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How Long Do Brita Filters Last? (Spoiler: Not Forever…)

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We’ve long relied on our Brita pitcher to keep us hydrated whilst sparing us the unpleasant taste and perhaps questionable content of the water that comes from the kitchen tap. It’s a refrigerator staple and a real workhorse. That said, it’s important to periodically hand wash the pitcher with mild soap and change the filter regularly so that your Brita system continues to remove contaminants and produce great tasting H2O. But how long do Brita filters last, exactly? We went straight to the source to find out everything you need to know about how and when to replace your Brita filter.

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How long do Brita filters last?

On average, Standard and Stream Brita filters (i.e., the white and gray ones) can be used for roughly two months before they need to be replaced. The exception to this is the blue Brita Longlast+ filter, which can be used for up to six months. These estimates, which come directly from the folks at Brita, can vary considerably, though—namely because the amount of water you run through the filter, not the amount of time it has been in place, is the key factor in determining when it's time to swap in a fresh filter.

How often you should change Brita filters

As previously mentioned, how often you should change a Brita filter depends entirely on how much water your family goes through. (The time estimates listed above are based on households who drink an average of 11 glasses of water a day.) Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to obsessively track your water consumption, provided you activate the electronic change indicator on your Brita pitcher every time you replace the filter. That said, the manufacturer’s (more accurate) volume-based guide says that it’s best to change the white and gray filters after every 40 gallons and the blue Longlast+ filter after every 120 gallons.

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How to change Brita filters

The process for changing your Brita filter depends on the type of filter you have. Standard filters must be rinsed under cold water for 15 seconds before you remove the old filter. Then, you snugly insert the new one into the reservoir by lining up the grooves.

If you’re working with a Longlast+ filter, you can skip the rinse and proceed straight to popping the thing into place. (Note: Brita recommends that when using Standard and Longlast+ filters, the first three pitchers of water be discarded or used to water plants.)

Now onto Stream filters: These guys should also be rinsed, but the slightly more complicated installation process involves inserting the filter into the filter cage with the blue ring facing up, pressing the filter until it clicks and finally returning the cage to the lid with a firm twisting motion. Once that’s done, you’re ready to fill your pitcher.

How to recycle Brita filters

Don’t throw those old Brita filters in the trash, friends: Brita has teamed up with TerraCycle to take care of your waste in an eco-friendly fashion—and all types of filters, pitchers and dispensers are accepted. Even more good news: Participation in the Brita recycling program will earn you Brita Reward Points, too.

To sign up, simply fill out the request form on the Brita Recycling and you’ll be emailed a prepaid label; then, box up your Brita brand waste (a minimum of five pounds per shipment) and send it off—just be sure you’ve let your used filters thoroughly dry first, since wet and leaky packages will be declined. (It’s also worth noting that this program is only available within the continental United States.)