21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (2022)

While tap water is safe to drink, it still contains a whole lot of impurities you might want to remove, but buying a filtration system can be expensive. Alternatively, one day you might find yourself in an emergency situation where you need a source of drinking water just to survive.

In either of these situations – trying to save a bit of cash or just trying to stay alive – a homemade water filter could be the solution you need. We searched online for you so you don’t have to – and here are our top 21 plans for DIY water filters.

1. Science Fair Project

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (1)

As this plan explains, around 70% of our planet is covered by water, but of that, only 3% is suitable for drinking – and many people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.

With this science project, you can show kids how to make a simple water filter that will clean water to make it fit for human consumption.

At the same time, it’s a great way to teach them about the hydrological cycle and the problem of water poverty that is set to become an increasingly serious issue in the not too distant future.

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2. Bio-Sand Water Filter

This YouTube video shows you how to make a bio-sand water filter.

As the narrator explains, this is a low-tech and easy-to-build water filter and purifier that uses sand and gravel for its filtration media.

The video takes you through everything you need to know to build it, explaining where you can buy all the necessary materials, which are cheap and easy to find in your local home improvement store.

This is a fun video to watch and a plan that’s easy to copy. So why not have a go at home?

3. DIY Water Filter

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (2)

For just about any DIY project you can imagine – as well as a whole lot more you probably would never have thought of – the Instructables website is always a reliable resource and is one of the first places we head when we need some inspiration.

This plan shows you how to make a very simple water filter out of some basic materials you are sure to have at hand.

You’ll find clear instructions, plenty of good photos and a logical progression from start to finish – in fact, everything we’ve come to expect from DIY plans on this excellent website.

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(Video) DIY water filter. 3 gallon-12 litre capacity no tools no electricity.

4. Two-Stage DIY Water Filter

Here’s a video that shows you how to make a simple two-stage water filter from some basic materials that most people will have access to.

There’s not much in the way of explanation, but it’s easy to understand.

The method uses carbon filtration followed by distillation – which, as this YouTuber’s introduction claims, will filter out 99.99% of impurities.

He also points out that it requires no electricity and produces drinkable water in only 20 seconds.

That makes it perfect for emergency situations when you suddenly find yourself with no fresh water to drink.

5. Emergency Survival Water Filter

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (3)

Water is a basic necessity for life, and without water, we can’t survive for more than just a few days.

During our normal daily lives, this is hardly a problem, but if you find yourself stranded in the wilderness, securing a safe source of drinking water will be one of your main priorities.

In case you ever find yourself in such a situation, this plan explains how to make a simple filtration unit that will provide you with clean, drinkable water – and that could be the difference between staying alive or perishing in the woods.

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6. Homemade Water Filter from a Soda Bottle

If for some reason, your water supply dries up, you might not have lots of advanced equipment from which to construct a water filter – meaning you’ll need a plan to make something from the most basic materials you have at hand.

In that kind of situation, knowing how to make a water filter from something as simple as a soda bottle could save your life.

And if that’s something you want to learn about, check out this video to find out how it’s done.

7. Water Filtration System for your Home

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (4)

Most of us understand the importance of healthy living, and part of that is drinking enough water every day.

However, the water that comes from the tap might not be as pure and healthy as we’d like.

One option, then, is bottled water – but buying water in plastic bottles is incredibly bad for the planet.

A much better option, and one that’s kinder to the environment, is to install a water filtration system in your home.

Buying a ready-made one can be expensive, but a making a DIY version can save you a lot of cash. And if you want to try, this plan will show you how.

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8. DIY Five-Stage Home Water Filtration System

If you’re looking for a detailed video about how to build an advanced home water filtration system, this video should be of interest.

It’s a long watch – the video is an hour long – but it shows you how to make a five-stage water filter that will remove just about anything from your water that you don’t want in there.

If you have the time and you want to learn about filtering water, this is a video you need to watch.

9. Whole-house water filtration system

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (5)

This is another plan for a whole house water filter system.

