How to reuse Brita water filters

Written by matt boyd
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How to reuse Brita water filters
Save money and go green by modifying your water filter cartridge. (drinking water image by Andrzej Solnica from

Brita water filters clean and sanitise drinking water. These filters operate by slowly passing water through an activated carbon chamber. Activated carbon is very porous and captures tiny organisms and potentially harmful contaminates that can inhabit drinking water. The disposable pitchers contain a single filter cartridge that, with a little modification, can be reused over and over again. Other than being environmentally friendly by reducing landfill waste, this modification can help you save some money the next time the filter needs to be changed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Used filter cartridge
  • Activated carbon
  • Electric hand drill
  • 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) drill bit
  • Bleach
  • Small funnel
  • Polythene plug

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  1. 1

    Remove the filter cartridge. Place filter cartridge standing on its bottom on a steady surface. The top of the cartridge is a raised hub; the bottom is flat. Locate the centre of the raised hub. Drill a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) hole directly into the centre of the hub, using low pressure and a high RPM to create the smoothest edges possible. Dump out the original contents of the cartridge.

  2. 2

    Add six to eight drops of bleach to one gallon of water in the sink or a large bowl. Place the entire cartridge in the bleach solution and let soak for five minutes. Remove cartridge and rinse it thoroughly. Place small funnel into the hole you created. Pour activated carbon into the funnel. Fill the hub with as much activated carbon as possible, leaving a small amount of room for the plug. Insert the plug into the hole.

  3. 3

    Fill your sink with enough fresh tap water to submerse the entire filter cartridge. Place the filter cartridge in the sink and let it soak for 15 minutes. Remove filter cartridge from water and insert it into the pitcher just as you would a brand new cartridge.

  4. 4

    Fill the pitcher with water. Pour water out into a glass to check for any small particles of carbon that might escape. Repeat process two to three times or until water is completely clear.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your pitcher of water and the cartridge in the refrigerator between uses to increase the life of the cartridge and reduce organic contaminate growth.
  • Refill the cartridge with activated carbon as often as you would normally replace a standard store-bought filter.
  • This modification operates by filtering water through activated carbon only. Heavy metals are not removed by this modification. If heavy metals are a concern in your drinking water, you should seek alternative methods for water purification.

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