A Brita filter pitcher can come in a range of colors, designs and sizes. The devices do not purify water; rather, they reduce the taste and odor of chlorine and reduce the presence of impurities and contaminants such as copper, cadmium and mercury in your water.
They're very convenient to have in a home, especially in places were tap water isn't the cleanest. But, to work at it's best, the Brita pitcher should be clean as well and the filter needs to be replaced regularly. Not using a Brita filter replacement means that any water put into the filter will still be dirty, or become even dirtier than it was before.
Why Brita Filters Pitchers Should Avoid Dishwashers
Brita water filter pitchers and their parts should not go in the dishwasher. Brita filter pitchers are not considered dishwasher-safe. When placed in the dishwasher, a Brita filter and parts could potentially become scratched, melted or scored by the effects of the heated air, hot water, strong detergent and churning water. Improper care could reduce the ability of the devices to properly filter water.
Cleaning the Brita Filter Pitcher
The Brita User's Guide suggests you hand-wash all three main parts of the Brita filter pitcher, including the pitcher, the lid and water reservoir. Avoid the use of scouring pads and abrasive cleaning products that may scratch the surfaces of the pitcher. Clean the device using a soft cloth or sponge, a mild dish soap and water. Thoroughly rinse all of the parts. Certain Brita pitchers include chrome pitcher lids. The company's website suggests cleaning these lids with a solution of 1 tsp. of vinegar and 1 cup water.
The Brita Filter
To clean the Brita filter, rinse it under a stream of plain water. You do not need to wash the filter portion of a Brita pitcher. When changing the filter, the Brita User's Guide suggests you soak a new filter in cold water in an upright position for 15 minutes, then rinse the filter in cold tap water. Align the groove on the filter with the corresponding notch on the reservoir, and press to seat it firmly in place. By adding water alongside the filter, fill the pitcher twice. Discard these initial batches of water because they may contain carbon dust. The user guide suggests the discarded water may be used for plants.
When to Replace a Filter
After a lot of usage, a filter doesn't just need to be cleaned, the pitcher needs a Brita filter replacement. After it clears about 40 gallons of water, or after two months of regular usage, it should be replaced. It will show signs of slowing down and not being as affective after that time frame, so be sure to purchase a Brita filter replacement regularly so that your water is actually being cleared.
Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.