If you are wondering whether you can keep Brita out of the fridge, look no further. In this post, you will find out whether you can leave the pitcher on the counter or you need to keep it in the fridge at all times. You will also find examples of seemingly safe pitcher usage that contributes to the contamination of filtered water with bacteria or algae.
Can I Leave My Brita Water Filter Pitcher on the Counter?
The manufacturer recommends storing Brita pitchers in the fridge (source). You should not leave your water filter pitcher on the counter since the room temperature and sunlight can cause bacteria and mold to grow. This was proved by a study, which showed that keeping both the Brita water filter pitcher and the filtered water in the refrigerator provided the lowest bacteria counts. Otherwise, after approx. one week the number of bacteria colonies in the filtered water was much higher than in the tap water, in some cases even 10 000 times more.
Do Bacteria Grow in Brita Filters?
When using Brita water filters, you might think it should only make your water cleaner. Unfortunately, water in Brita pitchers is more prone to bacterial growth than tap water. Bacteria can grow in Brita filters and filtered water for a couple of reasons:
- Brita filters remove chlorine. However, chlorine is vital for killing bacteria in tap water. When we remove it, we create a favorable environment for bacteria. Because of that, filtered water doesn’t last as long as tap water.
- Incorrect care and storage of the Brita pitcher speed up bacteria growth. Below you can find three common practices to avoid.
- According to this study, 5 out of 13 new filters were contaminated with bacteria. Such filters might deteriorate the microbiological quality of filtered water, especially when stored in a warm and sunny place.
🦠🦠🦠 How you might unknowingly speed up bacteria, mold, and algae growth in the Brita water filter pitcher
- Not changing the water filter in recommended intervals.
- Not storing the pitcher in the fridge or cool area without direct sun.
- Infrequent cleaning of the pitcher (less than once a week).
If you avoid these three steps, you will be on the right track to the cleanest water that Brita can deliver.
Do Brita Filters Grow Mold?
Brita filters can grow mold. In fact, mold might already be present in new, unused filters. This was proved by a study on Brita water filter pitchers, where they tested thirteen new commercial filters. Five turned out to be contaminated with bacteria or mold (source). Further, improper care, as mentioned above, also contributes to mold growth.
The way you care for your Brita water filter pitcher significantly impacts the filtered water quality.
How Long Can Water Sit in Brita Pitcher?
The manufacturer recommends replacing any filtered water sitting in the Brita pitcher for several days or more if stored in a cool area away from direct sun (source). However, in a letter to a consumer that had issues with mold/algae, Brita advised replacing the water every day or two (source).
When it comes to a refrigerated Brita pitcher, I haven’t found any official information regarding how long water can sit in the pitcher. For this reason, I looked at different water filter manufacturers for advice, and I found that USA Berkey Filters gives a good conservative estimate. The time recommended for water to sit in a water filter system is three days if kept in a cool place. If the water is stored in a cold environment, you can extend it to a week (source). This time frame applies to filtered water. Tap water would last longer. The duration is cut short due to the water filter, which removes chemicals that prevent bacteria, algae, etc., from developing.
How Often Should I Change My Brita Filter?
To find out how often you need to change the Brita water filter, you need to determine which filter you are using. The manufacturer recommends changing the Standard Pitcher and Dispenser Filter (white) every two months (or 40 gallons of water). If you opted for the Longlast+ Filter (blue), Brita recommends changing it every six months (or 120 gallons of water). For the Brita Stream Filter (gray), it is recommended to change it every two months (or 40 gallons of water). And if you are using the Maxtra Filter (white), you should change it every month. If you notice any bacteria, mold, or algae growth signs, you should clean the pitcher and replace your filter immediately.