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What Does it Mean to Backwash a Shower Filter? Is it Necessary?

Depending on the type of shower filter you own, you may be required to backwash it regularly. What does this mean, and is it necessary?

When you backwash a shower filter, you simply reverse the flow of water through the filter. This clears out any dirt or debris that has become trapped in the filter. This can also help improve the flow of water through the filter and the overall performance.

Most shower filters will need to be backwashed every month, but it is important to check your owner manual for recommended frequency.

Is Backwashing a Shower Filter Necessary?

clean water

It depends on a few factors, the most important being the quality of the water coming into your home.

Sediment Concentration

If you have hard water or there is a high concentration of sediment in your water, then it is more likely that your shower filter will need to be backwashed more frequently. Not doing so can result in a decrease in the performance of your shower filter, as well as a decrease in the flow of water.

May Extend Shower Filter Life

Backwashing may help extend your shower filter’s life by a few more months. Over the long term, this can save you money as you won’t have to replace your filter as often.

AquaBliss, for example, recommends changing their filter once every six to eight months. If you backwash it once a month, you may be able to stretch that out to eight or nine months.

Related: How Often Should You Be Replacing your Shower Filter?

Backwashing is Time Consuming

One of the downsides of backwashing a shower filter is the time it takes and the regularity of having to do it. If you have a busy lifestyle, spending 10 minutes every month backwashing your shower filter is the last thing you want to do.

Backwashing also requires you to take on and off your shower head. If you don’t do this, the sediment you are clearing out of the filter will just be trapped within the shower head. Additionally, the constant on/off of the shower head may lead to unsightly scratches, particularly if you have a chrome shower head.

How to Backwash a Shower Filter


If you’ve installed a shower filter, then backwashing will be a breeze. The process is very similar regardless of the brand or model of shower filter you own.

  1. Start by removing the shower head.
  2. Unscrew the shower filter housing.
  3. Flip the shower filter cartridge.
  4. Run water through the shower filter for a minute or two.
  5. Screw the shower filter housing back on.
  6. Reattach the shower head.

If you want a video demonstration, here’s a helpful one from AquaBliss:

Alternatives to Backwashing

person thinking

Understandably, backwashing a shower filter can be a hassle for some people. If you don’t want to deal with it, you may want to consider an alternative.

Simply Don’t Backwash

You are not required to backwash your shower filter; if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Just understand that it may lead to a decrease in performance as well as the flow of water. Additionally, your shower filter will likely need to be replaced more frequently.

Go With a Different Shower Filter Design

Vitamin C shower filters are a great way to neutralize chlorine without backwashing. These types of filters use Vitamin C to filter out chlorine from your water through a chemical reaction that renders the chlorine harmless.

The main downside of Vitamin C filters is that they need to be replaced more frequently and don’t remove other impurities, such as heavy metals.

Use a Whole House Water Filtration System

A whole house water filtration system will provide filtered water to your entire home, including your shower. This means that you won’t need a shower filter which will save you money and hassle in the long run.

Additionally, a whole house water filtration system provides many other benefits, such as filtered drinking water and protection for your appliances.


Backwashing is essential if you want to maintain optimal performance. However, it can be time-consuming and may not be feasible for everyone. Luckily, there are alternatives such as whole house water filtration systems and Vitamin C shower filters.

Please contact us if you have any questions or want to share your experiences. We’d love to hear from you!

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Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a renowned author and expert in the field of shower filters, with an extensive background in plumbing. With over 20 years of experience, Mark has dedicated his career to helping people improve their water quality and overall well-being by providing reliable and efficient shower filtration solutions.

Before embarking on his writing journey, Mark honed his skills as a certified plumber, working on numerous residential and commercial projects. His vast knowledge and experience in plumbing have given him a deep understanding of water filtration systems, making him a highly sought-after authority in the industry.

Mark's passion for water quality and filtration led him to pursue a successful writing career, focusing on shower filters. In his work, he shares valuable insights on the latest technology, installation techniques, and maintenance tips, empowering homeowners, contractors, and fellow industry professionals seeking advice on shower filtration systems.