There’s no need to spend loads of money buying an expensive water filtration system to provide pure, healthy water for you and your family, especially if you like making things for yourself.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of clean water that’s free of pollutants and impurities but you don’t want to spend more money than you have to, this DIY plan will show you how to build one for yourself without burning a hole in your pocket.

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10. Easy Home DIY Water Filtration System

Here’s a plan for a fun project you might like to try. The disclaimer says it’s just a science project and that you shouldn’t try it at home.

However, if you need water and you have no other way of getting hold of it, making something like this could be your only option.

11. Homemade Water Filter for Survival

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (6)

If you want to be ready for any eventuality – whether that’s the breakdown of society, World War III, the zombie apocalypse or just the municipal water supplies encountering some problems – you’ll want to know how to filter and purify your own water.

With this simple but highly effective filter, you can ensure that whatever happens, you’ll always have water to drink, which will leave you free to concentrate on some of the other important issues that might arise in any survival situation.

Check out the “before” and “after” pics of the water, too. This looks like a filter that really works.

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12. Off-Grid Water Purifier

This is a short video about making a water purifier for off-the-grid living.

It doesn’t require any electricity to use – it has a “human-powered” pump – and is simple to construct.

The video is a little light on explanations, but it’s easy enough to follow – so if you need a way to purify drinking water when you’re far from civilization, this video shows you how.

13. Homemade Water Purifier from Buckets

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (7)

If you need to make a water filter and purifier at home, the chances are, you’ll want to make it from simple materials you already have available.

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There’s not much point in making a DIY water filter if you have to spend loads of money buying new equipment to make it work.

With this plan, you’ll learn how to make a water filter from a pair of buckets plus some other stuff you probably already have access to.

It’s simple and it won’t cost much – both good reasons why this is a water filter you should think about building.

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14. Water Filter Made from a Tree Branch

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (8)

The author of this plan describes the design as a low-tech water filter system made from a branch of a tree can filter up to four liters of water per day, removing up to 99% of E. coli bacteria.

According to the plan, the porous tissue (xylem) of sapwood acts as an effective filter for contaminants as small as 70 nanometers.

By passing water through this tissue, you can produce fresh, uncontaminated drinking water for almost negligible cost.

If you’re interested in trying, check it out – it’s a fascinating idea.

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15. Emergency Nanocarbon Water Filter

This video is a bit different from most of the others – this is a water filter that uses gravel, sand and charcoal in a real-life situation in the Rhino refugee camp in northern Uganda.

As you can see in the video, the water that goes in is murky and unpleasant – but the water that comes out is pure and clean.

This is a DIY filter that is being used to keep people alive with drinkable water – so it’s one we know works well.

16. Effective Homemade Water Filter

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (9)

As they explain in this plan, this filter is not really intended as a substitute for a properly tested and accredited water filter that you can buy.

However, it makes a fun project to attempt – and in an emergency, it could be used to produce life-giving fresh water.

This is a kind of gravity water filterthat uses activated carbon as the main filtering medium.

It’s also simple and inexpensive to build, so if you’re looking for a way to filter your own water in a pinch, this plan can show you how.

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17. Make Swamp Water Drinkable

We love the premise of this video. Take the most disgusting, muddy, slimy swamp water – and turn it into something fit for human consumption.

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Watch as the YouTuber fishes out a glass of pond water, complete with mosquito larvae, worms, algae and who knows what else.

From this, using his DIY filtration system, he creates a glass of clean, pure water that is safe to drink.

And to prove it, he shows how confident he is in what he’s done by drinking it all down. Want to try it at home? Then check it out!

18. Two-Liter Water Filter from Natural Items

This is a video designed to show you how to survive when you don’t have access to any modern materials.

Instead, this YouTuber makes a water filter from natural items. Ok, so the first thing he says is that he’s using a 2-litre plastic bottle, but he also states that you can use something like bamboo.

In any case, it’s a valid design and a plan that’s worth seeing.

19. Five Filter Plans

21 Easy Homemade Water Filter Plans (10)

This page doesn’t give you just one plan but five. One of them is nothing more complicated than simply boiling the water, but there’s also a plan for a stovetop water distilleralong with Solar Water Disinfection and an improvised charcoal filter.

