How to Remove Calcium Buildup in Your Sawyer Filter

The Sawyer Squeeze water filter should be able to filter more than 1 liter of water per minute. If your water filter is flowing much slower and backwashing doesn’t increase the flow rate, you might have calcium buildup. Having calcium buildup is a very common problem after months of use. Luckily, it’s easy to remove the calcium buildup following these two steps.

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1. Soak your Sawyer water filter in vinegar for 30 minutes

sawyer squeeze soaking in a solution of vinegar to remove calcium buildup
vinegar solution added to sawyer squeeze in a Ziploc bag

Using a sealable bag reduces the amount of vinegar needed to soak the filter.

2. Flush the water filter with warm to hot clean water

Water flowing out of a Sawyer Squeeze water filter

Repeat steps 1 and 2 if needed.

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Removing Calcium Buildup Summary

After a few months of backpacking it is common for the Sawyer Squeeze water filter to experience calcium buildup. This calcium buildup can cut your water flow rate in half. So before you replace your slow flowing Sawyer Squeeze I recommend treating your filter with vinegar to remove any calcium buildup. The Sawyer Squeeze water filter is designed to last over 6 months (up to 100,000 gallons of water) with proper maintenance.