Vinegar: The Secret Ingredient for Cleaning Water Filters!

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to clean your water filters, vinegar may be the solution you’re looking for. Vinegar is a versatile and eco-friendly cleaning agent that can remove dirt, grime, and other buildups from water filters, making them more efficient and effective.

How To Clean Water Filters With Vinegar

Because of its acidic nature, vinegar is an excellent substance for cleansing a water filter. Equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water should be used.

Remove the filter and place it in a basin containing vinegar and warm water. Allow it to soak for 60 minutes until clean.

This article will discuss how to clean water filters with vinegar, including the materials you’ll need and the steps to follow. We’ll also provide some tips for maintaining your water filters and ensuring that they continue to work at their best.

How To Clean Water Filters With Vinegar (Step By Step Guide)

First, your filter will determine if and how to clean your water filter. To maintain filtering speed and efficacy, filters such as synthetic fiber-pleated sediment filters can be extensively cleaned. In contrast, like most paper versions, others are less suitable.

To clean a water filter with vinegar, follow the steps below:

  • If there is any water in the filter’s pitcher, empty it before disconnecting the top from the reservoir and removing the filter.
  • Use dish soap and warm water to wash the components.
  • Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to a warm cup of water, and soak the filter in this mixture for roughly an hour.
  • After soaking, drain the filter dry and allow it to air dry further, or place it inverted on a dish towel to do so.
  • Relocate it.

Advantages And Disadvantage Of Cleaning Water Filters With Vinegar


  • Since vinegar is cheaper than other store-bought cleaners, it can readily clean your filter whenever needed.
  • It is non-hazardous and can be used around your pets or kids.
  • It is relatively better for the environment, leading fewer people to opt for bottled water when their filters do not work properly.


  • Cleaning with vinegar, if not adequately washed afterward, may leave a sour aftertaste in your filtered water.

Few Important Things To Consider

A water filter should be cleaned every couple of months to maintain its efficacy and extend its lifespan. The better they operate, in general, the cleaner they are.

When you are unaware of how your water filter functions in the first place, it will not be sufficient to instruct you on how to clean it, you ought to be familiar with its functioning.

You may run your water through a water filter, which uses two distinct methods (physical and chemical filtration) to get rid of dirt, to be convinced of the source of your water since one moment it is pouring down a river, the next it is flowing from your faucet and sitting in a glass on your table.

A thin gauze or a very thin textile membrane may be used for the physical approach. The chemical filtering method involves running water through an active substance that chemically ejects dirt as it does so.

cleaning water filter with vinegar

Additional Considerations:

  • Do not use your water filter if it is blocked and you cannot clean it. Your water quality may decline if your filter becomes clogged, so it’s crucial to install a new one immediately.
  • When cleaning your water filter, use pure white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and other varieties of vinegar might not work as well.

Is Cleaning The Water Filter Better Than Replacing?

If you want to save time, replacing is the better option; if you want to save money, opt for cleaning your water filter. But generally, it is essential to consider the filter type and whether cleaning it is worth the trouble.

You may spend as little as $20 to $40 to replace a water filter cartridge twice annually under some circumstances. Which would you prefer: an hour of filter cleaning or the pitiful sum? You have the option.

More crucially, a water filter can only be cleaned and used frequently. No matter how often and well you wash it, its effectiveness and filtering capacity will decline. It thus becomes necessary to purchase a new filter cartridge at one point.

How Often Should Water Filters Be Cleaned

Cleaning or replacing a water filter should be done every 40 gallons or every two months.

If you have many people in your residence, use filtered water regularly, have hard water, or have moderate to heavy sediments, you must clean your water filter every 2-6 weeks.

Additionally, it depends on how much water you use and how good your water supply is.

Most systems employ the following:

  • For stage 1, 2-5 micron sediment filters: clean every 6 months
  • For stage 2 and 3, 4–5 micron carbon filters: clean every 6 months
  • For stage 4, 1- reverse osmosis membrane: clean every 3-5 years
  • For stage 5, 1 post-carbon inline filter: clean every 12 months

Different Types Of Water Filters & How To Clean Them

How To Clean Sediment Filters

Oxalic acid and muriatic acid are the most suitable to clear this filter. If oxalic acid is your preferred choice, combine 2 ounces of the powder with 1 gallon of ordinary water. You may purchase muriatic acid as a ready-to-use solution.

After removing the filter housing, remove the filter cartridge, and set aside the O-ring. Rinse the housing well to remove all heavy debris.

Rinse the filter off thoroughly. The more you remove by mechanical cleaning right away, the more potent your acid combination will be.

For 15 to 20 minutes, submerge the housing and the cartridge inside the acid solution (based on the level of contamination). Nothing at all has to be scrubbed.

How To Clean Carbon (Charcoal) Cartridges 

Cut twice as near the cartridge’s top and bottom as you can using a knife to go around the entire circumference, and take off the netting.

Cut through the paper layer immediately below it, but leave a thin strip, about a half-inch long, still connected to the inner carbon block. The paper will remain on and roll up easily this way.

Remove the outer paper layer and use your garden hose to wash off the paper and charcoal core dirt. 

Use a brush and warm water combined with one or two spoons of bleach to remove the paper layer from both sides. To sanitize, immerse the whole filter in the water-bleach combination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the duration of cleaning a water filter?

A cleaned water filter may continue functioning for an additional month or two. However, keep in mind that because there is a chance of bacterial accumulation, most manufacturers do not advise using their filters much longer than indicated.

Q. What should you not use to clean water filters?

We advise against using bleach or another conventional chemical disinfectant to clean a water filter. These substances could contaminate your water with potentially hazardous quantities of these compounds or ruin the filter media.

Q. Can water filters that haven’t been replaced for a long time cause illness?

Yes. Bacteria will develop in a water filter if not replaced as the manufacturer recommends. The possibility of this bacterial growth in an outdated filter might still exist even after cleaning it.

Q. What occurs if the water filter isn’t flushed?

Before use, most filters must be flushed to eliminate any leftover carbon particles that may have come free during storage or shipment. As a result, if a filter isn’t washed, your water may have black specks and taste or smell bad. 

Q. Why does my water filter work so slowly?

It can be a result of water bubbles that have been stuck in the filter. So check to see whether the filter floats in a big jar of water to determine if that’s the case. If it does, you’ve found your solution: air bubbles. Simply hitting the filter against the sink should cure the problem.

Q. How can I tell whether the water filter in my home is clogged?

You may need to change your water filter if your water is flowing out slowly, tastes unusual, or has an odd odor- all the signs of a clogged water filter.

Final Verdict

To clean a water filter, equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water should be used. Take the filter out and put it in vinegar and warm water containers. Allow it to soak for 60 minutes or until clean.