In fact, this one page gives you the basics of how to construct most of the main types of DIY water filter – and by combining them, you can filter and purify just about any water you have available.

Well worth reading to learn about the concepts as much as for the plans.

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20. “High-Volume” Water filter

This is a short video that explains how to make a simple, inexpensive water filter that makes tap water “taste great”.

At the beginning, you get to see a glass of cloudy tap water compared to his clear filtered water.

And if you want to know how to produce the same results, he tells you how he did it.

21. How to Make a Water Filter

To finish, here’s a YouTube video that’s full of energy – thanks to the great soundtrack that accompanies it.

It’s another one that doesn’t have much in the way of explanations – this one is all about showing you what you need to do.

It’s enjoyable to watch and easy to follow, and we’re sure if you’re looking for a plan to copy, this one will give you the urge to try.

Many creative ideas

Whether you want a water filter for your home or you need to find drinking water in the wilderness, we’re sure one of these plans we’ve found will be just what you’re looking for.

We love the creativity and ingenuity of some of these DIYers – and we hope you enjoy trying their plans as much as we enjoyed finding them for you!

FAQs

How do you make a simple water filter? ›

Turn the bottle upside down placing the neck of the bottle in a jar instead of a jar you could also

How do you make a homemade water filter for water? ›

You could use some sock any kind of cloth really that's gonna stick down the bottom and hold the

What household materials can be used to filter water? ›

A small washcloth, chamois cloth or coffee filter can be used instead of cotton balls. If gravel is not available, small pebbles or stones can be used. If a plastic soda bottle cannot be recycled, a large funnel can also be used instead.

How do you make a filter out of a 5 gallon bucket? ›

Building this thing couldn't have been simpler all i need is two buckets two lids two filter

What are 3 ways to filter water? ›

Here are some of the most effective water purification methods that have stood the test of time:
  1. Boiling. The simplest method to purify water is to boil it for a good time. ...
  2. Water Purifier. ...
  3. Reverse Osmosis. ...
  4. Water Chlorination. ...
  5. Distillation. ...
  6. Iodine Addition. ...
  7. Solar Purification. ...
  8. Clay Vessel Filtration.

What materials can be used as a filter? ›

Cotton, filter paper, sand can be used for Filtration.

What is the best way to make a water filter? ›

To make your own water filter, use a craft knife to cut the bottom inch off of a plastic bottle, then punch a hole in the bottle cap with a hammer and a nail. Place a coffee filter over the mouth of the bottle and tighten the cap over it, then put the bottle upside-down into a mug or cup.

How do you make a survival water filter? ›

If you have two containers, try this method for filtering water: Take the first container and fill it with water. Then, put your shirt or some sort of porous layer over the other container. Put your pebbles on top of the cloth and filter your water by pouring it over the stones and into the container.

What is the best material to filter water? ›

Sand and gravel make good water filters because they form permeable layers. When the sand particles are next to one another, there are tiny spaces between them. Water can pass slowly through these tiny spaces and some of the dirt particles get trapped.

Can cotton balls filter water? ›

Water always finds a path through the pieces of stone, gravel, sand, charcoal and cotton balls. But the gaps or pores, trap particles that are suspended in the water. As the pores get smaller in each layer, particles are trapped throughout the filter, rather than all in one layer, which would quickly get clogged up.

How do you make a natural filter? ›

How to Make a DIY Water Filtration System Using Sand or Gravel
  1. Cut the Bottom off a Small Plastic Water Bottle. ...
  2. Insert a Cloth Filter. ...
  3. Rinse the Filtering Materials. ...
  4. Prepare the Charcoal. ...
  5. Add Playground Sand. ...
  6. Put in Paver Sand. ...
  7. Add the Gravel or Small Rocks. ...
  8. Secure the Contents.
12 Mar 2019

How do you make a sock water filter? ›

Sock water filter method - YouTube

Can you use a sock as a water filter? ›

Sock and Sand Water Filter

Use an old sock (or new sock if you must) to filter out debris. All cotton is preferred, as synthetic fibers are too smooth to offer good filtration. If possible, fill with sand to provide an additional layer of filtration.

