How to Clean Activated Carbon Water Filter? 4 Easy Steps!

Maintaining your water filter is very important. Poor maintenance of water will make you change your filter more often, but it will also affect the quality and taste of water.

You will not be able to get fresh water if the water filter is not cleaned correctly. Replacing the filter is not only expensive, but it will also be a burden on the environment.

Carbon filters are often expensive especially if you have to replace them again and again. Therefore you must keep an eye on your water filter and clean it properly when needed.

How to Clean Activated Carbon Water Filter?

Activated carbon filters are great for purifying water. These filters are effective because they can remove organic and toxic chemicals from water and make water safe for drinking.

These carbon filters are usually known as “polishing filters” and prove very effective in improving the odour and taste of water.

There are several steps that you need to follow for cleaning the activated carbon water filter. Following these steps, you will clean your water filter correctly, and you won’t have to replace it with the new one.

1- Preparing the Cleaning Solution

The first thing you need to do is to prepare a cleaning solution for the water filter. You can make a simple solution with distilled water and a dishwashing liquid.

Make sure you heat the distilled water as much as you can and bring it to the temperature at which you can easily touch the water.

Add a few drops of the dishwashing liquid into the water and mix it. Make sure that you make this solution is in a big container so that you can quickly submerge the water filter cartridge that you are going to clean.

You can also add two cups of muriatic acid to water and stir it with the help of a plastic stirrer. Stir it continuously and consistently.

2- Removing the Water Carbon Filter

To remove the water filter, you need to depressurize the filter housing. Make sure to shut off the water that is going to and after the filter. After this, press the button for pressure relief that is on the top of the housing filter.

For removing the carbon filter from the housing, a wrench is usually used. However, if you do not have that, you can use the belt type wrench as well. Make sure to screw off the bottom and then remove the cartridge of the filter.

3- Cleaning the Water Filter Cartridge

After removing the water filter cartridge, add it to the cleaning solution that you prepared earlier. Let it in the solution for several minutes so that all contaminants and dirt can be cleaned from the filter cartridge.

Sometimes, 15 to 30 minutes are enough to let the filter cartridge sit in solution. It depends on how dirty the surface of the filter cartridge is.

Make sure to shake and wiggle the filter in the cleaning solution for a couple of minutes. As you are doing it, you will see the flakes of debris and dirt in the solution as you continue to shake the filter.

Therefore, keep on shaking and wiggling the Filter until no dirt or debris comes off the Filter. Once all the dirt has come off from the Filter, rinse the filter cartridge thoroughly.

Take clean water in a separate container and shake the filter cartridge in this for two to three minutes. Change the water and repeat this process in a bowl of clean water until you feel no more dirt and debris and the filter cartridge has been cleaned properly.

It is essential to clean the filter cartridge and clean the inside of the filter housing. This is so that there are no contaminants or dirt particles stuck inside the filter housing.

Take some chlorine-based cleaner and wipe down the insides to remove any grime build-up or dirt. After this, thoroughly clean the filter housing with clean water.

4- Putting the Cartridge back in Filter

Once you have cleaned the carbon filter cartridge and filter housing, you can put back the filter cartridge in the filter housing. You do not need to dry the filter cartridge before replacing it entirely.

It is important to remember that you can only clean the water filter 2 to 3 times. After this, you will have to replace the water filter with a new one. However, it is important to always clean the housing filter before changing the Filter.


Cleaning the activated carbon water filter is the same as cleaning the water filter with a reverse osmosis process. However, with carbon activated water filters, you have to be a bit more careful when cleaning the water filter.

You are going to work with the chemicals; therefore, you must do this in an area with enough ventilation. Moreover, make sure to wear gloves and if you are using muriatic acid, follow the instructions exactly as written on the chemical. Also, it will be best if you wear a mask or goggles and you cover your skin.

Why Is It Important To Clean Activated Carbon Water Filters?

The cleaner the water filter is, the better it will work. Just as you maintain the effectiveness of your toothbrush and prevent it from bacteria, similarly water filter maintenance is also essential.

The job of a water filter is to keep the water free from contaminants and keep it fresh. However, if you do not clean the water filter, the water quality will be affected. Below mentioned are some of the examples of what if you do not clean the filter regularly.

1- Toxins can Breakthrough in water

Toxins are very harmful to your health, and if they get mixed in water, they can harm your health. Not all water filters can remove toxins such as poison and heavy metals; therefore, make sure you choose the right one.

Carbon activated filters can remove these harmful toxins such as chlorine. However, if the water filter is not cleaned and maintained, it will become ineffective at purifying these harmful chemicals from water.

The water you get after filtration will still be contaminated, and it will affect your health.

2- Poor Water Taste

When toxins remain in the water, they can affect the taste of water. It is often said that hard water has a kind of metallic or earthy taste while soft water can taste a bit salty. In the same way, chlorine in water can affect both the odour and taste of your water.

3- Water Becomes Hard

The only difference between soft water and hard water is their mineral content. There is an increased level of magnesium and calcium in hard water whereas there is an increased amount of sodium in soft water.

If you are using a water filter to make the water soft, then maintenance is important. This is because the magnesium and calcium build-up from hard water can make your water filter useless with time.

Working of Water Filters With Activated Carbon Filter

It is important to understand that how these filters work. Understanding the way these filters work would help to clean these water filters properly

There are different types of water filters and water purifiers that vary in their design and working.  Carbon plays an important role in the activated carbon water filters.

Activated carbon can remove all contaminants, organic compounds and unwanted chemicals. It can remove chemicals such as pesticides, chlorine and VOCs present in the water.

Most of the carbon water filters remove contaminants from water through adsorption. It means that the contaminants in the water will be attracted towards the surface of activated carbon and remain stick to it.

This is the same as a magnet would attract the iron fillings and hold them. In this way, the water is purified and is safe to drink.


We hope that you have already figured out how you can clean activated carbon water filters. Maintenance of water filter is very important otherwise you would not be able to get purified and freshwater.

Cleaning the water filters is important because otherwise, they will become useless with time. Getting a new water filter, again and again, will prove very expensive. You can easily clean the water filter 2 to 3 times before replacing it with the new one.

You should know how to take care of the water filter because high-quality water is very important for good health. We hope that our guidelines will assist you in the proper maintenance of carbon activated water filters.

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