Whole house water filters are a must-have if you want to have clean and fresh-tasting water flow into your home, either from the city water facility or your private well. But at some point, your filter cartridges or the filter itself will require cleaning to maintain optimal performance.

Ways to Clean a Whole House Water Filter

The easiest way to clean a whole house water filter, add 1 or 2 spoons of bleach in warm water and use this warm water mixture to remove the paper layer from both sides of the water filter with a brush.

Then, let the filter soak in your water-bleach mixture for cleansing. After cleaning your water filter, thoroughly rinse it with water.

You can also use this warm soapy water to clean inside filter housing caps and rinse with clean water. Ensure the warm soapy water is made using a gallon of clean water poured into a clean bucket.

This is a summary. You can use various other things to clean your water filters. Below are some more ideas on how to clean a water filter.

Cleaning Water Filter With Vinegar

Mix equal quantities of warm water and white distilled vinegar, then remove the water filter from your water system. Soak this filter in your sanitizing solution and allow it to soak for 1 hour.

Cleaning Pleated Filter

Firstly, let the filter soak and then shake the filter to get rid of excess water and restore it to the filter housing. Then, pour in oxalic acid and let the entire filter soak for 20 minutes.

For carbon filters, use a mixture of 1 gallon of water and one tablespoon of bleach to sanitize it.

Cleaning Water Filter Cartridge

Use an organic acid such as muriatic acid or oxalic acid. Soak the filter housing (with the water filter cartridge inside) in this solution for a few minutes. If the contamination ranges from moderate to heavy, let the entire filter soak in this organic acid for at least 20 minutes.

However, if it’s only a little contamination, soak it for 15 minutes.

Cleaning and Reusing Activated Carbon-Based Filter

It’s advisable not to reuse your activated carbon filter media more than thrice. To recycle your activated carbon media, clean the pores and restore it back to your filter.

FAQs

How to Reuse Filters?

Open your tap to fill your sink with fresh water and soak your entire filter cartridge for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take out your filter cartridge and place it into your pitcher the same way you will replace the old cartridge with a new filter cartridge.

Can I Clean a Carbon Filter?

Firstly, you should know that carbon filter media doesn’t take in or absorb the harmful toxins or contaminants polluting the water. So the carbon media and the filter can be cleaned, but it won’t affect its adsorption capacity. That’s because it relies on the oxidation process to generate carbon.

Is It Advisable to Clean a Water Filter With Soap?

Well, you shouldn’t clean the water filter in anything other than water. For example, using soap may make your water filter dangerous for your pet because the soap will seep into the filter pores and cannot be taken out.

Is It Necessary to Clean a Water Filter?

Yes. It’s necessary and advisable to clean a water filter you’re using thoroughly and at regular intervals. That’s because you want to avoid the accumulation of minerals, dirt, or contaminants in the filter. However, some water filtration systems, like the Aquaox filters, are self-cleaning through a backwash process.

Leaving this dirt or contaminants unchecked can result in the addition of harmful toxins to your filter. From here, your drinking water can absorb it, making it unsafe for consumption.

Is It Advisable to Clean Pleated Filter?

A pleated filter can be sanitized and used several times again. However, it’s advisable to clean the vacuum filter regularly to ensure the vacuum is working as it should. Regular cleaning of the filter also prevents dust and debris in the filter.

How to Clean Whole House Water Filter Containing Algae?

Algae is a living organism that’s a common contaminant in water. This makes it a common sight with whole house water filters.

To clean a water filter containing algae, take apart your filter and detach the housings from the filter cartridges. Next, use a mild dishwashing detergent to thoroughly clean filter housings.

When you’re done washing, rinse with water to further clean filter housings and remove any remaining algae spores. Avoid using detergents on the water filter cartridge, so you don’t alter the taste of your water.

Can Ceramic Filters Be Cleaned and Used Again?

If you notice the muck buildup on your cartridge, simply remove it and have it cleaned with a sanitizing solution. Also, if you notice the water flow is slow on your benchtop or undersink system, take out the cartridge and scrub it thoroughly and restore it to your water system. It will function like a brand new cartridge.

Can I Reuse a Filter Cartridge?

A brand new cartridge (precisely the refillable one) contains the media. When worn out, it can be taken out and replaced without buying a new filter cartridge.

How Can I Reactivate My Carbon Filter?

If your water has been tainted with low boiling impurities, you can partially or fully reactivate your activated carbon media in a furnace or oven with a temperature set at 93°C – 204°C.

Alternatively, you can treat your activated carbon media with low-pressure steam and dry it.

How Often Should I Replace the Carbon Media of My Whole House Water Filter?

The frequency of the regeneration of your carbon media should depend on your water’s chlorine levels. However, it should be done once bi-annually or every three years for a general estimate. Then, you can easily replace your carbon media without requiring any specific tool.

The cost of replacement may range from $100-$300. The precise cost depends on the size of the carbon media. The larger the media, the higher its replacement cost and vice versa.

About the Author

Paul Morton

Founder and Editor

Paul is a retired plumber who now spends hours on home improvement projects. From fixing toilets to leaking pipes in crawls spaces, there is nothing Paul can't do or wouldn't try. Paul was running his own plumbing company and is our expert in regard to all types of water filtration systems.

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