How To Clean Sawyer Water Filter [Complete Guide]

It looks good, and it tastes okay, but is your drinking water safe for you to drink? If you are a hiker, you know how difficult it is to find freshwater out there and if you drink from the available water sources it can contain deadly bacterias that can be dangerous. That’s why the best way to filter that water instantly is by using the Sawyer filter and you also need to know How to Clean Sawyer Water Filter after several uses. 

To clean your Sawyer water filter you need to backwash it with water using the plunger that comes with it. So take your filter and a bowl which you will use to keep the flushed water. Now take another bowl of fresh water and fill up your plunger and push the water with as much force as possible and repeat the same process until it comes clean. 

If you want to learn more about the Sawyer water filter, its filter cleaning process, using process, using dateline, UV filter, and not much more necessary information does give the full article a good read. 

How To Clean A Sawyer Water Filter?

Most long-distance backpackers use the Sawyer water filter as their primary method of filtering water on trails. It’s easy, quick, efficient, and lightweight. The key to one of these filters last longer is by keeping it clean and you do that through a process called backflush. When you do that you are forcing clean water and forcing it through the filter against the direction of the normal flow.

The tools you need to clean your filter come with the pack like a plastic syringe. So what you need to do is:

  • Fill up your syringe with clean water 
  • Then hold up your filter and place it onto the squeeze tip
  • Now force the water through the hole 
  • Do this several times until you are fully satisfied with the cleaning
  • Another thing that you can use is the sports cap for the filter itself
  • But Sawyer does not provide this cap so you have to purchase this on your own which is much more efficient and easy to carry while on the trail
  • You can also look on their website where they have mentioned other flushing and cleaning techniques 

Sawyer Mini Filter Instructions

If you are a hiker then the most important thing that you need to know is how easy it is to use your Sawyer mini filter when you are on the go, which is very crucial:

Sawyer Mini Filter


Although you can directly pour the dirty water into your bottle and attach the filter on the top and drink straight out of it. But some people might get grossed out by this. So there is a plastic pouch that comes with the filter where you can fill up your dirty water and keep your drinking bottle ready.

Step 2

Now take off the lid of the pouch and attach your Sawyer filter thread to it. You mustn’t over-tighten the filter because you might break the thread. Take off the plastic cap from your filter and open out the nozzle of the filter so it’s ready to use. 

Step 3

Now turn your filter pouch upside down and align it with the water bottle so it can catch the freshwater. Apply firm pressure from the top down. You have to be patient during the process or water might spill out.

The pouch can hold up to 35 punches of water but after the filtration, you will get less water in your bottle because the dirty water will remain in the pouch. It will take about a minute or so to fully empty the water pouch.

How To Clean Sawyer Water Filter

It is essential to maintain the cleanliness of your water filter because it can get easily contaminated and you can get sick from it. And when you are on the road or hiking this can be life-threatening. So if you have a Sawyer water filter then follow the steps to clean it thoroughly. 

How To Clean Sawyer Water Filter
  • The first thing that you’re going to need is your water filter, a container to soak it in, your smart water bottle with the sports cap, or you can use a syringe that comes with a Sawyer water filter. Make sure you have all the caps or covers removed
  • Then get the water running until it’s nice and hot. Sawyer recommends hot water not boiling water. Put the filter into the container and fill it with water. Set that aside for an hour. After an hour, go ahead, dump your water out and fill your bottle with hot water. 
  • Soaking the bottle in hot water helps loosen the particles inside the filter. Then backflush the filter with hot water and squeeze out the water. It will push out any debris that was stuck inside
  • You have to repeat this process and set aside another hour. Do this until you’re satisfied you’ve got it good and flushed out. 

How To Clean A Sawyer Water Bottle?

Cleaning the Sawyer water bottle is pretty easy to do. First, take off the cap from the bottle and soak it in hot water for an hour. Now pour hot water into your Sawyer bottle and keep it aside for a few minutes. After that empty, the bottom and fill it up with hot water again but this time you will also need some bleach which you will pour into the bottle and keep aside for an hour at least.

In the meantime take the bottle cap and clean it with an old toothbrush so there is no dirt stuck inside. And when you’re done rinse it with water and set it aside. Now, before emptying your bottle, place your hand on top of the bottle and shake it. Now drain it and rinse with water. 

Sawyer Cleaning Plunger

A Sawyer cleaning plunger is used when you need to clean your filter and backwash it. To backwash the cleaning plunger with clean water press it against the drinking side of the filter and then force the clean water through the filter fibers. Repeat this process several times until the water comes through clear and easy. So the key to the backwashing is your Sawyer cleaning plunger.

Sawyer Cleaning Coupling

The sawyer cleaning coupling allows you to backwash your squeeze filter with a plastic bottle. To clean the filter remove the push-pull cap, attach the coupling then screw the other side of the coupling onto a bottle filled with clean filtered water, as we do not recommend backwashing with dirty water.

Once attached forcefully squeeze the bottle, the backwash, or filter and repeat as necessary until the water comes through clear and easy. If you suspect the water you backwash with was dirty, discard the first quart of filtered water before consuming it. 

Does Sawyer Filter Viruses?

In backpacking or you know even for just being prepared at home or anything like that, filters are really important. So when you are on the trail you have to carry something that filters your water quickly without a lot of hassle and is not heavy. The purpose of Sawyer and Sawyer mini is to clean your water by filtering it when you are on the go in the minimum time. 

But if you are thinking if both these filters can eliminate viruses, chemicals, bacteria, pesticides, or any heavy metal diluted in your water then, no! Don’t even these filters can not remove any odor or taste from the dirty water after being filtered. 

