A LifeStraw is one invention that saves human beings from diseases like waterborne disease or other germs that use water as a home. Over time it has undergone various upgrades to make it more effective. Currently, there are three versions, namely, LifeStraw Go, the filter version, and the personal LifeStraw.
A LifeStraw needs frequent cleaning to provide clean water and to make it effective to extend its lifespan. You need to clean the LifeStraw on three occasions: after use, when clogged, and when storing. Here are the steps to clean the LifeStraw.
Step 1: Remove Carbon Filter
Before you can begin to clean the LifeStraw you should remove the carbon filter and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.
If your LifeStraw model wasn’t built with this water filter you can skip this part and proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Submerge The LifeStraw
Mix 4 tablespoons of coconut milk with two cups of water in a jar. Submerge the membrane microfilter. Another way to do this is to submerge the LifeStraw personal into the mixture and leave it for an hour.
Step 3: Rinse With Water
After an hour, remove the personal filter and rinse it with water. At first, the water will appear milky; keep rinsing until the water appears clear.
Having clear water will make it so you’ll get clean drinking water the next time it’s used.
Step 4: Assemble The Pieces
The next process is to assemble and test its functionality. If it is filtering without any restrictions, then it is good for use. When you experience certain restrictions, repeat the process until it becomes effective.
Cleaning Your LifeStraw After Each Use
Every time you use the straw, you need to clean it to ensure the filtered debris does not clog or become sticky. Cleaning it after use is also essential to increase its life span and make it safe for use next time you want to drink.
The straw will remove 99.99% of the microns in the water; however, these microns can start growing in the straw if you do not clean it regularly. This makes it unsafe to filter water next time you want to drink. After cleaning it, you can store it well for use next time.
So how do you clean it after use? All you have to do is to blow excess water out of the straw. You need to blow it from top to bottom to ensure all the germs slide downwards.
The water will flush out the trapped debris. Blow it until the water stops flowing then you can pack it in your bag.
Cleaning a Clogged LifeStraw
As you use the straw continuously, some debris and germs may be trapped within the system. Over time the LifeStraw may be clogged. The water source can also determine the likelihood of the straw becoming clogged.
Very dirty water sources will leave behind a lot of debris within the system and easily clog it. Another cause of clogging can be storing the LifeStraw before cleaning or improper cleaning allowing the debris to clutter in most sections of the straw. A clogged LifeStraw is unsafe and may not work effectively in filtering the water.
Cleaning a clogged LifeStraw before it reaches the end of its life span should not be difficult. The unclogging ensures the filter membranes are lubricated to continue filtering the water effectively.
One of the most effective ways is to clean it using organic materials using coconut milk. Since LifeStraw is built to facilitate organic living, the cleaning procedure should also be organic.
It is advisable to clean the LifeStraw using coconut milk even when it is not clogged. The regular cleaning will ensure the membrane remains effective and any other tiny clogs cleared.
Regular cleaning also helps you extend the device’s lifespan since clogging is one factor that reduces the lifespan of the device.
How to Clean For Long-Term Storage
A LifeStraw is effective whenever you are out camping or attending other outdoor events. They can also help at home, but most of you have clean and drinkable water. S
ince it is a crucial item for camping and outdoor events, you need to store it properly. You need to exercise various cautions when storing the LifeStraw to ensure it is not damaged.
Storing it effectively will increase its lifespan and make it suitable for use next time. Follow these steps to store your LifeStraw effectively.
- Take out the carbon filter, air it to dry for about an hour, and then put it in a sealed plastic bag. Drying the filter ensures all the water or the moisture vaporizes. The sealed bag will prevent moisture from coming into contact with the filter.
- Add a quarter teaspoon of hose bleach in two cups of water. You can use lemon juice or vinegar in place of house bleach. If you are using a LifeStraw personal, pour the solution directly into the LifeStraw and wait five minutes. For other types of LifeStraw, pour the solution into the jar, then submerge the filter. Remove the filter and rinse with clean water for about two minutes.
- Add a teaspoonful of salt into two cups of fresh water. Pour the solution into the LifeStraw personal until it is full. You can pour the remaining into the bottle. For other straws, pour the salty water halfway into the bottle, then submerge the filter.
Leave the salty water into the bottle and store it in a cool and dry place. When you need to use it next time, remove the filter and blow out the contents. You need to rinse it so that the water does not taste salty.
Cleaning your LifeStraw after use, when clogged, or when storing will make your LifeStraw last much longer. You also need to be aware of when the straw has reached its lifespan. Cleaning and unclogging may not be effective because it will be less effective in filtering the water.
If you are a camper or a lover of outdoor events, you understand that a LifeStraw is part of life; hence you need to maintain it effectively. Take all the necessary precautions when cleaning and avoid the use of chemicals when cleaning. Some chemicals can destroy the filter unknowingly. Clean it organically using products like coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, and vinegar.