Natural Water Purification Agents to Use after SHTF

Water quality is very important as you cannot afford to get sick when confronted with crisis situations especially after SHFT.

Getting sick from drinking water that is riddled with bacteria and other impurities can kill you, so knowing how to purify your water is essential to your survival.

Disasters can leave our sources of water contaminated; that’s all the more reason why water purification should be at the top of our list of things to do immediately after SHTF. The clean appearance of water sadly does not make it pure. This article is going to look at ways you can both clean and purify your water without spending much money in the process. All ideas mentioned here cost very little but can save your life. .


Home-Made-Water-Filtration-SystemIt will not be surprising if your source of water is cloudy and dirty looking from contamination  from refuse disposal. The first step lies in pre-filtering your water using water filters.

Have at least two different water filters ready for this purpose. If your water is dirty looking, it is very likely that one filter will not do a good job of filtration. The second filter should be used to clean the water a second time.

In the absence of filters, we have a trick that would work equally well; read on. First, clean all your water containers with soap and clean water to remove any residue or dirt that may be hanging in there. Allow your container to air dry. Wash your funnels at the same time too.

The next step would be to insert a fine mesh pantyhose inside a clean white athletic sock, then slowly pour your unclean water into the opening so that water slowly drains from the socks into your clean container.

Several layers of clean clothing can be used instead of socks and panty stocking. Make sure the water is repositioned periodically so that water is dripping down through a clean surface. Repeat the process until the water looks reasonably clean.


Pour your clean water into a pot with a cover and boil for a minimum of 3 minutes. Boil for a longer period of time if possible. You don’t want to take chances with your water and fall sick. Make sure your pot or kettle used in boiling the water has lids so that you don’t lose any more than necessary to evaporation. The aim is to conserve heat and bring the water to boil as soon as possible.

As with any other thing, boiling water should be done with caution during emergency situations. Care should be taken so as to prevent injury since getting medical attention during this period can be difficult. After boiling, allow the water to cool before drinking. If there is scarcity of fuel after SHFT, then consider using the other methods mentioned below.

Solar Water Disinfection

This is one of the simplest methods of natural water purification that has been certified safe. All you need are clear plastic bottles and sunlight. Fill your plastic bottles with water and place them in the sunlight for a period of 6 hours. The sun’s ultraviolet rays will do the trick by killing the parasites in the water. This method of water purification will work even if temperatures are low in your location as long as the water reaches 30 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 5 hours.

Citrus Juice

Drops of citrus juice have been used for water purification for decades. Sources of citrus juice for this purpose include lemon and lime. A squeeze of citrus juice contains many antibacterial qualities that are known to serve as disinfectants. This is especially useful in emergency situations when treated water cannot be obtained easily. Drops of citrus juice are used in commercial water treatment products where they are known to help in the process of water purification.

Charcoal is another good method of purifying water naturally. Charcoal exists in different forms and not all forms are good to use for water purification purposes.

Compressed charcoal, also known as carbon block, is the best type of charcoal filter to use. This type of charcoal can remove chemicals and lead from water. It is best used with sediment prefilter. Powered charcoal can also be used for this purpose but it can be a messy process if you are not careful. Granular charcoal is not a very good option because water can flow around the granules without being filtered.


This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.

Photo sources: 1, 2.

Written by

John Gilmore is an army Vet, specialized in wilderness survival. Now he lives with his wife and 2 daughters on their farm close to Arizona. He has instructor level credentials and skills in various survival disciplines. He is an enthusiastic DIY expert, self-reliant and a proactive defender of our Constitutional rights. He strives to make a positive mark in this world and that's why he's writing for Survivopedia, using a pen name to protect his real identity.

Latest comments
  • You do not speak to distillation. When boiling, it’s possible to concentrate any toxins with any escape of steam. This is how salt is made from sea water. If there are any toxins in the water, then boiling won’t kill them. It will kill just the bacteria and possibly mold; since chlorine doesn’t kill, just bleaches. *This was discovered years ago at Oregon State University* My preference would be to filter as you have listed first, then distill.

    • Distilling is lengthier process than boling/filtering and requires equipment made for the purpose. Not everyone will have the skills to build a home distillery and if fuel is in short supply, then having a distillery will be useless because you won’t be able to fire it up long enough to complete the process, if at all.

  • Water is a huge detail and one that we have tried to cover from many differ angles. We have stored water in both bottles and 55 gal drums, rain catchment system and know where to get water locally. We have Katadyn and Sawyer water filter systems, as well as both Clorox and iodine to treat water. We have Pur water filters to improve the taste of water after it is run through one of the other systems, or chemically purified and finally we also have lemon, lime and grapefruit trees, and plan to use the juice to improve the taste of any water that may be off tasting after treating.

  • where can I buy water filters in the straw form or for your house?

  • Boiling water to purify it is a waste of fuel. By the time you get it to boil it well past 163°F need to kill the trouble makers and the hotter it is the less time needed, so getting it just to boil is proof you got it hot enough no more time needed.

  • i will not resort to any other type of water purification since i am already settled to what i’m using right now. Berkey water filters is really a big help, great on water purification in an instant and it doesn’t tastes odd.

  • water purification is a critical process and there are some ways which are not advisable to do. very convenient if you just rely on water filter products. it is someway effective and safe.

  • thanks for this wonderful post. It is very rare that i stumble to a blog equally educative and amusing. we really need to have a good water purification system now that millions of people are dying from different diseases they acquired from drinking unfiltered water. ill look forward to your next post

  • Thanks for these great information moringa seeds also are very good source for purification

  • Water is essential for health, hygiene and the productivity of our community. water treatment process may vary on the water condition that you have in your area. its better to invest on a good water treatment. it will benefit you by providing safety to you and your family.

  • Of course, water is so important for us. Our body is mainly made of water. Therefore, we have to drink enough water to stay hydrated. However, Water pollution is very serious now, especially in developing countries. Even the tap water contains many contaminants, such as chemicals, heavy metals, virus and bacteria, and other contaminants. If you continue to drink the contaminated water, it is harmful to our health. I don’t trust any forms of water from the public and I install a ro system to get filtered water to drink and cook.

  • It’s really unique way for water purification thanks for sharing it.

  • That filtration system is such a brilliant idea. Another is, I didn’t even know that citrus juice also a great water purification agent. Thanks for this info, John!

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