Top 5 Easiest DIY Water Filters You Can Make At Home


Are you sick and weary of buying bottled water at exorbitant prices? Do you want to find a technique to make your tap water safe to drink because you are worried about its quality? DIY water filters provide a practical and economical answer to these issues. They not only offer pure, secure drinking water, but they also end up saving you money over time. You can ensure that your family is receiving the highest-quality drinking water without going over budget with a DIY water filter. Continue reading to find out more about how you may acquire clean, secure drinking water at home using DIY water filters.


DIY water filters are an effective and affordable way to ensure clean drinking water.

  • They can be made from everyday materials, such as sand, gravel, and charcoal.
  • They are easy to assemble and maintain.
  • They provide a reliable source of safe drinking water for households in areas with limited access to clean water.

DIY filters offer a cost-effective solution for providing clean drinking water in any environment!

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?

4 Reasons 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:

  • 1
    It is likely to be cheaper than commercial water filter products
  • 2
    You may be able to use materials that are present in your garage
  • 3
    You have the freedom to design your own water filter
  • 4
    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 of how to filter water (we’re looking at you, kids) for drinks, let alone the concept of a homemade water filtration system. It is quite important for anyone to learn how to make a water filter especially 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 filter builds available:

1. Bio-Filter

diy water filter

Things you will need:

  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Activated Charcoal
  • five (5) food-grade five-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 minute impurities 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

If you have an infant, it’s best to know how to distill water. You can never be sure of what water may actually contain when you give it to a baby; the best solution is to remove everything from the water and just leave the H and O! This video above shows you how an easy DIY stove top distiller works. All you need are some basic household materials. Just be sure not to touch that HOT COPPER PIPE!

While this setup is a little complicated, this can technically extract water from most liquids that you find. If you ever find that all you have left for drinking water in a swamp, then this may be the method for you. If you're feeling lazier than usual, you can skip the DIY and get a No products found. delivered to your doorstep instead.

3. Improvised Charcoal Filter

diy carbon filter

What you will 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 great 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.

Check out our guide on charcoal filtration to learn more.

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 you will 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 🙂

5 Essential Tips for DIY Water Filters

  1. Research the type of filter you need. Different filters are designed to remove different contaminants, so make sure you know what you’re looking for.
  2. Choose a filter that is easy to maintain. Some filters require frequent cleaning and replacement of parts, while others are more low-maintenance.
  3. Make sure your filter is certified by an independent testing agency. This will ensure that it meets safety standards and will work as advertised.
  4. Check the flow rate of the filter. A higher flow rate means that water will pass through the filter faster, which can be beneficial if you have a large family or use a lot of water.
  5. Test your water before and after using the filter. This will help you determine if the filter is working properly and if it is removing all of the contaminants from your water.

ALSO: Consider investing in a pre-filter system to reduce sediment buildup in your DIY water filter!</p

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About The Author

Sharyn Baker
Editorial Assistant
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Sharyn Baker is the resident editorial assistant for AllAboutWaterFilters and regularly provides articles specializing in off-grid water filtration, outdoor survival, and water treatment in the wild. She has previously worked as an editing assistant and a product review content creation assistant, primarily focusing on outdoor survival preparedness. She enjoys producing her own off-grid water filtration safety guides for her other blogs in addition to her work on the AllAboutWaterFilters editorial team.

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