garden hose to rinse off the dirt from both the paper layer and the core of the cartridge. Rinse thoroughly to remove as much dirt as possible.
  6. Prepare the cleaning solution: Combine half a gallon of warm water with an equal part of distilled vinegar in a container or basin.
  7. Scrub the paper layer: Dip a scrubbing brush into the warm water and vinegar solution and use it to scrub both sides of the paper layer. Pay attention to any areas with stubborn dirt or stains.
  8. Soak the filter: Place the activated carbon filter cartridge in the warm water and vinegar solution. Let it soak for up to 60 minutes. This step helps further dissolve and remove impurities.
  9. Clean the housing (if needed): While the filter is soaking, you can clean the housing of the filter system if necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the housing.
  10. Rinse the filter: After the soaking period, remove the filter from the solution and thoroughly rinse it with cold water. Make sure to rinse off any remaining cleaning solution.
  11. Roll up and secure the paper layer: Roll the paper layer back up onto the core of the cartridge. Use nylon ties or other suitable fasteners to secure the paper in place.
  12. Allow the filter to dry: Set the activated carbon filter cartridge aside in a well-ventilated area and let it dry completely before returning it to the filter system. This ensures that the filter is free from moisture.

Following these steps, you can effectively clean and maintain your activated carbon filter cartridge.

Why Should You Clean a Whole House Water Filter?

Whole house water filters are important to any home’s water system. Not only do they help to protect you from ingesting contaminants that may be present in your municipal water supply, but they also help protect other appliances and plumbing fixtures from damage caused by sediment and other small particles entering the pipes. Keeping your whole house filter clean ensures its effectiveness and efficiency.

Replace the filter: Reinsert it into the filter housing once completely dry. Make sure to line up the arrows on the filter with those on the housing and tighten any connectors or clamps that may be present.

Check for leaks: Before turning your water system back on, check all connections for potential leaks. You don’t want to run the risk of water damage, so take the time to double-check everything.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. What Methods Should I Use To Clean My Water Filtration System?

The most effective way to clean a water filtration system is by using white vinegar and warm water. Use a ratio of 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts warm water and pour the mixture into the filter. Let the filter soak for up to one hour, and then rinse thoroughly with cold water.

2. How Often Should I Clean My Water Filtration System?

It is recommended to clean your filter at least once every three months, depending on your usage and filter type. It’s also important to check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific maintenance requirements.

3: Can I Reuse The Removed Netting On The Activated Carbon Filter Cartridge?

Reusing the netting removed from the activated carbon filter cartridge is not recommended. The netting may have accumulated dirt, contaminants, or damage during use, and reusing it could compromise the filter’s effectiveness. It is best to discard the old netting and replace it with a new one if necessary.

4: Do I Need To Replace The Activated Carbon Filter Cartridge After Cleaning?

Cleaning the activated carbon filter cartridge helps maintain its performance and prolongs its lifespan. However, the carbon media will become saturated with impurities and lose effectiveness over time.

While cleaning can help extend the cartridge’s life, it is eventually recommended to replace the cartridge according to the manufacturer’s guidelines or when its filtering capacity diminishes significantly.

5: What Should I Do If My Activated Carbon Filter Cartridge Cannot Be Fully Cleaned?

If your activated carbon filter cartridge is heavily soiled or damaged and cannot be thoroughly cleaned, replacing it with a new cartridge is advisable. Trying to use a cartridge that cannot be adequately cleaned may compromise the water quality and filtration efficiency, which can impact the performance of your filtration system.


Cleaning a whole house water filter is important for home maintenance and ensuring your family can access clean, safe drinking water. While it may seem like a daunting task, following the steps laid out in this article can make it simple. So don’t hesitate—keep your water.


You may also like

How Often to Water Poinsettia

How Often To Water Poinsettia? Care Guide For Live Christmas Plant

The poinsettia is a popular holiday plant. Its bright red leaves and

​Read More
How to bath a dog without water waterev

How To Bath A Dog Without Water: 13 Steps (With Pictures)

A dog is a member of our family, and they deserve to

​Read More
How often do you water outdoor potted plants

How Often Do You Water Outdoor Potted Plants? – 12 Tips For Healthy Flowers

When determining if your plants need water, the finger-dip test remains the

​Read More
How often to water impatiens

How Often To Water Impatiens? New & Overwatered Impatiens Care & Tips

Impatiens (also known as busy Lizzy) are beautiful houseplants that are easy

​Read More
How often to water fruit trees

How Often To Water Fruit Trees? Young Fruit Trees Need Plenty Of Water

A fruit tree is a perennial plant that grows from a seed.

​Read More
How often to water an Orange Tree

How Often To Water An Orange Tree: Tips, Tricks, And Requirements

Orange trees are some of the oldest living things on earth. They

​Read More
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Check the articles below

December 9, 2023

The poinsettia is a popular holiday plant. Its

December 6, 2023

A dog is a member of our family,

December 1, 2023

When determining if your plants need water, the