March 05, 2020

How to Clean Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purifier Filters?

By Sona Mathews
Got some issues with your supply of drinking water? Earth may be abundant in water but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a problem anymore. Only 0.3% of the water on earth is usable which leaves the rest (99.7%) in soils, ice caps, oceans, and in the atmosphere where it floats.

Still, only a part of this 0.3% seems accessible to humans and animals, especially as drinking water.

This is where issues regarding the supply of drinking water come in from different parts of the world.

How to Clean Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purifier Filters: eAskme
How to Clean Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purifier Filters: eAskme

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But believe it or not, having tap water that you can’t rely on can be more frustrating than having none at all.

With all those issues that affect the supply of tap water, the best thing to do is be more resourceful.

To ensure that your water is free from contaminants and safe for drinking, maintain clean RO water purifier filters.

What is Reverse Osmosis Systems?

Reverse Osmosis Systems or RO systems pertain to a process that removes contaminants from unfiltered water.

This is done by using pressure that reverses the flow of the water to pass through a semipermeable membrane.

This semipermeable membrane contains small pores that block contaminants from but allow water molecules to pass through.

During the osmosis process, water becomes more concentrated as it flows through the membrane and gains equilibrium on each side. It is a superior purification method compared to only UV or UF.

On the other hand, reverse osmosis prevents all contaminants from entering the less concentrated side of the semipermeable membrane.

If you’re going to filter salt water, the pressure will be applied during the reverse osmosis to produce clean water.

As a result, the salt will be left behind in the filters as waste.

For clean drinking water, it should pass through a more concentrated side of the RO membrane before it passes through a less concentrated side.

After going through RO water purifier filters, a produced freshwater is now called permeate.

Meanwhile, the concentrated water is called brine which is considered as leftover and waste.

To produce clean water, a reverse osmosis system removes the sediment and chlorine using a pre-filter. This is done before forcing the water through the system’s semipermeable membrane and taking out any dissolved solids.

Once the water flows out from the RO membrane, it will then flow through a post-filter to refine the drinking water.

But to keep your faucet water safe for drinking, you still need to clean the filters.

Whether it is installed under the sink, connected on your refrigerator, or installed for the entire house, RO water purifier filters work.

You can even use it in aquariums, RVs, or your faucet that is connected to a well. Just don’t forget to clean it after every 3-12 months of use.

Take note that the process of cleaning a membrane may vary from one system to another depending on its manufacturer.

Regardless, these are the general tips to help you clean your reverse osmosis system:

  • All new filters should be kept packed until it is ready for a replacement if your filters need to be replaced.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before starting the cleaning process.

  • Don’t forget to wear a pair of thick sanitary rubber gloves and protective eye-wear. These things will protect you from harsh cleaning chemicals during the process.

  • Turn off your system’s water supply.

  • Turn off all water lines that are connected to your refrigerator or ice-maker.

  • Drain the water from your filter system and storage tank. Simply open your system’s water faucet then close it once it is empty.

  • Detach the membrane housing from the system then open it. You might want to use a strap wrench to open it easily. Disconnecting the membrane first before will prevent your chemical cleaners from ruining its membrane.

  • Clean up the membrane using a chemical cleaner that is recommended by the manufacturer or the RO chemical supplier. Follow its given instruction carefully and double-check the right dosage, temperature, pH-value, and contact time.

  • The cleaner you need to use depends on the specific fouling that the system’s membrane collected throughout its usage like silica scale, calcium carbonate scale, inorganic and organic colloidal deposits, metal oxides deposits, and natural material like fungi and mold.

  • Clean the membrane housing using a bottle brush with a mix of regular dish-washing soap, bleach, and water.

  • Throw away all cleaning chemicals then rinse the membrane and housing before assembling them again.

  • Put the housing back onto the filter system then turn on its cold water supply to check for any sign of leakage.

  • Don’t forget to flush the system before refilling the water tank. This will eliminate all the remaining chemical residues in the system.
Take note, it may take time before you the quality of water you want returns after cleaning the RO water filters.


The reverse osmosis membrane is the most costly part of the RO water purifier system.

Therefore, you have to be extra careful of the RO membrane while cleaning the system’s filters.

Since this membrane is responsible for eliminating TDS and other heavy metals in water, it can also eliminate bacteria and viruses.

Always refer to the manual that is given by the RO water purifier’s manufacturer to know the right chemical to use.

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