When intending to purify soapy water on your own, the overall process of purification is no different from purifying other used water in the home. The process also entails filtering and clearing the water before purifying it. Take note that with homemade water purification, it merely refers to making the water cleaner than ultimately getting the water back in its purest form.
Steps in Purifying Soapy Water in the Home:
Clean and disinfect the container where you want to place the water. For any regular container, you may simply use dish soap and water for cleaning, then rinse thoroughly. Submerge the container in a solution with 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to every quart of water. The container must entirely get in contact with the solution for at least 15 seconds, then rinse with a weaker mixture of bleach and water (with about a quarter or half a teaspoon of bleach in every quart of water).
Make a homemade filter out of a clean cloth like a handkerchief or silk and a water or soda bottle with the bottom cut off. Roll the cloth around the original opening of the bottle and secure it tightly to prevent it from getting out of the bottle with the force and weight of the filtered water. Ideally, stuff down the cloth up to the neck of the bottle. You may also come up with more than one layer of filtering cloth for improved filtering; however, this may considerably slow down the filtering process. The cut bottom part of the bottle serves as a funnel where you will put the soapy water for filtering.
Let your soapy water run through the homemade filter, then to your clean and disinfected container. Allow the water to settle for at least 30 minutes. The filtering and settling process is a good way to get rid of the cloudy content of the water. The amount of soapy water you want to filter is directly proportional to the time needed to finish the filtering process.
Purify the water using any of your preferred methods including boiling, disinfecting, using commercial tablets, and other chemicals or even sterilizing water from sunlight. You may also want to combine various methods together to improve the purification process.
For solar water disinfection, expose the water in an appropriate container to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. When putting purifying chemicals like chlorine, granular calcium hypochlorite, potassium permanganate, or iodine tablets, check the label and carefully follow the mixture required for the amount of water intended for purification. After carefully following the more specific instructions in the chemicals used, you may have to repeat the process if the water is still cloudy, murky, or colored. If using chlorine and the water doesn’t have a slight chlorine odor after leaving the water covered for about 30 minutes, you may double the amount of chlorine used in the mixture, then let the water sit for another 15 minutes.
You may help speed up the clearing of water during the filtration process by adding a small dose of alum (aluminum sulfate) as this causes impurities to coagulate. This, in turn, helps isolate the particulates from the water being filtered.
For storing your purified soapy water, never choose a container that formerly had milk or fruit juice in it because milk protein and fruit sugars generally remain in the container and fuel bacterial growth when water is stored in it. You may use plastic soda bottles for such use.
Take note that homemade processes meant for purifying soapy water are primarily designed to improve the water’s quality from biological threats, but they are limited compared to what professional water purification processes offer.
Be careful when using chemicals during the purification process as popular ones used for purifying water like chlorine and iodine can be toxic, especially with high doses. Such water is also not advisable for drinking.
“How To Purify Water,” How to Do Things.
“Water Conservation in the Home,” The Global Development Research Center.
“How to Purify Water,” WikiHow.
“You Can Purify Water and Clean Water Like the Pros,” How to Purify Water.
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