Top 5 Easiest DIY Water Filters You Can Make At Home

Have you ever been in a situation where your county health department calls and says that your water may be bad?

Has your family all gotten a bit sick for no reason?

Have you ever come out on the other side of a draught to running rusty faucets?

If you answer, “Yes,” to any of the questions above, then you may have been forced to filter water at home. If you haven’t faced any of these situations yet, who’s to say you won’t in the near future?

Why You Should Make a DIY Water Filter

Given the cost and sophistication of commercial home water filters, here are good reasons why you should DIY with regards to water filtration at home:

  • It is likely to be cheaper than commercial water filter products
  • You may be able to use materials that are present in your garage
  • You have the freedom to design your own water filter
  • You are only limited to your own budget and may expand on necessary designs at will at anytime

How to Make a Homemade Water Filter

Alas, not everyone is knowledgeable even with the basics ofhow to filter water (we’re looking at you, kids)for drinks, let alone the concept ofa homemade water filtration system. It is quite important for anyone to learn how to make a water filterespecially for emergency situations.

To help you out, here’s a guide on how to build a water filter.The following are five of the easiest homemade water filterbuilds:

1. Bio-Filter

diy water filter

Things you will need:

Gravel, sand, activated charcoal / activated carbon, five (5) food-gradefive-gallon buckets, screen, plastic plumbing fittings, hole saw

Bio-filter, as a homemade filter, is composed of three separate layers of gravel, sand, and activated charcoal. It is a streamlined method of filtering impurities in the water starting from the biggest up to the most minuteimpurities in the water.

Here's How To Do It:

1. Turn the water gallon container upside down.

2. Cut a hole at the top of the container. This is where you will pour your materials and water for filtering.

3. The first layer must be gravel.Gravel is basically pebble-like rock that acts as a filter for common debris found in water such as a small sticks, fallen leaves, and even tiny creatures that are either an animal or an insect.

4. The second layer filled with sand. Sand can further filter out smaller particles in the water that the gravel was not able to catch.

5. Lastly, third layer contains the activated charcoal which will remove minute impurities. Harmful pathogens and chemicals lingering in the water can be removed with carbon. As the last of three layers, passing through this point will render the water clean and free from impurities that the process intended to remove.

6. Ultimately, this is a DIY carbon filter.

There is no one-way of doing this and the design is solely at your disposal..In fact, you can improvise and not just rely on the materials mentioned, other than the gravel, sand, and the activated charcoal.

  • Just remember to cut a hole big enough to pour the soil and the water through in the end. You should also suspend it atop a catch basin.

2. Stove top distiller

how to filter water

If you have an infant, it’s best to know how to distill water. You can never be sure of what you give to a baby; the best solution is to remove everything from water and just leave the H and O.

While a little complicated, this can technically extract water from most liquids that you find. If you ever find that all you have left for water is a swamp, then this may be the method for you.

You can download the guide HERE.​

3. Improvised Charcoal Filter

diy carbon filter

What you need:

  • Charcoal
  • Sand
  • 2-Liter plastic bottles
  • Piece of cloth

This is basically like the Bio-filter, minus the gravel. Instead of using activated charcoal, you will be using good-old coal. Pretty much, this is a good option if you are outdoors and making a complete bio-filter is not possible.

Just like a bio-filter, you place a layer of sand over a layer of charcoal. These are crushed inside the plastic bottle where you pour over water to be filtered.The charcoal is the main purifier in this setup.

However, unlike water treated via bio-filter means, using the improvised charcoal filter give water that is cloudy and not immediately available for drinking. It has to go through boiling first.

4. Boil your water.

homemade filter

Something that DIY enthusiasts overlook quite a bit is the simplicity of boiling a pot of water.

Depending on the heat source you have and the amount of water you need to boil, you simply have to feel it out yourself. A large pot needs a larger fire.

What’s important is that you bring the water to a boil and sustain the temperature for three minutes.

5. Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)

how to filter water

What do you need:

  • Water containers such as a plastic bottle
  • Spot that gets directly hit by sunlight

If any of the already four mentioned methodologies of homemade water filtration don’t work for you, consider the Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)

As its name implies, SODIS requires heat and sunlight to work.The downside is that, depending on the water sources, the process may take long to filter the water.

The process is simple:

1. Expose the water you need treated in direct sunlight.

2. Make sure that the water is covered by a thin screen so new impurities cannot contaminate it.

3. Leave the water out for two hours if the source is clear.

4. Leave the water out for at least two days if the source produced cloudy liquid.

  • Keep in mind that the water you disinfect in this method may not be completely pure.

In the end, using two methods to filter water is the best thing to do without mechanical or chemical help. It’s also better to boil the water before drinking even if it’s been filtered before.


These DIY water filter projects can also be quite fun! Check out this setup in the video 🙂

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