DIY Water Purification Straw





Introduction: DIY Water Purification Straw

Situation: you are driving your car in the middle of nowhere and you go off the road and flip your car into the ditch with only a few things. You get a fire started as you sit by your mangled vehicle you realize that it till be a while before some one will find you, so you decide to assess the situation. You have your shelter and your fire, you need to get water and food so you rummage through your car to try and find something, but all you could find was a straw, some cotton, and a coffee filter what do you do?

Answer: simple you build a water purification straw 

I know what your thinking "how", well in this instructable I am going to explain how using common everyday items that you can find around your house. This indestructible will be divided into two parts, the first part will be explaining how to build it and the second part will explain how to use it safely. These can be made any size to fit in any survival kit, and can be made any where using natural materials that you can find if you are lost.

Why do you need to use one: in all water sources there are micro organisms that can make you really sick along with many other contaminants, such as feces, chemical run off, dead and decaying animals, and other hazardous materials. 

How does it work: on the two ends of the straw there are filters to filter out any sediment that would normally be in the water. Then the inside of the tube contains charcoal (activated carbon) which kills all the micro organisms that you can't see in the water. On the other end of the straw the other filter prevents the carbon from escaping into your mouth as you drink.

Step 1:

Here's what you will need:
  • A straw
  • A pipe cleaner 
  • Scotch tape
  • Activated carbon(the black stuff on burnt logs or sticks)
  • A coffee filter
  • Scissors

Step 2:

Cut your straw to size.

Step 3:

Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to be the same size as the straw.

Step 4:

Drop your pipe cleaner into the bag of activated carbon. Completely cover the pipe cleaner.

Step 5:

Slid the pipe cleaner into the straw.

Step 6:

Cut two circles from the coffee filter.

Step 7:

Tape the circles you just cut out to the ends of the straw.

Step 8:

Once you do that your done and it is time to use. Take one end and put it in your mouth and take the other end in the water, next take a mouthful and spit it out do this three times, this will remove any bad taste or color that might come from the carbon.

How does it work: The carbon kills all the bacteria in the water and the filter keeps the dirt and sediment out.

If you made this yourself then I want to see it, leave a photo in the comments below. For all my followers I say thank you for the support. Don't forget to vote for me in the in the outdoor survival contest, thank you.



  • First Time Author Contest 2018

    First Time Author Contest 2018
  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
  • Paper Contest 2018

    Paper Contest 2018

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.



do you need to use activated carbon?


this is cool and I will try it.

I made the straw and it works really well. I would do it again if I had a chance to do it again.

You honestly don't know what you are talking about. Charcoal filtration is a very wide known fact, and if you take a moment to just Google it you would see that.

can powdered activated carbon be used in the straw? please reply it's important!!

Or use it how its described

You could just pack some iodine, use two drops for a gallon of water, wait thirty minutes, and you got yourself some drinkable water.

I thought iodine didn't kill cryptosporidium? I read somewhere that it barely kills giardia. Just looking for clarity :)

Why did you mention cotton in the scenario? It is not used in the tutorial.

You can use cotton to make one, I just choose to use a pipe cleaner.

That's why you make something like this ahead of time and keep one in the glove box and in the bug out bag. It's called being PREPARED. Not " Oh crap, i'm in an emergency....what do I do now?" You won't last a day. You prep enough to sustain you until you find resources.