How To Make A Water Filter?

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the outdoors, knowing how to make a water filter is a very useful skill, and it could even save your life in the event of an emergency.



When major disasters such as floods occur, sometimes drinking water becomes contaminated for many miles and help may not arrive right away. Unless you’re an avid survivalist with many gallons of fresh water stored away or a sophisticated water purification system such as reverse osmosis, the occasion could arise where you need to make a water filter to produce potable water.

You can make a water filter out of various materials, but basically all you need is a clean container, a bit of cloth, charcoal, gravel and sand. Possible containers could be a pail, a large tin can (preferably not rusted), an empty plastic milk jug or a large plastic soda bottle. A large plastic soda bottle is ideal, because it is clear and you can see exactly how your filter is working. You’ll also need a second leak-free container to catch the purified water.

As an example, the following instructions assume the use of two 1-litre plastic soda bottles:

• Cut the bottom off the first bottle and remove the cap.

• Leave the bottom of the second bottle intact but cut off the top just after the screw cap begins to widen. This is the container that will catch your clean water, so make sure it is as clean as possible.

• The first bottle will need to be suspended from something sturdy.

• Place some large pebbles inside the neck of the first bottle. Choose ones that are larger than the screw cap opening. Add some smaller pebbles on top of that.

• Cut or tear a piece of cloth slightly larger than the width of the bottle. A piece of a cotton shirt, sheet or pillowcase works nicely. Place it on top of the layer of pebbles and then put another layer of pebbles on top of it.

• Find some clean sand and put a fairly thick layer of it on top of the pebbles. The bottle should be about 2/3 full by now.

• Next is a layer of charcoal. You can use the type used in aquarium filters, or make it yourself. Light a fire and then extinguish a piece of wood after it has half burned away. Scrape the charcoal off and crush it into little pieces, about the consistency of rice if possible. Put a layer about ½ inch thick and then cover it with sand, leaving at least 2-3 inches of space at the top for water.

Now your filter is ready to use. If possible, it is best to pour some water through the filter first to ‘clean’ the sand and gravel before using the water for drinking. If you hang the filter at just the right height, the neck of the bottle will fit nicely inside the second bottle with the cut-off neck, preventing spills.

This is how you can make a water filter during an emergency, when camping, or even just to test for fun.

To read more about related subjects, please follow these links:

How To Filter Water?

How To Filter Water: Knowing The Basics Of Water Filtration

Homemade Water Filter: Filtering Your Water At Home

Is A Hard Water Filter The Right Option For Your Home?

What Is A Water Sand Filter?

Capresso Charcoal Water Filters