Step by Step Instructions for Cleaning the Platypus GravityWorks Filter

The Platypus gravity filtration system is by far my favorite method for getting clean water in the back country.  I've used hand pumps and the Sawyer squeeze but both of them required too much work.  After I got my Platypus I fell in love with it and it totally changed how I backpacked.  Instead of dreading water filtration and trying to skimp out on using water for cooking and making coffee, I was able to filter gallons of water at a time with absolutely no effort.  It was a game changer.

Then I got home and had to figure out how to clean the Platypus out. I saw a kit on REI but didn't want to cough up $13 to clean it so I just sloshed some soapy water around inside of it and that cleaned out all of the small debris that had built up during my hike in the Rawah Wilderness.

But is this most effective way to clean the Platypus filter out?  After you clean the Platypus, how do you get it to dry out?  After more research than it should have taken, I found the answers to all these questions and came up with some easy ways to care for your Platypus.

Step by Step Cleaning Instructions

  1. Fill the dirty reservoir with 2 liters of water.
  2. Add 6 drops of unscented bleach.
  3. Swirl this water around for 10 seconds and leave it in the reservoir overnight.
  4. Run all of this water through the filter into the clean reservoir like you are filtering water when you are out hiking.
  5. Immediately disconnect the water filter and set it aside on some paper towels to let the remaining water drain.
  6. Fill your sink with warm, soapy water and run it through the tubes several times to clear out any debris.
  7. Soak your clean and dirty reservoirs in the soapy water and scrub the inside of them to remove any debris.
  8. Rinse everything out with warm water and shake it off as much as possible to minimize the amount of water left in the reservoir.
  9. Use a hair dryer or some dry paper towels to soak up any remaining water inside of the reservoirs.
  10. Use anything you can find to prop open the lid on the reservoir so you get as much air flow as possible inside of the reservoirs.
  11. Do not store the reservoirs and tubes until they are 100% dry!

The last step there is SUPER important.  After going through all the steps to clean your Platypus filter and reservoirs, the last thing you want to do is store it with water sitting inside that could cause it to get mildew or mold inside of it.  

I had a really hard time getting all of the water to dry out of my reservoirs after I cleaned them.  I used a couple of paper towels to soak up as much water as possible then for the remaining drops of water I just propped open the reservoir as much as possible to help it get air flow and gave it about 2 weeks to dry out.

If you're impatient and want the reservoirs to dry more quickly you can either use a hair dryer or a fan.  The most important thing is to just get air flowing into the reservoirs and tubes so that the water evaporates.