How To Build Your Own DIY Water Filter?

purifying water filtar

Water filters are physical barriers, which prevent contaminations, in turn, purifying your water.

In simpler terms, they help purify contaminated or dirty water. There are so many kinds of water filters out there. Some will filter more or fewer particles than others, although this often depends on what you want to do with the filtered water.

This water can be used for private/public aquariums, everyday drinking water, agricultural watering, or water for swimming pools or ponds. Most people usually don’t know the difference between water purifiers and water filters.

They also typically don’t know the dissimilarities between water softeners and water filters. It’s most likely because the many industries out there that use these terms don’t know how to differentiate between these things properly.

In this article, not only are we going to look at how to make your water filter at home, but we’ll also highlight the best water filtering materials as well as the best DIY water filtration methods.

But first, let’s begin with how to build one.

How To Build A Water Filter

How To Build Your Own DIY Water Filter? 1

Water is life.

This type of water filter can be very useful when hunting to survive. You can live up to 7 days without food. However, without water, you won’t make it past three days. Anyway, here’s how you can ensure your water is clean all the time.

Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies

This type of water filter will rely on layers to help make your contaminated water clean. However, if this is the water you’re planning on drinking, you might have to boil it a bit after being done with the filtration process.

Below are the water filtering materials you’ll need:

  • A hammer and nail
  • Coffee filter
  • A large mug or cup (either one will do)
  • Sand and gravel
  • Container to collect the water (mug, cup, jug, etc.)

Step 2: Cut the bottom of the plastic bottle by an inch

Stick a knife about an inch from the bottom of the plastic bottle and then begin to cut slowly around the bottle. You might find that making back-and-forth shortcuts, like when you’re sawing, may be easier.

If you’re a minor or child, let an adult handle this part. Also, you can add a handle so that it can filter water while hanging.

Step 3: Make a tiny hole in the bottle’s cap

Punch this hole using your hammer and nail. This hole will slow down the water flowing through the cap, hence making the filter way more effective. If you don’t have access to both a hammer and nail, you can use a knife to cut an X-shape into the cap.

Step 4: Placing the coffee filter

Over the bottle’s mouth, place your coffee filter and then use the cap to tighten over it. The coffee filter will prevent the water filtering materials inside from falling out. The cap will also help keep the filter itself in place.

Step 5: Place the bottle upside-down into your collecting cup or mug

This will help ensure that the bottle stays in place as it’s filled with contaminated water. If you’ve not got either a mug or a cup, then you can put the bottle on a table. Though, here you’ll need to use one of your hands to hold the bottle steady.

Step 6: Fill the middle with sand

It doesn’t matter what type of sand you use. You can use any kind. However, don’t use colored craft sand because it may leak its dye into your water. Try to make the layer of sand as thick as possible. In fact, by now, the bottle should almost be half-way full.

Try and use two different kinds of sand. A coarse-grained one and a fine-grained one. The finer sand should always go first. The coarse-grained option should follow soon after. This will give your water more layers to pass through, making it much cleaner.

Step 7: Filling the rest with gravel

Leave about an inch of space between the part of the bottle you cut out and the gravel. Don’t fill the bottle to the brim with gravel. Why? Because the water might start to spill over the bottle if it doesn’t drain quickly enough.

And just like with sand, try using two different types of gravel. A chunky type and a fine-grained one. Of course, the fine-grained kind will go first, while the chunky kind will come immediately after.

What You Don’t Want In Your Water

How To Build Your Own DIY Water Filter? 2

You have to know what you don’t want in your water because this will help you determine the kind of filtration system you need. Water is just a blend of oxygen and hydrogen in its purest form, hence the name H2O.

But, this just doesn’t happen by itself. It’s the result of a long purification procedure. A lot of chemicals, minerals, and impurities are left behind. Some are good, while others are bad.

That being said, all of these components can be filtered out one way or another. Sometimes, your water can even have traces of chlorine, industrial water, pesticides, and even occasionally bacteria and viruses.

All these can be filtered out to give you water that’s a little cleaner.

The Best DIY Water Filters

Below are a few tried and tested DIY water filter ideas

Solar Water Disinfection

How To Build Your Own DIY Water Filter? 3

This is by far one of the easiest DIY water filtration techniques. All this option mostly needs is a sunny day. It’s a fantastic choice for picnics, camping, and other off-the-grid activities. All you need to do is get a spot that’s getting a lot of sunlight.

You will also need a container. You should use food-safe plastic containers. Although, a milk container or 2-liter soda bottle should do just fine. Place your dirty water into the container, and then place the container out in the sun for a while.

Once the sun has purified the water, it is ready for consumption.


The bio-filter is more or less a more sophisticated charcoal filter. It does everything your standard charcoal filter does. However, it has an additional extra layer that helps it do more.

You’ll need a screen/mesh, activated charcoal, sand, and a 2-liter soda bottle with this water filter. Just like with charcoal filters, you can repeat certain layers if you want, depending on where your water has come from.

Just ensure enough space for the contaminated water you need to filter.

This filtration will remove both microscopic particles and large debris alike. If you want to make sure all bacteria have been eliminated, boil the water after you’re done with the filtration process.

Stove-Top Distiller

If the standard, run-of-the-mill filtration systems don’t cut it for you anymore, then you might want to consider getting a distiller. Distillers are good for turning both dirty and salty water into something consumed by humans.

Doing this at home can prove very helpful, whether you want water for consumption or just for cleaning. However, this method will need you to do a little prep work beforehand.

You’ll need a glass container, connecting valves, a stainless steel hose, and a tea kettle.

For starters, place your dirty or salty water into the tea kettle. Place the kettle onto your stove and start heating it. To the kettle’s spout, attach the stainless steel hose and then link it to the connecting valve.

The other end of your stainless steel hose should be inside your glass container. This technique works by boiling your unclean water. The evaporated steam then flows through the hose and then comes out the other side as clean water.

Why Use DIY Water Filters

For starters, DIY water filters are usually way more affordable than the ones you’ll find at the store, which means that you can end up saving a lot of money when you go this route.

More importantly, learning how to develop your DIY water filters will help give you plenty of flexibility.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a place that has questionable water quality, then you’ll know how useful a water filter can prove to be. Knowing how to make your DIY water filter can prove invaluable.

Wrapping Up

That Is a Wrap

If you’re here and have read through the whole article, you know have an idea of how to create your DIY water filtration system. Now, you’ll be able to get clean water that’s good to drink, no matter what kind of water you’ve got access to or where you are.

Put your do-it-yourself water filter systems to the test by comparing the results you get with other filtered water. You’ll be surprised by how easily you can make the filters we’ve mentioned above and how effective these techniques are.

Go on, get the proper water filtering materials you need, and try for yourself. You won’t regret it!


Greg - Prepping Insider

Hey, I'm a prepping enthusiast. Prepping for me is simply something of a passion. I have personally lived in many different rural properties that have given me a wealth of knoweldge and experience in practically living out survival and preparation situations. It’s not about getting the latest survival gadgets or buckets of food as its more of a lifestyle.

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