Clogging can occur due to improper backwashing, cleaning, and storage, trapped air bubbles, etc. Follow the steps below if you are experiencing clogging before the end of your product's filtration cycle.
One of the best ways to prevent clogging is to follow our long-term storage instructions. This prevents the membranes of our filters from drying out and/or becoming blocked over long periods of non-use. Check out the instructions here for more detail.
If your filters are stored for long periods of time and appear to be blocked when trying to resume use, what you likely need to do is re-activate the hydrophilic properties of the membrane again or essentially lubricate the membrane so it easily pulls water through. The best way to do this? Coconut milk! (We know, weird, but it works!) See the instructions below for unclogging using coconut milk.
For LifeStraw personal, Go, Play, Flex, and Universal:
- Remove Carbon Filter. Remove the carbon filter if you are using a LifeStraw Go 2-Stage, Play, Flex, or Universal. If your LifeStraw does not have a carbon filter - you can skip this step.
- Hydrate. Fill a clean jar with 4 tablespoons of coconut milk and 2 cups of water, mixing well. Remove the membrane microfilter from the cap and immerse the filter in the coconut solution. Let stand for 1 hour. If you are using a LifeStraw personal or Flex, immerse the straw into the solution.
- Rinse. Rinse the hydrated membrane microfilter under tap water for 1 minute, making sure to rinse from both sides. Clean the mouthpiece and all surfaces after rinsing.
- Resume Use. To use your LifeStraw again, reinsert the membrane microfilter. Skip this step if you are using a LifeStraw personal.
Note: We recommend storing the bottle with a salt/saline solution because it helps to prevent any mold or algae from growing during long-term storage while also keeping the membrane microfilter wet which ensures a good flow rate when resuming use. When the membrane becomes completely dried out, it can be difficult to get the product flowing again. Using coconut milk re-hydrates the filter, enabling proper water flow.