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How to Clean Berkey Filters

How to Clean Berkey Filters?

Clean and filtered water is a vital necessity for a healthy lifestyle. The Berkey Filters ensure the water your family drinks are safe. It purifies water to remove bacteria and viruses that other conventional filters cannot. In this article, we are not going to describe how a berkey filter works. Instead that, here you will know how to clean berkey filters so that it will last long. 

In the journey of keeping your family safe from heavy metal toxicity, the filter has to go through a lot. The cherry on the cake is that the Berkey design for a day of high-quality service.

However, to maintain its peak operational efficiency, periodical cleaning is mandatory. One of the reasons Berkey filters lasts for long is its ability to maintain integrity during a thorough cleaning.

This is what we'll be discussing in this article.

Last update on 2023-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In the simplest terms, Berkey filters last more than other filtration systems. One of the important reason behind this is it's easy cleaning procedure. Even after a thorough cleaning, it retains its quality and functions.

Unlike, Water Pitcher, it features a granulated media that is compact with small pore size.

Its unique micro-pore structure is what traps tiny particles at the outer surface of the filter. However, the filter claims to remove more than 200 contaminants from the water. With overtime use, its micro-pore filter becomes clogged, which results in slow water flow.

Since the Berkey filter is made for the long run, so it requires special care while cleaning. So, follow the instructions to learn why you should clean Berkey filters with caution.

Mainteinance of Berkey Filters

Depending on your water source, the filter requires gentle cleaning to unblock all these micro-pores. It helps to maintain a better water flow again. Also, it removes the deposits of the contaminated water from the filter and helps the filter to keep high-quality water. You don't need to change filter cartridge as other filters as refrigerator water.

That's not the case with the Berkey filters, such as black Berkey filters. Only the cleaning filter purification unit is enough to get fresh water.

Note: Although fridge water filter requires to change filter cartridge, these filters works fine on their field. Here you can check our Recommended Refrigerator Water Filter.

With regular maintenance of filter elements, the Berkey filter can clean 100 times before it requires replacement.

So, by no means, a cleaning filter is essential to maintain its life expectancy.

How to Clean Berkey Filters?

Here we'll talk about cleaning Berkey Filters, specially about the most popular Berkey addition, Black Berkey filters. The Black Berkey filter includes a highly-polished 304 stainless steel housing with purification elements. You can clean the stainless-steel housing in every few days.

Then, clean the purification elements separately by maintaining a schedule. Both units require separate cleaning techniques.

Below we'll describe how to clean the filter housing and filter purification elements.

Last update on 2023-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Way of Cleaning Black Berkey Filter Housing

Regular cleaning is good enough for cleaning the stainless-steel housing of the Black Berkey filter. You can either clean it in the dishwasher or by hand using warm soapy water.

Follow the instructions:

  • At first, remove all the filter elements before cleaning,
  • Remove the spigots and knobs from the Black Berkey filter unit,
  • Place the filter housing inside the dishwasher rack,
  • If your water contains pathogens, you can use 16 drops of bleach per gallon of cleaning water,
  • If your water contains fluoride, Read This Article to learn how to remove it cheaply,
  • Run one or two filter cycle if the water is particularly polluted,
  • Finally, after cleaning, rinse the filter housing thoroughly with clean, uncontaminated water. Let it dry, if possible, to avoid any stain buildup.

The filter housing is ready to use.

Now wash the spigots and knobs using warm soap water. After cleaning, set them aside on a clean surface. Or you can place in a bag temporarily until you clean the purification elements.

Then, follow the instructions below to clean Black Berkey purification elements:

How to Clean Black Berkey Purification Elements?

Black Berkey purification elements can be cleaned in two ways, one is household cleaning, and other is field cleaning.

Learn how to clean Berkey filters in both directions:

Method 1: Household Cleaning Method

Step 1 : Empty Berkey System and Wash Chambers

At first, empty the water from your Black Berkey system. Separate both chambers and keep the top chamber aside. Keep it on a solid surface to make sure it is not rolling.

Wash the chambers by following the instructions we mentioned above.

Step 2 : Removing Purification Elements

It's time to remove the core of purification elements by avoiding any contamination. Place your fingers over the hole of the purification element's stem. However, this is where the purified water flows.

Step 3 : Unscrew the Wing

Now, unscrew the wing, but that locks it to the housing and remove the elements.

Step 4 : Place it Under Running Tap Water

At this moment, the element reveal. Place it under running tap water. Make sure the stem point upward, and it should come close to the water stream.

Step 5 : Rinse It

Take a non-scratch pad and scrub the outer surface of the element for a few minutes. After that, rinse it thoroughly using tap water.

Step 6 : Dry It

Set the element aside on a clean surface and let it dry. Once it is dry, reassemble the filter by following the manual.

Method 2: Field Cleaning

You can also clean the unit outside with uncontaminated water. You'll need a few elements, such as; clean bucket, purify water, and non-scratch pads.

Empty the filter by following the instruction above and separate the purification element.

Then, follow the instructions as below:

  1. Add purified water into a clean bucket,
  2. Take a non-scratch pad and carefully scrub the surface of the element for a few minutes. Rinse it thoroughly into the purified water in the bucket,
  3. Once cleaning thoroughly, empty the bucket and refill it again with more water,
  4. Submerge the filter element for few minutes and take it out after that,
  5. Set the clean elements aside and let it dry. Wash your hand with soap and clean water,
  6. Finally, reassemble the filter, and it is ready to go.


While cleaning Berkey filters, keep in mind the few things. The filter is capable of purifying water from crude ponds or even river water. So, make sure you use purified water while cleaning the Berkey purification elements.

DO NOT use contaminated water because it will enter the core of the purification element.

So, this is why you should keep your fingers over the hole. We've discussed the negative impact of water that human uses; you can Learn More From This Link.

How to Know When It Is the Best Time for Cleaning?

Sometimes the water comes out slowly from the black carbon filters. And, the water goes up in the upper chamber of your Berkey filter.

If this happens, then it is the high cleaning time!

Also, when you disassemble the filter, you may notice there is a tiny film. This small film and other deposits from the filter need to be removed. If you see many deposit buildups, then it is the right time for cleaning and maintenance.

How Often to Clean a Berkey Filter?

The frequency of cleaning the Berkey filter depends on the number of dissolved solids and sediments in the water. If you have a Sediment Water Filter installed in your household, you may have to clean less than regular.

If the water you filled inside the container is cloudy, you may have to scrub the element weekly. Or, sometimes daily cleaning also helps to maintain proper water flow.

The manufacturer suggests giving the Berkey filter a thorough cleaning once every six months. The better is to clean whenever the water runs slowly.

However, it also depends on the number of gallons filtered in a day.


All in all, it is essential to clean your Berkey filter to ensure a better performance. The filters generally make for the long haul, so clean them frequently and with care.

Also, you know how to clean Berkey filters, so clean accordingly.

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