If you thumb through the manual that came with your Brita® filters, Brita® tells you that you should store your filters in a cool, dark place. But is this important? Do Brita filters have to be refrigerated, or can you leave them in a cupboard?
While Brita® filters do not have to be refrigerated, Brita® does recommend that any filter being actively used is kept in a cool, dark location. This prevents algae from growing on the filter and prevents microorganisms from running rampant in the water.
Let’s explain why this is the case. Hopefully, the following information will show you that while Brita® filters don’t have to be refrigerated, it is probably a good idea that they are.
The job of a Brita® filter is to remove contaminants from the water. They do a tremendous job at that. This is why you end up with great-tasting water. One of the contaminants removed is chlorine. While there isn’t a lot of chlorine in standard drinking water, it is there for a reason. It helps to disinfect it.
When chlorine is removed from the water, that water becomes a breeding ground for microorganisms. It isn’t so bad if you drink it quickly i.e., within a few hours of filtering, but the longer that water is left out of a cool, dry location, the quicker those microorganisms will reproduce.
It isn’t just the water you need to be concerned about either. Everything that the Brita® filters out is going to remain ‘stuck’ to the water filter. The water filter will become a breeding ground for algae. This is part of the reason why you need to replace your Brita filter every so often. If you don’t, that algae will slowly creep into the filtered water.
Storing the Brita filter in the fridge or a cool, dry location won’t prohibit the growth of microorganisms. However, it will slow it down drastically. This is why it is recommended that you store the Brita® filters in the fridge. It extends the lifespan of the filter, while also ensuring that the water remains drinkable.
Now, don’t get us wrong. The chances of unrefrigerated water making you sick is slim. You wouldn’t want to consume it if you have left a jug of filtered water out in the heat for a day or so, but unrefrigerated water consumed within a few hours won’t cause any problems.
Honestly, the main reason people refrigerate their Brita-filtered water is that chilly water just tastes better. Downing a glass of slightly warm water is nowhere near as pleasant as drinking one that is fresh from the fridge, particularly on a warm day.
For this reason, we do recommend that you refrigerate your Brita filters. You get something that tastes better and something that has a far lower chance of making you sick. Win-win, really.
What Happens If You Don’t Refrigerate Your Brita® filters?
If the Brita filter is dry (i.e., it has never come into contact with water), then absolutely nothing. Store that in a cool, dry location and use it before the stated expiry date. You’ll be fine.
As soon as they gets wet, you need to store in either a cool, dry location or, better yet, in the fridge.
You must remember that microorganisms thrive in warm, wet locations. Since the filter (and the water) is wet, that’s half the resources that the microorganisms need. Store in direct sunlight, and they’ll love it. Your health won’t, though.
We highly recommend that as soon as you pour yourself a jug of Brita-filtered water, put it in the fridge. If you must leave it on the countertop, don’t keep it out for more than an hour or two. Any longer than that, and the water won’t taste great. More than a day, and it may be worth throwing away the filter.
If you don’t have a fridge handy, then any cool, dark location will do e.g., in the pantry. It isn’t as good, but something is always better than nothing.
On our website, you will also find related articles that may be of interest to you like Do Suppositories Need To Be Refrigerated?, Do Blueberries Need To Be Refrigerated? and Do Boiled Potatoes Need To Be Refrigerated?
It is important that you store water filters that you are actively using in a cool, dry location. This can stop algae growth on the filter. It will also prevent microorganisms from thriving in the filtered water. If you leave filtered water in direct sunlight for more than an hour or two, throw it away. The same goes for used Brita filters.