How To Purify Water

1. Clean the containers in which you're going to hold or store the water. Use dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. After washing the containers, submerge them in a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to every quart (or liter) of water (making sure the entire surface of the bottle comes in contact with the solution for a minimum of 15 seconds), then rinse thoroughly with a weaker mixture of bleach and water

2. Filter water through a clean cloth. Then allow it to settle for at least 30 minutes and pour off the clear water for purifying. This process of filtering and settling is especially important if you're going to be using chemical purification because disinfectants are less effective in cloudy, murky, or colored water.

3. Speed up the clearing of water. One way to do this is to add a little aluminum sulfate. This causes impurities to coagulate, which are removed as the particulate settles to the bottom of the container.

4. Purify the water using any of the following methods. If you can, combine boiling with a chemical disinfection method; the boiling is more thorough, but the chemical method will continue to keep the water safe when it's stored.[3] Select a method:

5. Be careful with the cap or lid of the container. If you're chemically disinfecting water in a canteen or other portable container with a screw-on cap, wait about five minutes after adding the purifying chemical(s), then partially unscrew the cap and shake the container so that some of the water sloshes on the inside of the cap and the threads of the container, then re-tighten the cap and let it sit for the remainder of the time specified above or in the instructions. Otherwise, there may still be contaminated water in the cap, on the outside of the container's neck, or on the threads.

6. Improve the flavor of purified water, if needed. Boiled water can taste "flat", and disinfected water can have a strong chlorine taste. Aerate it by pouring it from one clean container to another several times. Alternatively, add a pinch of salt to each quart or liter of water.[2] If the flavor is still unpleasant, use a powdered drink mix, if available.

7. Take care when consuming. Once the water in a container has been purified, open and close the container carefully. Don't touch the inside or the rim with your fingers, or else the water could become contaminated.

8. Finished.