How do you make a homemade filter box? ›

How to Make a DIY Air Filter | Ask This Old House - YouTube

What are the 7 steps to clean water? ›

They typically consist of several steps in the treatment process. These include: (1) Collection ; (2) Screening and Straining ; (3) Chemical Addition ; (4) Coagulation and Flocculation ; (5) Sedimentation and Clarification ; (6) Filtration ; (7) Disinfection ; (8) Storage ; (9) and finally Distribution.

What can I use instead of a filter? ›

A Paper Towel

When the water has drained through, remove the pour over from the mug and discard grounds and paper towel. Pros: You almost certainly have paper towels at home. You don't have to change your method at all, besides subbing the towel for a filter.

How do you make a homemade water filter without charcoal? ›

To make a water filter without activated charcoal, you need a replacement material that has pores large enough to allow water to pass through, but small enough to catch sediment, pathogens, or other impurities. Sand or ceramic are the best materials to use as replacements for activated charcoal.

Can plastic be used as filter? ›

In the chemical-production industry, energy-intensive processes are constantly being used to remove unwanted molecules from liquids. It now looks like much of that energy could be saved, however, by utilizing filters made from discarded plastic bottles.

How can I make a cheap water filter? ›

$1 DIY Water Filter in a Bottle - YouTube

Are homemade water filters effective? ›

Following our three experiments, we have concluded that DIY water filtration systems are in need of great improvement. While the bio filter was safe in its pH, chlorine levels, and hardness, its level of nitrates was high enough to cause concern.

What is the safest way to purify water? ›

1. Boil. If you don't have safe bottled water, you should boil your water to make it safe to drink. Boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing germs, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

How do you purify water in the wild with nothing? ›

Boiling is one of the safest ways to purify drinking water taken from wild sources. The reason for this is that none of the pathogens commonly found in wild water can withstand temperatures of over 170 °F.

How did they filter water in the old days? ›

In ancient times, people actually built sand filtration columns. As the water slowly trickled through the column, it cleaned the water. When using soil or sand as a filter, particles that might be bad for you get stuck in the little gaps, or pores. This small stuff gets trapped as the water continues to flow down.

Do coffee filters filter water? ›

When it comes to expedient uses, the best use for a coffee filter is for filtering water. While it cannot make water safe to drink on its own, it can be a component in filtering water.

What filter makes water clear? ›

Activated Carbon is by far the best known chemical filter media and is widely used to get crystal clear aquarium water.

Can rocks purify water? ›

They can hold water like a sponge, and with their tiny pores, they are good at filtering surface pollutants.

Does Wood purify water? ›

Using wood might be the most inexpensive, accessible and simple way to clean water, so far. Researchers at the MIT Institute recently discovered an amazing low-tech way to filter water. Just a small piece of sapwood can filter out more than 99% of the E. Coli bacteria.

Can Rice purify water? ›

Rice can do this through phytoremediation -- using plants and their roots to clean up water (though they can also clean soil and air). That's what researchers say happened here. Instead of those chemicals being in the runoff water, they were captured in the rice plants.

Can you filter water with Tshirts? ›

You can use your shirt to filter water. However, you will only be able to get rid of suspended solids like dirt and insects. using your shirt as a filter can also help reduce the turbidity of water. However, you may want to boil the water afterward to kill any disease-causing microorganisms that might be in the water.

Can you filter water with cloth? ›

In lab tests the researchers found that old, cheap sari cloth makes a better filter than new, expensive cloth. The threads become smushy and loose, as a result the pore size becomes even smaller," says Huq.

What is a good natural filter? ›

Charcoal. Charcoal is a slow, but effective, water filter. The carbon in charcoal helps remove toxins. Charcoal filters out particles down to 1 micron, including nitrogen oxide, lead and sulfur oxide.

