Emergency Water Purification Methods: Have Clean Water in 1 Minute!

water from filter

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Keep reading for the quickest and easiest ways to purify water should you ever find yourself in a dire situation.  Keep in mind that most water “filters” don’t purify water, they simply clean it. This means that they remove dirt and things that will cloud up the water, but they don’t remove bacteria, chemicals, or viruses.


1.  Clean and Purify

If your water looks cloudy or if you see particles floating in it, the best thing to do is to clean the water first, then purify it. Remember that these are not the same thing! To get an idea about what we mean, think about a kitchen sponge. You could use it to “clean” the toilet, but would you want to use it to wash your dishes later? Not until you have “purified” it, right?

In order to clean the water, there are many methods, but in an emergency situation, this is probably the simplest: Use a cotton tube type of athletic sock and put a nylon, such as a piece of pantyhose, inside the sock. Now you can pour the water into the sock and allow the clean water to drip into another container. Be certain that the container is clean!  You can repeat this process using another (clean) sock or a coffee filter, or whatever you have on hand. Once the water looks clear, it’s now time to purify it.


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2. Bleach or Iodine

Both of these chemicals will kill viruses, but they won’t kill many of the protozoa. However, if this is the only method you can use (for example, there is no way to make a fire) then using one of these chemicals is better than nothing.  Never use scented bleach or those “color safe” bleaches. Add about 2 drops of bleach to one quart of water, 6 drops to 1 gallon of water. After you add the bleach or iodine, stir and then allow to sit for 30 minutes.

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