Brita water filters are some of the most popular filtration systems available. They remove several particles and impurities from your water, but they’re not nearly as effective if they’re not prepared correctly. Fortunately, proper preparation is much easier than you might think.
You should soak a Brita filter for five minutes before using it. The Brita pitcher filters can be used after four full cycles through the container, whereas the sink attachments should be left on for the entire five-minute duration. The soaking process removes contaminants and expands the filter.
Throughout this post, we’ll explain how long you should soak your Brita filter, how to prepare it for the best results, and what happens if you skip the soaking process.
Read my article: What Does a Brita Filter Remove – Is Your Drinking Water Safe?
How Long Do You Run Water Through a Brita Filter?
A Brita pitcher should go through four water cycles, but if you have a Brita sink attachment, you should run water through it for five minutes. You can also soak the filter for 15 seconds before installing it on any Brita device.
Soaking the filter allows it to expand and prevents small particles from making it through the filtration system.
Brita explains turning on the sink for five minutes will flush out the contaminants from the shipping process. Most filters use charcoal that can clump together, and if the charcoal settles, it won’t evenly coat the filter.
Furthermore, it could restrict the water flow randomly, leading to mineral deposits on the sink or pitcher.
However, simply flushing the filter isn’t enough. You’ll want to follow specific instructions to make sure the filter fits in the device without shifting around or leaving gaps for contaminants to flow through.
How To Use a Brita Water Filter for the First Time
Getting a Brita water filter can save you money on bottled water, but if you don’t set it up properly before you use it the first time, you might as well drink tap water.
1. Install the filter
Place the filter in the Brita pitcher or faucet attachment. You can pre-soak the filter if it’s covered in packaging debris, such as tape, cardboard, or bits of styrofoam. However, many Brita filters come in a pre-assembled compartment that shouldn’t be opened.
Place it directly into its place, then proceed to the next step.
2. Turn on the water for 15 minutes for an attachment
Once you’ve installed your filter on your faucet, turn on the water for 5-15 minutes, depending on how old the filter is, as this allows the charcoal and other filtering materials to expand. It’s essential to flush the filter if you want to be able to remove as much debris as possible before filling a glass.
3. Run water through filter for pitcher filters
After placing the filter in your pitcher, run water through it, dump it, and repeat this process three times. Let the water completely trickle through the filter, then pour the water anywhere you’d use gray water. Avoid drinking it because it could contain particles and other unfiltered debris from the device.
4. Check for mineral signs
Fill a cup with filtered water and look for signs of minerals, such as discoloration or chlorinated odors. It should be clear without any floating particles. At this point, you’re more than welcome to use your Brita filter for the next few months. City water has a lot of additives that can be safely removed with a Brita filter after it’s soaked.
5. Test your water for other solids
Use a water testing kit if you’re worried about TDS (total dissolved solids), copper, lead, and other contaminants.
The VARIFY Drinking Water Test Kit (available on Amazon.com) checks for lead, copper, and many other particles. You can use them to ensure your Brita filter is working if you’re worried about debris in the water supply.
When to Change Your Brita Filter
The vast majority of Brita filters need to be changed after 100 gallons (378.5 L) of water runs through them. Most pitcher filters include a three-month calendar inside the filter compartment. You may want to change the filter after 90 days if you haven’t exceeded the 100-gallon (378.5-L) mark.
Review this helpful YouTube video to learn more about preparing your Brita water filter.
Remember, if you don’t change your Brita filter when you’re supposed to, you’ll notice a rapid loss in water quality. Initially, you’ll notice that the bad flavors in your water return. This is especially true if your water is highly chlorinated. You may also notice that the filter takes a long time to process the water.
What Happens If You Don’t Soak a Brita Filter?
If you don’t soak a Brita filter, it will leak particles from the shipping process into the water supply. Additionally, charcoal, or other filter media, won’t be able to do its job properly. Soaking the filter barely takes any time, but it makes a world of difference in the long run, so you’ll want to soak every Brita filter, regardless of how new it is.
Here’s what will happen if you don’t soak your new Brita filter:
- Failure to soak your Brita filter can leave styrofoam in the drinking water. While Brita always takes good care of its filters, the shipping processes can vary by location. Anything used in the transportation process can get on the filter, including foam, plastic, tape, or other materials.
- The filter needs to be soaked so the filtration media can spread out evenly. Most filter media settles in one spot because it clumps up. Running water through the filter helps it expand, which shifts the media and coats the entire surface. After soaking the filter, it removes particles from the water regardless of the temperature or pressure.
- The water will come out in random spurts because the media is unevenly distributed. Not soaking and preparing the filter is one of the biggest problems you can have when buying a Brita pitcher or faucet hookup. It should also be seated in the center of the filter compartment for optimal soaking and filtration.
After soaking your Brita filter, it’s completely safe to use. However, we highly suggest washing the pitcher or the sink attachment if it’s the first time you use it. Once everything is clean, these filters are some of the most efficient and effective ways to purify your water supply.
Brita filters are very easy to soak and install. However, the soaking process is paramount for maximum filtration and particle reduction. If you don’t prepare the filter properly, you could risk leaving countless contaminants in the water supply.