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When and how do I clean the Black Berkey® Elements?

Berkey Water System
USABF Cleaning

The Black Berkey® Elements don’t necessarily need to be cleaned every time you clean your Berkey® unit. However, this can vary depending on your area and water source. In certain areas, the  water is much dirtier than normal, and will necessitate cleaning the elements more frequently, possibly even more than cleaning the rest of the system requires. If your water is muddy or really dirty, we advise pre-filtering  your water. Do this by running it through some type of cloth (shirt, bed sheet, bandanna, etc.) before pouring it into your Berkey system. While this isn’t necessary, doing so keeps the cleaning schedule for the elements down by collecting debris that may clog the pores of your Black Berkey Elements.

When is it time to clean your filters?

  • Cleaning the elements should be done when you experience a drastic slow down in your flow rate.
  • You may consider cleaning your elements on a consistent basis. For example, every 6 months. The benefit to doing so is that you won’t experience a slow flow rate. Cleaning frequency is really a personal preference.

How do you clean your filters?

  1. First, empty and disassemble the Black Berkey® Elements from the Berkey® unit.
  2. Use a cleaning pad similar to a Scotch Brite Pad or a stiff toothbrush and gently scrub the outside of the Black Berkey® Elements under cool running water.
  3. Re-prime the filters. If you’re not familiar with this process please visit our YouTube channel with step by step instructions, here.
  4. Reassemble the Black Berkey® Elements into the Berkey® unit.
  5. Lastly, fill your Berkey® unit and perform a red dye test as described in your instructions to ensure the Black Berkey® Elements are effective.

If you are currently using a water softening system, we highly recommend that you obtain pre-softened water directly from the source rather than run softened water through your Black Berkey® Elements. Please click here, for more information regarding the use of the Berkey® system with softened water.