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How to Clean a Berkey Water Filter: Step by Step Guide

Published by: Paulo Baker

How to Clean a Berkey Water Filter Step by Step Guide

Even though the world has advanced within the technological frontier, real-world issues persist globally. For example, the acute shortage of clean water is a problem that millions still struggle with daily. Even in advanced countries such as the US, water containing heavy metals and impurities is rampant. 

In the fight for clean water for all, one brand that has contributed significantly is Berkey. They come in large cylindrical designs that look modern and purify them for families’ consumption across the globe.

So in this article, we will see how you can clean a Berkey water filter easily and quickly…

Signs you need to Clean the Berkey filters 

Here are a few signs that will show you when you have to clean your Berkey filters…

1. Decreased flow of water: Reduced water flow means your water filter is clogged up and requires cleaning or replacing depending on its current condition.

2. The sour taste of water: Another sign is the sour taste of water. If the filter is clogged up with particulates, the water becomes muddy and tastes salty. It also indicates that the quality of the water is compromised. 

3. Red light: Water filters have red lights outside. When the red light is on, filters are not functioning correctly. Generally, cleaning up gets the job done, but occasionally you might require replacing. 

Steps to Clean a Berkey Water Filter 

The Berkey water filter usually functions perfectly for two years. But with additional cleaning every 3-4months, it can last up to five years. Like every other filter, Berkey gives its users some signs of dew for a much-needed clean. 

For households: 

  • First, you need to empty all the water from the system in your hands. 
  • Now move on to removing the preinstalled fluoride filters. 
  • Unclip the wing nut that attaches the Berkey component to the pot. 
  • With the exit part being upward, you need to keep the filter under the running tap.
  • Scrub the black surface of the filter for a good few minutes with a scrubbing pad without adding any additional soap or detergent. 
  • Now reinstall the filters back in the system like they used to be.

For field usage: 

  • To clean the filter, use water with no trace of harmful impurities.
  • Add clean water to your bucket to clean the filters. If you are uncertain about the condition of your water, add a few drops of bleach or iodine before cleaning the filters with it.
  • Like before, empty your Berkey filter, remove the lid, and put it on a clean surface. 
  • Untwist the wing nut and detach the black element from the container. 
  • Scrub down the outer part of the filter without any soap and rinse it under the faucet.
  • Keep all the filters in the same process and reinstall when you’re done.

Since Berkey does not obtain one-use filters, the system owner can clean it multiple times while keeping the quality intact. This company guarantees over 100 cleaning before you need to repair or purchase another. 

For households, filters can function suitably for six months without a clean, but cleaning is expected every week if possible daily for fields.

You can also watch this video to see how to clean a Berkey water filter and it’s elements…

Managing Berkey Filters

Managing your Berkey Water filter is simple. With a little bit of priming, maintaining, cleaning, and reinstalling filters, you can work the filters in your home.

After bringing your Berkey home, the first thing you should do is prime it for the first usage. If you skip this process, it can lead to the water flow significantly slowing down. 

How To Assemble Berkey Water Filter

After the first usage, All the filters and purifying units must be primed periodically to ensure smooth operations. For maintenance, You should replace the water inside the Berkey every three days, so mold doesn’t develop on the chambers, or the water goes stale. 

You must clean the chambers and spigot thoroughly every four to six months when it comes to cleaning. The official Berkey recommendation for its users is to replace or reinstall the filters every 2-5years with a brand new one. However, depending on how much or less you use it in your regular life, it can change the lifespan period of filters.

About Berkey Water Filter

The Berkey water units are deceptively simplistic because they perform the cleaning process using gravity itself. However, a lot of engineering has gone into making these filters effectively whipping out the 99.999th percentage of purity.

In addition, the Black Berkey filters come with a design composition that is their highly patented trade secret which other competitors cannot apply with. 

Just two elements have the capacity of filtering 6000 gallons of water to purity regardless of the source they’ve been accessed from, making the end water for consumption one of the cleanest sources of water. These systems are valid for indoor water drinking and outdoor traveling and adventuring. In addition, their electric miniature designs provide significant major bill savings and caravan housing.

The fact that one can clean these filters and be further reusable increases their lifespan significantly. In recent studies, the average cent per gallon for the Berkey systems comes at an astonishing 2 cents. 

The manufacturing standard of every filter designed by them is beyond the standard requirement. Every element has to clean and effectively stop every bacteria, virus, pathogen to 0.0001 degrees.  Berkey engineers have created a product that revolutionizes the health and purity of water for the middle class. 


Maintenance of water purifiers is a vital household activity that everyone should conduct periodically. Lack of maintenance can lead to filters themselves getting clogged up, or worse; there can be leakages of impurities in water.

The good news is that, as we’ve demonstrated, the whole maintenance process of managing a Berkey water unit is painless. 

While there is a widespread practice in many homes where people drink from tap water, it is still better to ensure 100 percent certainty of water purity. You can even conduct your research by buying a TDS filter to check for quality.


Can you use vinegar to clean Berkey filters?

Calcium gets build-up on the fixture in lower chambers, which is hard to remove. So instead, you can make a 50% water and 50% vinegar mixture and soak the damaged units in the liquid mix for over 15 minutes. Finally, finish the job by washing it with soap and rinsing.

How do you clean the inside of a Berkey?

Berkey offers a detailed maintenance guide to its customers. To clean the inside of the filter, first, you need to empty the filter and detach two chambers. Now move on to cleaning the inside with warm soapy water and a scrub sponge. Avoid getting any soap in the filter.

How long can you leave water in Berkey?

Berkey recommends changing the water every three days to have healthy, bacteria-free filtered water. But in the case of a cold environment, You can extend it to 7 days. Bacteria can grow faster in humid places, so water cannot be left for more than three days at a time.

Can Berkey filters get moldy?

One of the most repeating issues with water filters is the development of mold and bacteria in the filter. At most times, mold grows in the upper chamber. But if water is unchanged for a long time, it grows in the lower section.

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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

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