We used a Katadyn Vario filter during our last hike in Scotland. It uses a ceramic filter when used in LONGER LIFE modus.

The waters in Scotland however have a tendency to be brown (due to the peat in the ground I suppose). As a result, the pumping became increasingly difficult. The ceramic filter turned brown.

Katadyn provides you with a cleaning patch for the ceramic filter and it helped a bit, but still, the filter has a brown color and the pumping is less easy as it used to be.

Are there any other tips on how to clean ceramic filters in general? Is there some chemical way to get them cleaned instead of cleaning them with the patch?

1 Answer 1


I have gone through several filters, and have cleaned them many times. There are a few steps to doing this though.

What you'll need... muriatic acid, 2 buckets, long plastic stirrer, face mask, high pressure hose, safety glasses, heavy duty gloves, water, and your filter

  1. Move to a well ventilated area. Outside is best.

  2. Begin by putting half a gallon of water in a bucket. Next, put on your safety gear. Then measure out 2 cups of muriatic acid and pore into the bucket. Next, stir this up with your stirrer until well mixed.

  3. Spray your filter, concentrating on areas with calcium and rust build-up. Then slowly lower your filter into the bucket, taking care to protect yourself from the mixture.

  4. Place the bucket in a well ventilated area for five days, keeping it out of reach of children and animals.

  5. After 5 days, fill the other bucket with a half gallon of water. Place the water filter in the new bucket, and leave it there for 5 minutes. Then, rinse it off with your high pressure hose.

  6. Enjoy your newly cleaned water filter.

Hope this works.

  • 1
    Do you only put the ceramic filter in the acid? On the Katadyn Vario, the ceramic filter and the plastic part of the filter are one piece. Or will the plastic dissolve in the acid? Jul 4, 2013 at 11:48
  • Sorry, I've been away on vacation backpacking the past few weeks. You should just put the ceramic filter in,
    – Nick J.
    Jul 27, 2013 at 23:53
  • 1
    Someone doing this should wear "chemical resistant" gloves. Reading this, they could interpret heavy duty gloves incorrectly, e.g. rawhide, Mechanix, etc. Chemical resistant gloves are fully coated with a plastic, usually PVC, and long. You should roll the last inch of the gloves over to create a "U" shape; this will catch any drops running back onto your forearms. May 13, 2019 at 13:22

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