content is free. We earn a commission at no extra cost when you purchase through referral links on our site.
Learn more

How To Clean Reverse Osmosis Tank? | DIY Tools List 2022

how to clean reverse osmosis water tank


Reverse osmosis tanks are a crucial part of reverse osmosis systems. They act as a storage tank for the water purified by reverse osmosis membranes. The reverse osmosis filtration process is an unhurried but efficient one. Reverse osmosis removes dissolved solids, which include sodium, harmful contaminants, foul odor, and bad taste. The added benefit of reverse osmosis systems is that it is environmentally friendlier, easier to clean, and simpler to maintain than bottled water. Besides acting as a storage tank, reverse osmosis tanks play a fundamental role in preserving water pressure throughout the reverse osmosis systems.

So, to obtain clean and fresh reverse osmosis drinking water, it is of foremost priority to keep the tank sanitized and pristine. This article is an objective and efficient guide for:

  • the best way how to clean a Reverse Osmosis tank
  • the tools required for cleaning the RO tank

Why Should We Clean Reverse Osmosis Water Tank?

Before jumping on to the lead question of how to clean reverse osmosis tanks, it is important to know why we should clean the RO tank. For reverse osmosis drinking water to be crisp, the reverse osmosis systems need to be working proficiently. Reverse osmosis filtration removes sediments, dissolved solids, harmful pathogens, and much more through the help of reverse osmosis membranes and reverse osmosis tanks. Sustenance of the optimal performance of the reverse osmosis systems, it is critical to clean Reverse Osmosis tanks. Sanitizing RO tanks prevents:

  • the buildup of bacteria in a closed reverse osmosis tank
  • the transfer of sediments into the clean drinking water
  • the foul smell in the water
  • the bad taste of water due to the accumulation of pathogens

How to Sanitize & Clean Reverse Osmosis System Tank?

When it comes to disinfecting and cleaning reverse osmosis tanks, you have an either-or choice between sanitizing the entire reverse osmosis filtration systems or only cleaning the reverse osmosis tanks. If you choose to sterilize the whole reverse osmosis water system, you do not need to clean the tank as you would have:

  • Already scrubbed the reverse osmosis membranes,
  • Changed the pre and post-filters and,
  • Flushed the entire system.

But suppose you still notice a strange taste in your reverse osmosis water drinking. In that case, you can then sanitize RO tanks by:

  • depressurizing the reverse osmosis water system,
  • draining the water and,
  • utilizing either hydrogen peroxide or chlorine as a sterilization agent.

Benefits Of Cleaning Reverse Osmosis Water Tank

What else motivation do you want to sanitize RO tanks than having access to pure and untainted water? But if you still need convincing to give your reverse osmosis water system a refresh, then these are some of the benefits of having a disinfectant RO tank:

  • The first and foremost benefit of cleaning your reverse osmosis systems is that it eliminates biofilms and contaminants, such as organic materials from the RO tank and membranes.
  • Since reverse osmosis removes foul odor and taste, sanitization is detrimental to excellent performance.
  • Lastly, sanitization is important for the prevention of harmful pathogens entering the reverse osmosis drinking water.

What Will Happen If You Do Not Clean Your RO Water Tank?

If you lack the energy and skills to clean your RO water tank, it is best to invest in tankless reverse osmosis systems: they are pricey but require almost no maintenance. But if you are not in the mood to spend a lot of money on tankless reverse osmosis systems, then you should cleanse your RO water tank once a year or so. If you don’t clean your RO water tank, there is a high possibility of:

  1. a bacterial buildup in your tank 
  2. strange taste in your reverse osmosis drinking water
  3. a low flow rate of water.

To avoid the above-listed issues, make sure you sanitize your RO water tank once in a while.

Tools Required To Clean Reverse Osmosis Tank

If you still haven’t decided to put money for the installation of tankless reverse osmosis systems, then these are the tools you will require to clean reverse osmosis water tank:

  • Funnel to pour in disinfectant
  • Wrench to screw and unscrew nuts on the waterline
  • Bottlebrush to refresh the inside of the tank.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide or Chlorine to use as a cleaning solution
  • Sponge to scrub the outside of the tank.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Reverse Osmosis System Tank

When purchasing reverse osmosis systems, a guide on cleaning reverse osmosis membranes and tank comes attached. If not, then the following steps will lead you through the process:

Disconnect the Reverse Osmosis tank

The foremost step before starting the process of cleaning is to disconnect the reverse osmosis tank. Now, you can halt the water supply to the tank by turning off the valve beneath your kitchen sink. This process does not require any tools. 

You can restrict the incoming water line to the tank by slackening the nuts on the valve. You can use a wrench for this. Now, you have detached the water tank successfully, which means you can disinfect the tanks quickly.

Cleaning the reverse osmosis tank

To clean the interior of the tank, you need a reverse osmosis cleaning solution or a non-toxic cleaner such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine. Use a funnel to stream down the cleaning solution into the tank and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. While the cleaning solution sits in the tank, you can cleanse the tank’s exterior using a sponge and some soap. 

After a couple of hours, use a bottle brush to clean the interior of the tank thoroughly to eliminate any buildup in the tank.

Reconnect the RO tank.

After scrubbing the tank, you need to reconnect the RO tank to flush out the bleach and check for leaks. 

Reattach the tank to the water line and use a wrench to tighten the screws. Flush water through the tank to make sure no traces of cleaning solution are left inside. 

HOW to CLEAN RO System


Sometimes, investing in Reverse Osmosis systems seems like a huge commitment. Maintenance, cleaning, and filter change can make it all sound too much. But once you get the hang of the system, you would consider it your best investment. Of course, there can be better upgrades, such as tankless reverse osmosis systems, but it is always good to start small. With routine maintenance, RO systems can go a long way, and tank cleaning is one of the regular chores to help long-term sustenance.


When to clean the reverse osmosis tank?

Your best bet to clean a reverse osmosis tank is when your reverse osmosis water tastes strange or foul. Besides, you can sanitize your tank once a year when replacing pre- and post-filters.

Are water RO tanks better than tankless RO systems?

There is no correct answer to this comparison, as each RO system has its advantages and disadvantages. Tankless reverse osmosis systems are concise and smaller in size, which gives them the edge to occupy less space under the sink. With this, you can have crisp and fresh water to your avail anytime you want, whereas, in the typical reverse osmosis systems, you have to wait for the tank to fill to get access to fresh water. Other than this, tankless reverse osmosis systems cannot store water for later use, which can be a problem if the water supply is turned off temporarily. Lastly, RO tanks are less expensive than tankless RO systems, but RO tanks can cause secondary pollution.

When does my reverse osmosis filter system need cleaning?

For the best performance of your reverse osmosis systems, you should ideally clean your RO systems once a year. You can sanitize the system when changing your RO membranes and filters.

Which cleaners are used to sanitize my reverse osmosis system?

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to cleaning solutions and disinfectants. Regardless, the best ones to use here are unscented household bleaches, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, or a mild, non-toxic disinfectant. 

Do bacteria grow in a reverse osmosis water tank?

In a sealed water tank, bacteria can grow if reverse osmosis removes containments, and some of it passes through the reverse osmosis membrane into the tank.

Scroll to Top