How to Clean Your Reverse Osmosis Tank

Reverse osmosis is a process that removes salt, minerals and other substances from water. It’s an effective way to get pure water for your family and animals. But what should you do when the reverse osmosis tank is dirty? If you don’t clean it often, the water coming out of your tap may be contaminated with bacteria and pollutants that can make you or your family sick.

Thankfully, regular rinsing with cold water will help keep your system in good shape. Here are some quick tips on how to care for your system so that it works well for many years!


How to Clean Your Reverse Osmosis Tank

Rinsing with cold water is one of the best ways to clean your reverse osmosis tank. All you have to do is turn off your tap and add a few gallons of water to the tank. Shut off the tank, fill it up halfway with cold water, and let it sit while you fill up the rest of the tank with cold water. Turn on the pump, and let it run for about five minutes before shutting it back off.

Next, use a brush to scrub all four sides of the filter and replace any filters that need replacing. Then rinse everything down with cold water again to remove any leftover particles like bacteria. Finally, you can turn on your tap to see if there are any particles or residue left in your system before turning everything back on.

How to Sanitize a Reverse Osmosis System

If you know that your system requires sanitizing, the first step is to remove the faucet filter and turn off the water. Then disconnect the hoses to give yourself more room to work. Next, take a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle and direct it at the top of the tank. You want to use enough pressure to spray up through all of your tubes and into your tank.

Once you have sprayed everything, leave it for 15 minutes before turning on the water again. By now, most of the dirt has been washed away! Make sure to allow cold water to come out for at least 10 seconds before using.

Don’t forget that you should also clean your faucet filter regularly with soap and hot water!

Cleaning the RO Membrane

The membrane needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid sediment buildup. This is the part of the system that removes the salt and other substances from the water.

It’s simple to clean your membrane. Just pour ½ cup of chlorine-free household liquid bleach into an empty bucket, fill it with water, and submerge your membrane in it for 30 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly with cold water after soaking.

How Often Should I Drain My Reverse Osmosis Tank?

It’s a good idea to drain your reverse osmosis tank every six months, or as often as needed. For example, if you recently moved and your water is different from the area you came from, you should drain the system after a few weeks to make sure it’s not contaminated with bacteria or pollutants.

In order to keep your RO system in good shape, you need to drain the tank every few weeks. This will remove any sediment that may have built up and keep it running well for many years.

If you notice any change in taste or odor of your tap water after draining the system, then it’s time for a new filter. If there is no change, then everything is operating properly and you don’t need a new filter yet.

Do Reverse Osmosis Tanks Get Dirty?

Yes, your reverse osmosis tank will get dirty over time. And the more dirty it gets, the higher the risk is for contamination of your water. This is why you need to keep it clean!

To maintain a healthy reverse osmosis system, you should flush it with cold water every month. Use a garden hose and turn on the cold water until everything runs through. You can then turn off the hose, and allow the tank to drain back into place.

This process will remove any sediment from your tank’s membrane, so be sure to run this through your system monthly!

How Do I Get Rid of Algae in My RO Water Tank?

If your system is storing or producing tap water, you may find that it has an unpleasant odor and taste. This can be caused by algae.

Algae thrive in the warm environment of your tank. They feed off of impurities like chlorine and minerals that are found in tap water. Algae also feed on the nitrates that are found in certain types of fertilizer.

To get rid of algae, you should use a de-chlorinator to remove the chlorine from the water before it enters the tank. You should also make sure to use high quality water filters for your RO system so that they catch any impurities before they enter the tank. Regularly cleaning your tank with non-toxic cleaners will also help keep algae growth at bay.

How Long Do Reverse Osmosis Water Filters Last?

The lifespan of a reverse osmosis filter largely depends on the quality of water it is filtering. For example, if you’re using filtered water in your home, your system will last much longer than someone who is using regular tap water.

A typical RO filter will last between one and three years. This includes the time spent cleaning the filter in order for it to remain in good working condition. If you don’t clean your filter often, bacteria can build up and make you sick!

You should also keep track of how much water your system filters each day to know when it’s time for a new filter. You might want to set up an alarm or reminder so that you remember to replace the old filter with a new one.

HOW to CLEAN RO System

How Long Does Reverse Osmosis Water Last?

The water from reverse osmosis will last for up to six months after the system is cleaned.

Tips for Maintaining a Home Reverse Osmosis System

The more you know about your system, the easier it is to keep it working well.

  • Regularly rinse the membrane.
    • The membrane is what passes water through the system and removes impurities on its way to your faucet. It needs to be rinsed on a regular basis so that these impurities don’t build up and clog your system.
  • Clean the filter.
    • Similar to the membrane, sediment can build up on the filter and eventually lead to more serious issues with your system. Make sure to remove all of the sediment from time to time by running your tap for about 15 minutes before switching it off and letting it dry out for 24 hours.
  • Protect your home’s pipes.
    • Home plumbing can become corroded or damaged over time, which will affect how well your reverse osmosis system works. To avoid this issue, make sure you install an anti-siphon valve under sink water dispensers and check all of the hoses periodically for leaks or damage.


Reverse osmosis systems, like any other water purification system, need to be emptied periodically. This is because the membranes become clogged with the sediments and minerals that they filter out of the water. Some systems will tell you when it’s time to drain the water with an indicator, while others will need to be manually drained.

The membrane can also become clogged with algae and it’s important to change the filters. Some people have a problem with algae in their RO water tank because they store their tank in a dark place and algae thrives in dark, stagnant water. If you have a problem with algae, it’s important to drain your tank and store it in a well-lit area.

It’s also important to clean the membrane occasionally. The membrane needs to be cleaned every three months or so. In order to do this, you need to remove the membrane from the system and submerge it in a container of vinegar for a few hours before washing it off with clean water and hanging it up to dry.

Meet the author: Paul White

Paul is water engineer by trade and is very passionate about innovative solutions for water filtration. His goal is to make drinking water accessible and affordable to all. An avid runner, he is currently training for a marathon. “Running is my sanity. Writing is how I organize my thoughts. I’m a poet and writer who is passionate about change. I aspire to be the best version of myself, and to help others do the same.” Learn more about Paul and the rest of the team.