Cleaning and Sanitizing a Reverse Osmosis Water System

A reverse osmosis water system is a type of water filtering system that eliminates impurities from drinking water, making it safe to drink for everyone. A semi-permeable membrane filters various impurities and passes pure water via microscopic pores in the system.

Reverse osmosis water treatment systems remove pollutants like:

RO water systems come in a variety of configurations. Certain filtering systems remove more impurities than others, but they all work in the same way.

Maybe you’ve had your RO water system for a while and it’s no longer as effective as it once was. Did you know that your RO water system has to be cleaned and sanitized once a year? Continue reading to discover how to clean and sanitize a reverse osmosis water system to guarantee your RO system is performing to its best potential!

Before Cleaning

Before you begin cleaning, wash your hands with soap and warm water. You may also wear sanitary gloves to make cleaning more comfortable. Before you begin, clean and sterilize the area where the RO water system is located—remove as much dirt and dust as possible! This first step assures that after the actual cleaning procedure is completed, the water filter will be returned to a clean environment.

Stop the Water Supply

Turn off the water supply to the RO water system. If it’s connected to the refrigerator or an icemaker, be sure to stop the water supply to those features as well.

Empty Any Remaining Water

Once the water supply is turned off, empty any leftover water from the system; turn on the faucet until the water stops on its own, then turn the faucet back off. Next, drain all water from the system’s storage tank.

Set Aside or Discard the Filters

Did you know you should also switch out the water filter within your RO water system every year?

For this next step, remove all pre-fill filters, the RO membrane, and any remaining filters from the system. You need to clean around where the filters rest to properly sanitize the water system.

If you decide to reuse the filters already in place, simply set those filters aside until later.

If you’re replacing old filters with new ones, discard the old filters. Don’t open the new filters just yet!

The Cleaning and Sanitation Solutions You Will Need

The first cleaning solution you’ll need is a simple mixture of water and a few drops of fragrance-free liquid dish soap.

Next, there are two sanitizing fluids you can choose from to clean your reverse osmosis water system. The first option is a premade NSF-approved sanitizer that you can purchase. Or you can choose to use about three tablespoons of unscented bleach.

No matter which sanitizer you choose, each will have effective results.

Scrub With the Dish Soap and Water Mixture

To start the cleaning process, use the dish soap and water mixture to scrub inside the housings of the system. Thoroughly clean the areas where you previously removed each filter. Once it’s clean, lightly rinse it with water to remove any soap residue.

Sanitize the Filter Housings

Just like you cleaned thoroughly with soapy water, clean the same filter housing areas with the sanitation solution or bleach. The process disinfects each area and removes any lingering bacteria; it’s the most effective way to ensure your reverse osmosis water system is clean and ready to start running again!

Reconnect the Pre-Filter Housing

After placing the bleach or sanitation solution within the pre-filter housing, screw it back into the system. Remember that the filters should not be in place at this point.

Turn On the Water Supply

To truly allow the disinfection process to start, turn back on the water supply to the reverse osmosis system. Give the system time to fill with water and mix with the sanitation solution or bleach without any of the filters present. Let this sit for about an hour.

Run Two Cycles and Flush Out the Sanitizer

After the hour passes, open the RO faucet to flush out all the water. Once the water exits the system, flush it with water for a second time. You want to make sure you can no longer smell the sanitizer or bleach to confirm it’s all out of the system.

Remember to also let the water run through the RO faucet; you don’t want any lingering sanitation solution or bleach in the water faucet. If you can still smell either of the cleaning solutions in the water, repeat this process for a third time.

Shut Off the Water Supply Again

Once all the water and sanitizing solutions are flushed through the system, shut off the water supply again. You’ll want to let the RO faucet water run until the water stops flowing on its own. This ensures the sanitized water is thoroughly removed from the faucet, and the water will be safe to drink once the system is properly hooked up again.

Reinstall All Filters and RO Membrane

It’s time to put the filters back in place! Whether you’re replacing an old filter with a new one or reusing the current filter, always put it back in its proper position.

Remember, when replacing a filter, ensure you purchase one that matches your reverse osmosis water system.

Turn On the Water Supply

Once you turn the water supply back on, this is the last time you’ll have to worry about it until your next RO system cleaning a year from now!

As the water begins to run again, check for any leaks or complications that may occur. Allow the system to refill in the tank for several hours. Close the faucet as the tank fills up.

Depending on your RO system, you may need to discard one to two tanks full of water before using it again.

Ready To Use!

Your reverse osmosis water system is finally clean and ready to use again! Remember to reconnect the RO system to the refrigerator, ice maker, or other appliance. The water is safe and ready to drink!

Now that you understand how to clean and sanitize a reverse osmosis water system, you’ll always have readily available, clean drinking

Post time: Mar-23-2023


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