How to Clean a Brita Pitcher (Step-by-Step with Pictures)

Wondering how to clean your Brita pitcher? In this step-by-step guide, we’ll share how to safely clean your Brita water pitcher and get it back to like-new condition.

❔ Why Clean your Brita Pitcher?

If you’ve made it onto this guide, you probably already know the answer to this.

Just because the Brita filter pitcher is designed to hold clean, filtered water, that doesn’t mean that the pitcher will remain clean throughout its lifespan.

Just like everything that’s frequently manhandled and constantly exposed to water, the pitcher will need cleaning regularly to avoid a buildup of impurities.

Common problems with Brita filters are smudges on the exterior of the pitcher (from dirty or oily hands) and a buildup of condensation on the inside of the pitcher.

In short, if you want to keep drinking great-tasting water, you should keep your Brita water reservoir and filter clean.

Scale build up inside brita filter cartridge

🧽 How to Clean a Brita Pitcher Filter

You Will Need:

  • Your Brita pitcher
  • Measuring cup
  • Sponge
  • Mild dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Dish towel
  • A new filter

📝 Instructions

Step 1: Take Apart the Pitcher

To get proper access to the inside of the Brita water filter pitcher, you need to take it apart.

You probably already know how to do this if you’ve been using your Brita pitcher for a while. If there’s any water in the pitcher, empty it first. Then separate the lid from the reservoir and place the filter on a clean paper towel in a safe spot (or discard the filter if you’re changing it).

Separating brita water pitcher components

Step 2: Wash the Lid and Reservoir

Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water and submerge the lid and reservoir. Scrub the pieces with a non-abrasive sponge, taking care to get into all the cracks and crevices.

Step 3: Remove Limescale and Mildew

If you have hard water, you’ll likely notice white spots of limescale on the inside of the pitcher. Mildew is also common in Brita water filters.

To remove these unwanted impurities, add one teaspoon of white vinegar to a cup of tap water. Soak your sponge in the cup, then use it to scrub the areas affected by mildew or limescale to thoroughly clean them off.

Cleaning the filter with vinegar

Step 4: Rinse and Air Dry the Parts

Rinse the lid and reservoir under running cold water until all the soap suds and white vinegar have been removed. Place the parts upside down on a drying rack or dish towel and leave them to air dry.

Step 5 (Optional): Flush the New Filter

If you’re replacing the old filter with a new one, flush the new filter according to the pitcher model’s instructions in the manual. This will prep the filter so that it’s ready to re-insert into the Brita pitcher when it’s dry.

Flushing the brita filter

Step 6: Reassemble the Pitcher

Attach the filter to the underside of the lid and slot the lid back into place in the pitcher. Follow the instructions in the manual for further prepping the filter (if you have a new filter) with several batches of tap water to get rid of any carbon dust.

Reassembling the brita water pitcher

📌 Tips for Cleaning a Brita Pitcher

Here are a few tips that should help you to clean the Brita pitcher effectively:

Use a Toothbrush for Crevices

If you’re struggling to remove stains from the crevices in the Brita water filter with a soft cloth or sponge, use a toothbrush to scrub these crevices – the stains should brush right off.

Let the Parts Air Dry

It’s better to let the parts air dry than to dry them with a dish cloth, which doesn’t completely eliminate moisture. If you have the time, leave the parts on a drying rack to naturally dry.

If in Doubt, Throw it Out

Sometimes, there’s no cleaning a dirty Brita pitcher – not with mild dish detergent or anything more intense. It’s not recommended to use bleach in a Brita water filter, so if you’re dealing with a swamp-like mold situation in your pitcher, it might be time to replace it with a new one. And keep on top of your cleaning from now on! Read our reviews of the best water filtration pitchers to upgrade to.

📆 How Often Should you Clean a Brita Water Pitcher?

You should try to get into the habit of cleaning your Brita water filter once a day, or more frequently if you notice dirt on any part of the pitcher.

If you hand-wash your dishes and cutlery after a meal, that’s the best time to wash your Brita pitcher. You can use the same warm water and dish soap to clean the pitcher.

