How to Clean a Well Water Filter Step by Step

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Owning a private well comes with a lot of responsibility.

Not only do you have to ensure the water is safe for consumption, but you also must regularly maintain the well and its components.

Part of this maintenance may be cleaning your well water filter.

How? Find out below!

Key Takeaways

These are the steps on how to clean a well water filter:

  1. Shut off the water supply and release pressure from within the system.
  2. Remove the filter from its housing.
  3. Hose down and scrub the filter.
  4. Clean/sanitize the housing with mild soap and a soft brush.
  5. Rinse filter and housing with clean water.
  6. Put everything back together.
  7. Open water supply and check for leaks.

Why Clean a Well Water Filter?

A well water filter helps remove impurities from the well water entering your home. Over time, these impurities can build up on the filter, causing it to become less effective. Keeping your filter clean will ensure it is always working until it needs to be replaced.


Well water can be affected by several different factors over time. In turn, this can cause clogging in your well water filter.

  • The most common type of clogging is due to sediment. As water flows through the earth, it picks up small pieces of dirt. This is especially true if there is construction happening near your well.
  • Things like iron and manganese can also cause clogging. These metals are found naturally in the environment and can dissolve into water over time.
  • If you have hard well water, you’ll likely see a build-up of minerals on your filter.


Another reason to keep your well water filter clean is to remove germs that may have accumulated over time. Since your water comes from the ground, there is always a chance that bacteria, cysts, or viruses could find their way into the water supply. Cleaning your filter will help remove any germs that may have latched onto it.

Filtered Water Quality

Not only will a clogged filter cause your water pressure to drop, but it can also affect your water quality. If you notice that your water doesn’t taste as good as it used to, or if it looks cloudy, your filter is likely clogged.

Well with Well Cap

How to Clean a Well Water Filter

Before anything else, you should consider the type of well water filter you have.

Sediment filters are typically the only filters you need to clean periodically. This is because outside factors like flooding and construction can influence the sediment levels in your water. For other well filter types, the best course is to replace them.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to clean a sediment well water filter.

Step 1. Shut Off the Water

The first step is to shut off your main water supply. This will ensure that water doesn’t start flowing through the filter while you are cleaning it.

Step 2. Release Pressure

If your filter has a pressure release valve, open it to release any pressure that may have built up in the system. If not, you can turn on the nearest taps.

Step 3. Remove the Filter from Its Housing

Unscrew the filter housing with a housing wrench, then remove the filter cartridge. Make sure to dump out any water that’s left in the housing.

Step 4. Hose the Filter Down

Use a garden hose or a strong spray of water to remove as much sediment as possible from the filter.

Step 5. Scrub

Time to scrub! Use a soft brush and carefully remove any remaining dirt.

Step 6 (Optional). Soak the Filter

Sometimes, a well water filter can turn out to be quite difficult to clean. One thing that might help: Soak it in a cleaning solution. You can buy a well water filter cleaner or make your own with bleach and water. The ratio should be 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Let the filter soak for at least 20 minutes, then rinse it with a hose.

Step 7 (Optional). More Scrubbing

More scrubbing may be needed.

Step 8. Rinse

Once you’ve removed as much sediment as possible, rinse the filter with clean water. This will help to remove any lingering particles.

Step 9. Clean/Sanitize the Housing

Use mild soap and a soft brush to clean the inside of the well water filter housing. This will remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated over time. Rinse it well with clean water when you’re done.

You may also want to use a sanitizing solution to get rid of germs.

Step 10. Put Everything Back Together

Return the filter inside the housing and screw it back into place. Then, you can turn the water supply back on.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Your Well Water Filter From Limescale?

Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit that can build up on your well water filter over time. This build-up can reduce the filter’s efficiency and, if left unchecked, can eventually cause it to fail.

While there are a number of commercial limescale removal products available, you can also use vinegar to clean your well water filter from limescale, but only if you are cleaning sediment filters. It is not recommended to clean any other filters with vinegar.

To clean your well water filter with vinegar, simply soak a cloth or brush in undiluted vinegar and use it to scrub away the limescale. Once you’ve removed as much of the build-up as possible, flush the filter with clean water to remove any residual vinegar.

How Often Should You Clean a Well Water Filter?

While cleaning a well water filter helps restore its effectiveness, overdoing it can cause problems. Only clean your well water filter if there is a change in water quality or water pressure is low.

If you don’t encounter these instances, then there is no reason to clean your water filter. Simply wait until it’s time for its recommended replacement period.

brown whole house water filter

Consequences of Not Cleaning

If you don’t clean your well water filter, it will eventually become clogged with sediment and debris. This will cause your well pump to work harder, leading to overheating and premature failure. Contaminants may also seep in and affect your water quality.

Is It Safe and Worth the Effort to Clean Well Water Filters?

Cleaning well water filters is generally safe if you don’t overdo it. Sediment filters are the ones that need particular care since high amounts of sediment may enter your well water sporadically.

Is Cleaning Better Than Replacing?

Cleaning may seem like a better option since it is more economical. But cleaning is just a temporary solution to clogged or dirty filters. If you don’t want to take risks with your well water, it’s best to replace your filters when the time comes.

When Is It Time to Replace a Water Filter?

Depending on your type of water filter, it may need to be replaced as often as every three months or as seldom as every five years. A good rule of thumb is to check your manufacturer manual for the recommended timeframe for replacement and then monitor the filter monthly to see if it needs to be replaced sooner.

If you have any questions about how to clean a well water filter please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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Leave a Comment:

Daniel says April 20, 2023

How much does it cost to have someone clean the silt off a water well pump filter?

    Gene says April 24, 2023

    Hi Daniel,
    It’s best if you reach out to service providers directly for estimates.

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