How do I save my Brita filter?

If you have a Brita water filter, you likely want to get the most out of it before needing to replace the filter cartridge. There are several simple things you can do to extend the life of your Brita filter and save money in the long run.

How long do Brita filters last?

Brita filter cartridges are designed to last for 40 gallons or about 2 months for the average household. However, filter life can vary based on factors like water quality and usage. Here are some quick answers about how long Brita filters tend to last:

  • With typical use, Brita filters last around 2 months or 40 gallons.
  • Hard water can shorten filter life.
  • Heavy use or multiple users can shorten filter life.
  • Low water usage can extend filter life beyond 2 months.
  • Brita filters should be replaced every 2-3 months at a minimum.

Tips to make your Brita filter last longer

Here are 5 simple tips to help extend the life of your Brita filter cartridge:

1. Run filters under cold water first

Before using a new Brita filter for the first time, run it under cold tap water for about 5 minutes. This helps activate the carbon and rinse away any loose carbon particles.

2. Avoid hot water

Always use cold water when filtering with a Brita. Hot water can damage the filter and shorten its lifespan. The max temp should be below 100°F.

3. Don’t let water sit for long

Try to avoid leaving water sitting in the filter pitcher for multiple days. Change the water daily or every other day. Stagnant water can impact taste and filter life.

4. Rinse thoroughly between uses

Give your Brita filter pitcher a good rinse with cold water between refills. This keeps the filter clean and free of contaminants.

5. Clean filter periodically

Every few weeks, deep clean your Brita by soaking the filter in cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for 15 minutes, then rinsing thoroughly. This cleans the filter of loose particles and buildup.

When to replace your Brita filter

Even with proper care, Brita filters need to be replaced regularly. Here are signs it’s time for a new filter:

  • It’s been over 2 months since the last filter change.
  • Water flow is noticeably slower.
  • Filtered water has an unusual taste or odor.
  • The filter cartridge is damaged or leaking.
  • The filter indicator light has turned red.

Ideally, mark your calendar and replace Brita filters every 2 months. If you notice any of the signs above, it’s definitely time. Replacing spent filters regularly is key to keeping your Brita pitcher working efficiently.

Finding the right replacement filter

Brita makes a variety of filter cartridge models for different water pitchers and dispensers. When shopping for a replacement, look for the right model number printed on your existing filter:

Filter Type Fits These Models
Standard Filters OB03, OB06, OB10
Longlast+ Filters OB30, OB32, OB55
Everyday Filters OB86, OB94, OB96
Maxx Filters OB16, OB48
Stream Filters OB03S, OB06S

Brita filters are widely available online and in most stores that sell Brita pitchers. Buying in multi-packs can save money. Always have a replacement filter ready to swap out when the indicator light signals it’s time.

Troubleshooting filter issues

If your Brita filter doesn’t seem to be working properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps to try before replacing it:

  • Slow water flow: Rinse the filter under cold water to remove any particles. Soak in vinegar solution. If flow doesn’t improve, replace filter.
  • Leaking: Check that the filter is fully secured in the reservoir. If still leaking, replace the cartridge.
  • Bad taste/odor: Rinse with water, soak in vinegar solution, and rinse again. If issue persists, replace filter.
  • Cloudy/discolored water: Flush with cold water for 5 minutes. If water doesn’t clear up, insert a new filter.

If troubleshooting doesn’t restore proper function, a new Brita filter cartridge is needed.

Saving money on replacement filters

Since filters need to be changed regularly, here are some tips to save money on replacements:

  • Buy larger multi-packs of filters online to get bulk discounts.
  • Look for discounts and coupons from Brita or retailers.
  • Consider third-party compatible filters that are often cheaper.
  • Check resale sites for open-box or used Brita filters.
  • Extend filter life to the max with proper maintenance.
  • Use tap water some of the time to reduce filter usage.

The average Brita filter costs $5-7. With smart shopping and an efficient filter system, you can keep replacement costs down.

Proper disposal of used filters

Once a Brita filter has reached the end of its effective life, you’ll need to dispose of it properly. Here are a few disposal tips:

  • Remove any reusable parts like lids or pitchers and wash thoroughly.
  • Check if your municipality offers recycling for Brita filters.
  • Place the used cartridge in the normal trash if recycling isn’t available.
  • Don’t attempt to flush the filter down the toilet.
  • Wrap in a plastic bag or paper to contain drips.
  • Discard outdoors if there is any concern of contamination.

Brita filters contain activated carbon as well as some plastic parts. While not hazardous, they shouldn’t go directly into the environment. Responsible disposal keeps our water and landfills cleaner.


Getting the most out of your Brita water filter comes down to proper use, maintenance, and replacement. Run filters under cold water first, avoid hot water, rinse thoroughly between use, and deep clean periodically. Replace filters every 2 months or when flow slows. Look for the right replacement and shop smart. With just a little effort, you can enjoy great tasting filtered water while saving money and reducing waste.

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