How to Clean a Sawyer Water Filtration System?

When it comes to water filters, Sawyer products are known for their high-tech features. However, they also require maintenance in order to continue working properly. A simple backwash can make a significant difference in the longevity of your filter. Thankfully, Sawyer products provide a convenient and affordable way to get your water filter in top shape. 

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One of the most important things to do after you have filtered a few gallons of water is to backwash the filter. Using the proper backwash technique will allow you to remove particles that have accumulated in your water filter and restore flow rates. Backflushing can be a useful trick to keep your filter running smoothly, and it’s recommended to do this at least once a season. 

Another easy way to clean a Sawyer filter is with a cleaning plunger. This is a small, push-pull cap that attaches to a bottle of filtered water and forces clean water through the filter fibers. Essentially, it’s the Sawyer’s equivalent of the shower head. Afterwards, rinse the cap and the bottle with water. 

It’s also possible to clean your Sawyer filter by using vinegar. Vinegar is a common disinfectant and can break down mineral buildup. If you find a lot of calcium in your water, it’s best to remove it with vinegar. After you do this, it’s time to re-flush the filter with fresh water. 

While you’re at it, it’s probably a good idea to clean the filter’s bottle and nozzle as well. Whether you’re storing the filter in your car, at the campsite, or in your home, you’ll want to ensure that it’s clean. You don’t want to risk clogging the bottle or nozzle of your filter. Similarly, you don’t want to put your water filter in the freezer. The freezing process destroys wet filters. Fortunately, Sawyer’s S2 filter is made from durable materials that can last for over 800 uses. 

Before you jump right into using your Sawyer water filter, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of filtering and backwashing. Once you’ve mastered these steps, you’ll be ready to go. Just remember to use a plunger that’s gentle on your filter’s threads. Otherwise, you could end up breaking the thread, which would mean the end of your filter. 

Depending on the manufacturer, different sanitizing techniques are suggested. Some suggest a brush, while others recommend a soft flush. Soft flushes create paths of least resistance, meaning they’ll likely wash the same few filaments over and over. In the process, you’ll be able to kill off bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Unlike pump-style backpacking water filters, a Sawyer bottle doesn’t come with a hose. But the bottle itself is easy to clean. For example, you can empty it and fill it with hot water. After that, you should leave it sit for an hour. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filter. This is a much smaller filter than the Mini, but it has a faster flow rate. Also, this model includes a 32-ounce bag.