How do you make a jungle water filter? ›

How to Purify Water in the Wild
  1. Gather your materials. First, you'll need a container like a coffee can, glass bottle, stainless-steel pot, or water bottle. ...
  2. Dig your hole. ...
  3. Place your container. ...
  4. Cover the hole with plastic. ...
  5. Place a pebble on top of the plastic. ...
  6. Remove the container from the hole. ...
  7. Filter your water.
25 Jan 2022

How do you make a straw water filter? ›

The DIY "Straw-Style" Water Filter! - Survival/SHTF Water Filter - Easy DIY

Can paper towels be used as a water filter? ›

In conclusion ,capillary action in paper towels can be used to separate clean water from mixtures and can clean approximately 130 liters of water in a single day for less than $10, and when modified with activated carbon can be used to purify water of microscopic impurities, speedily and cost effectively.

Can you use paper to filter water? ›

Researchers have invented filter paper that can inhibit the growth of specific bacteria that usually contaminate drinking water. These nanoparticle-coated cellulose-foam-based filter papers could be used to purify potable water1.

Can you filter water through paper? ›

A new water filter, called pAge Papers, is an attempt to do better. Made from paper embedded with bacteria-killing nanoparticles of silver or copper, it costs only slightly more than a regular sheet of paper–making it cheaper than almost all other water filters available now.

How do you make a homemade paper filter? ›

How To Make A Coffee Filter Using A Paper Towel - YouTube

How can I make a cheap water filter? ›

$1 DIY Water Filter in a Bottle - YouTube

How do you make a homemade water filter without charcoal? ›

To make a water filter without activated charcoal, you need a replacement material that has pores large enough to allow water to pass through, but small enough to catch sediment, pathogens, or other impurities. Sand or ceramic are the best materials to use as replacements for activated charcoal.

Are homemade water filters effective? ›

Following our three experiments, we have concluded that DIY water filtration systems are in need of great improvement. While the bio filter was safe in its pH, chlorine levels, and hardness, its level of nitrates was high enough to cause concern.

How can I make a homemade filter? ›

Homemade Water Filter - (clear/clean water when you need it!) - YouTube

How do you make a survival water filter? ›

If you have two containers, try this method for filtering water: Take the first container and fill it with water. Then, put your shirt or some sort of porous layer over the other container. Put your pebbles on top of the cloth and filter your water by pouring it over the stones and into the container.

How do you make a natural filter? ›

How to Make a DIY Water Filtration System Using Sand or Gravel
  1. Cut the Bottom off a Small Plastic Water Bottle. ...
  2. Insert a Cloth Filter. ...
  3. Rinse the Filtering Materials. ...
  4. Prepare the Charcoal. ...
  5. Add Playground Sand. ...
  6. Put in Paver Sand. ...
  7. Add the Gravel or Small Rocks. ...
  8. Secure the Contents.
12 Mar 2019

What is the best way to purify water at home? ›

Three Ways To Purify Water
  1. Boiling. Bring the water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes. Let cool before drinking.
  2. Disinfect. You can use household liquid bleach (regular household bleach contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to kill microorganisms. ...
  3. Distillation. Fill a pot halfway with water.

What is the best way to filter water naturally? ›

Sedimentation – making use of natural sediment is one of the easiest ways to filter water naturally as this involves the use of soil and rock. Sand will remove particles and if you're also using charcoal, it will aid as an active carbon (charcoal removes volatile organic compounds, chlorine, odor and taste)

How do you filter water quickly? ›

How To Filter Dirty Water - YouTube

How long does homemade water filter last? ›

A whole house water filter from Tragar will last your home years as well; on average 6 to 7 years.

What is the best filtering material to purify water? ›

Sand and gravel make good water filters because they form permeable layers. When the sand particles are next to one another, there are tiny spaces between them. Water can pass slowly through these tiny spaces and some of the dirt particles get trapped.

Is boiled water better than filter water? ›

Comparing boiled and filtered water

There's a lot of confusion about how you should make sure the water you drink is safe and healthy, but the overwhelming conclusion is that filtered water is a better solution than boiling it.

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