If you can’t get into the habit of daily cleaning, you should clean the pitcher at least once every three days, or when you notice a buildup of scale or mildew on the inside of the jug.

Cleaning the brita pitcher

🚫 How to Prevent Mildew and Mold Buildup in a Brita Water Filter

Mold and mildew are two of the worst things to find in your Brita water filter, mostly because you can see them – and they look gross.

Black or green mold can build up over time in any environment, but it’s most likely to emerge if your home has a high humidity (or air moisture content).

To prevent mildew and mold from building up inside your Brita filter, make sure your home’s humidity doesn’t exceed 50%. Use a dehumidifier if you need to, and make sure your home’s heating and cooling systems are regularly inspected.

If you have plants in your home that are infested with mildew, remove the mildew or get rid of the plants.

Ultimately, the best way to prevent a buildup of mold and mildew in your Brita water filter is to clean the water pitcher as often as possible.

You should also change the filter regularly. If you can see mold and mildew on the relatively clean surface of the inside of the pitcher, imagine how much could be building up inside the filter itself.

Preventing mold and mildew buildup

🔁 How Often Should you Change a Brita Filter?

The lifespan of your Brita water filter depends on the type of filter you’ve bought.

If you have the Standard Brita filter or the Brita Stream, you should change the filter after every 40 gallons, or about two months.

If you have the Brita Longlast+ filter, good news – your filter lasts for about 120 gallons, or six months. Your pitcher should have an electronic indicator that tells you when the filter needs replacing.

Failing to change the filter on time can cause the filter to harbor bacteria and leach dangerous contaminants back into your water, which will cause a buildup of impurities on the inside of the pitcher and potentially make you sick.

If you have Brita’s Longlast+ filter, it’s especially important that you clean your pitcher regularly to prevent a moldy, mildewy environment from spoiling the filter and shortening its lifespan.

Brita electronic indicator

🧠 Cleaning Brita Pitchers FAQ

Can Brita pitchers be washed in the dishwasher?

Yes, Brita pitchers are dishwasher-safe, as long as they’re not washed in really hot water. Check your user manual for instructions on how to safely wash your pitcher in the dishwasher (remove the filter beforehand).

What should I use to clean a Brita pitcher?

A sponge or soft cloth dipped in warm water mixed with mild detergent or dish soap is usually all you need to clean a Brita pitcher. Make sure you opt for non-abrasive dish soap or basic dishwashing detergent that won’t damage the pitcher. For deep cleaning, you can use one teaspoon white vinegar in a cup of warm water.

How do I clean a Brita pitcher with mold?

Hot water and white vinegar should work to remove mold from your pitcher. Pre-soak the pitcher in this solution if the mold is particularly bad, then gently wipe the surfaces with a sponge or cloth.

How long does it take to clean a Brita pitcher?

The cleaning process takes about five minutes. The more frequently you clean the pitcher, the less time it will take because you won’t need to lift stubborn, set stains.

How do you keep mold out of a Brita pitcher?

A perfectly clean pitcher shouldn’t accumulate mold. To prevent mold growth in your pitcher, follow these tips:

  • Store water in your pitcher in the refrigerator, not in a dark, warm location in your home.
  • Replace the filter as indicated in the user manual.
  • Try to rinse your Brita pitcher in hot water once a day, and do a nice deep clean at least once a week.
  • Don’t drink directly from the pitcher – always pour the water into a separate glass.
  • Wash your hands before you handle the filter.
  • Between using the pitcher, make sure the spout is completely sealed.
  • Only use the filter for municipal drinking water, not well water.
  • Don’t use the pitcher to filter hot water or lukewarm water – only cold water.
  • Make sure your living space doesn’t have mold or humidity problems. If it does, your pitcher will continue to accumulate mold regardless of your efforts to prevent it.

Do Brita filters come apart to clean?

Yes. The filter sits in the lid opening, which sits on top of the pitcher. You can disassemble the pitcher and remove the filter to clean it. Taking the pitcher apart is easy, but you can follow the pitcher’s instructions if you’re unsure.