Maintenance and Cleaning Of Your Berkey Water Filter System

How to Clean the Berkey Water Filter System

To keep the Berkey in tip-top shape and working properly, perform routine system maintenance. Cleaning the chambers, spigot and filter removes any build up of minerals, smudges, or germs. The chambers is made of a high-quality stainless steel that are easy to clean--they can be washed in the dishwasher! All spigot designs (standard black plastic, stainless steel spigot, black water view, and stainless steel water view) can be left installed on the lower chamber, or removed to be cleaned. The Black Berkey Filters are specially designed to be scrubbed to reopen pores and extend their lifespan. Regularly clean your Berkey to maintain its shiny appearance and filtering effectiveness. 

When and How Often to Clean Your Berkey Filter

We recommending cleaning the chambers and spigot monthly. The Black Berkey Filters should be scrubbed every 3-6 months or when the flow rate is noticeably slower. 

Cleaning Instructions: 

1. Remove Black Berkey® Elements, and if applicable, the Fluoride Filters 
2. Place the filters in a safe place where there is no possibility of them rolling and breaking
3. Remove the spigot
4. Wash the chambers, parts and pieces by hand using warm water and a mild dishwashing soap
The stainless steel chambers are dishwasher safe!
5. For deep cleaning; add 16 drops of household bleach to each gallon of water being used for cleaning
6. After washing with bleach, wash and rinse again with warm water and a mild dish soap
7. Clean the Black Berkey Filters
8. Let everything air dry
9. Reassemble the Berkey and enjoy!


Check out the Berkey Maintenance Kit


If you notice mold in your system, thoroughly clean your system and filters. Scrub the Black Berkey Elements with a 3M Scotch Brite pad or any similarly abrasive sponge. We recommend doing this for about 2-4 minutes under cool running water to remove any buildup from the surface of the filters. After the filters have been scrubbed the filters reprime and reinstall them. Then, run a batch of pre-treated of water through the filters. To create a pre-treated batch of water add 16 drops of household bleach or iodine for every gallon of water being used (i.e. The Big Berkey Holds 2.25 gallons so add 36 drops) and then let it sit for 30 minutes. Then pour this mixture into the upper chamber to filter through the system. The bleach or iodine will be filtered out. To prevent mold, keep the Berkey away from direct heat sources and perform routine system maintenance.

White residue on the filter

If you notice a white residue on your black filters, it's most likely ionized minerals. This white material sometimes occurs with hard or heavily mineralized water. Berkeys do not remove minerals. These minerals can build up and leave a white residue. Wiping it off with a damp sponge usually resolves this aesthetic problem. When the pH level of the water is raised, the acidity of the water decreases, and the water is no longer able to hold as many minerals in the solution. Because of this, the minerals begin to precipitate over time, and depending on the mineral composition they will either sink to the bottom or float to the top. This process is known as flocculation and the precipitated minerals are usually referred to as "white floaters". The floaters or white residue is not harmful. They are minerals that were already in your water and now they are simply visible, whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form. 

White residue on spigot or in lower chamber

If you notice white residue on your spigot or in the lower chamber, it's most likely mineral build up. Berkeys do not remove minerals so depending on the source water being poured into the Berkey will affect how much mineral build up occurs. To remove this build-up, we recommend making a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. Scrub the piece and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.