But the newer version of Sawyer, the Sawyer S2 water purifier purifies all of the impurities from your water which the Sawyer and the Sawyer mini can not. 

Is Uv Water Filter Harmful?

The ultraviolet water purification process uses germicidal UV light. It’s a chamber that has a lamp inside and as the water flows through, that lamp emits a germicidal wavelength of radiation and it deactivates any living organism that’s in that water supply. 

  • A UV water filter system is only dealing with living organisms. 
  • It doesn’t alter the water chemistry
  • Doesn’t remove taste or odor
  • Doesn’t add chemicals 
  • Strictly deactivates living organisms in the water

So it is clear that a UV water filter is not harmful to the human body and it does not have any side effects if you are worried about it. 

Can Water Filter Uv Light?

A UV water filter is a highly effective chemical-free water purification method. The supply of water in your home can contain bacteria and viruses as it passes through miles of the aging water pipes system. Also, heavy rainfall, melting snow, agricultural runoff, and industrial pollution contaminates your drinking water. So the only solution is

  • purify your drinking water with eco-friendly UV light
  • The germicidal energy of UV light destroys illness-causing microorganisms by detecting by attacking the DNA at their genetic core
  • This eliminates the microorganism’s ability to reproduce rendering them harmless
  • UV purification eliminates 99.99% of the harmful viruses and bacteria 
  • So you can be sure that your water is disinfected, purified, and safe to drink, whether your water is from a well or municipal water supply 

How Do You Bleach A Sawyer Water Filter?

The mini-filter and the squeeze of Sawyer are both great filters for lightweight personal filtration. Sawyer 0.1 micron absolute hollow fiber membranes are much more robust than other filters on the market which is why they can be and should be routinely back washed and cleaned with bleach. So bleach the filter follow the steps

  • First, grab a bottle of bleach. Sawyer recommends one capful per 32 ounce
  • A one-liter bottle is 33.8 ounces, so that’s close enough. 
  • Then fill up a container with hot water and mix one cup of bleach in it
  • Now dunk the water bottle, all the caps, and the filter in the container for one hour
  • Now after an hour later rinse everything with fresh water
  • flush the filter from both directions with the string that comes with it several times 
  • After that, shake out the excess water as much as you can. You can even try to blow through both ends to try to get it all out
  • Set the filter aside to let it finish drying
  • Lastly, keep the covers and caps in a mesh bag or any breathable container and you are all set

How Often Do You Backflush Sawyer Squeeze?

It depends on the usage of your Sawyer Squeeze of how often it needs to be cleaned. If you are using your Sawyer Squeeze quite often then you should backflush it at least once or twice a week and deep clean it with bleach or hot water or vinegar once a month. 

How To Unclog Sawyer Squeeze?

If you are experiencing a low flow rate there is low, slow, or no flow at all in your Sawyer squeeze then there is a dirt buildup or it is clogged from inside. So let’s discuss how oi can solve this issue and get your flow back on track

Step 1

You’ll need a large bowl to fit the filter, some water, a plunger, and some vinegar. The first thing you’re going to do is grab hot tap water from your sink but not boil it. Dilute a cup of white vinegar into the water.

Step 2

Now take off the cap from your Sawyer Squeeze and bring in another bowl to backflush it. Fill up your plunger with the water mixture and backflush it into another bowl. Backflush the filter once very hard with a vinegar-water solution.

Step 3

Repeat this flushing several times from both ends until you are satisfied. Then let the filter soak in the solution for about an hour. This soaking process will soften the filaments and make them a little more efficient. 

Step 4

Take out the filter from the solution and let it air dry. Now take your filter and backflush again with some clean water. Tap your filter on a towel to loosen any debris inside in between the flushing. Then let it dry again and assemble.

How To Use A Sawyer Water Filter?

  • First, fill up the pouch with water and attach the filter to its head 
  • Take off the filter cap and the cap of your water bottle
  • Now align the filter and the water bottle carefully so it does not slip
  • Now keep squeezing the pouch so it goes through the filter and to the water bottle
  • Keep the pressure as much as possible so the water comes out with the full flow
  • When all the water is filtered out you’ll get almost a liter of water that is completely safe to drink


What Is The Best Backpacking Water Filter?

There are many kinds of portable water filters on the market but Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer mini is by far the most popular one among the hikers and travelers who need this kind of trusty water purifier. They are small, weights less, easy to carry, and eliminated 98.99% of germs from any water source. 

Can You Drink Any Water With Sawyer?

You can use any kind of water from any source to filter out with Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer mini. 

Do Sawyer Water Filters Work?

Yes! They are extremely effective when it comes to filtering water. But usually, they are recommended to be used for 3 to 5 years. 

How Long Does A Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Last?

If you take good care and clean regularly and properly these water filters will last you for many years. 

How Often Do You Need To Backwash Sawyer Filter?

If your Sawyer filter is in constant use then you need to backwash the filter once or twice a week and deep clean with hot water, vinegar, or bleach once every month. 

How Many Times Can You Use A Sawyer Water Filter?

Sawyer water filter generally lats for 3 to 5 years filtering hundreds of gallons of water.

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Final Verdict 

If you are a hiker or a traveler going through a long distance then you should carry one of these filters to get fresh and safe water each time and our How To Clean Sawyer Water Filter will also be a great help if you are using it for the first time. 

I'm Jimmy, the creative mind behind Drawing from extensive expertise in home improvement, I founded this platform to help individuals transform their living spaces. My dedication lies in empowering homeowners with dependable advice, ensuring that every DIY project not only elevates your home but also enhances your lifestyle. Join me as we redefine homes, one project at a time.

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