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How To Use Water Purification Tablets?

Water Purification Tablets

While enjoying your trip outdoors you can stumble across many water sources which may look clean but aren’t. Consuming those water without purifying them can cause great damage to your health. Thus you always need some kind of water treatment that will purify your water on the move. In this case, purification tablets are exactly what you need.

For many campers or backpackers boiling water in the wild may not always be convenient since you need other appliances to do so. With purification tablets, you don’t need any other pieces of equipment and they can easily fit into your survival kit.

How Do Water Purification Tablets Work?

Purification tablets generally contain chlorine, iodine, or chlorine dioxide. These three compounds are effective against many bacteria and viruses that are found in the water. After tossing the tablets into the water, it generates a chemical solution that makes it harder for the bacteria and protozoa to survive. These chemical substances kill the bacteria and make your water potable.

How Effective Are Water Purification Tablets?

Viruses like Giardia and Cryptosporidium are the most common pathogens found in outdoor water, and they are also the most deadly. Are the purifier tablets effective enough to kill these microorganisms? Well, the effectiveness of purification tablets depends on quite a few factors.

  • You need to make sure the amount of tablets you are using is sufficient enough for your water. The proportion of your water and chemical has to be right if you want your tablets to work.
  • How much time you’re giving the tablets to purify the water is another vital factor. These purification tablets take time to dissolve and produce a chemical solution in the water that kills the microorganism. Purification tablets are not fast like filters, it will take time.
  • Your purification tablets should consist of the right chemical in the right amount. Chlorine, Iodine, or chlorine dioxide are the most common and effective chemicals that are used in tablets.
  • The active components in purification tablets differ in terms of which bacteria they can and cannot remove. Check the production details carefully before buying it. Even though purification tablets are safe you should buy your tablets from a reliable company.

These tablets can reduce the effect of waterborne bacteria to a safer level or in some cases eliminate them completely. Although purification tablets can destroy germs and viruses, they cannot filter dirt. Your water will be safe to drink but it will still be dirty.

Are Water Purifying Chemicals Safe?

Before you use any of these purification tablets in your water make sure you are not allergic to any of these chemicals. Now, let’s get familiar with some of the chemicals that are mostly used in these tablets.


Iodine purification tablets have a high success rate for eliminating viruses and bacteria, however, if you are allergic to iodine or have a thyroid condition it’s best not to use iodine as purification tablets. Women who are pregnant are also recommended to avoid these tablets.


Chlorine is a common water disinfectant, and tap water that is considered safe to drink has been treated with chlorine. But it’s still chemical and long-term exposure to this can be harmful to your health. Always check out the manufacturer’s instructions before using this.

Chlorine Dioxide

Chlorine dioxide is considered to be a refined version of chlorine. Compared to chlorine and iodine, chlorine dioxide provides better protection against both Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It’s also suitable to disinfect a higher volume of water. Though these tablets may not work at all if your water contains chemical waste.

Purification Steps

Now that you are all caught up with what purification tablets are and how these work, let’s see the process of using this.

  1. Suppose you got yourself a liter of water from the stream or lake, the water might be looking clean but you need to disinfect it. Now take out two of your purification tablets and toss them in the water. Two tablets per liter of water are sufficient. You can watch the tablets disappearing into the water as you wait for a while.
  1. While the tablets are dissolving you need to shake the container or bottle. Make sure the chemical substances are mixing with your water nicely. It will take some time for the tablets to break down completely.
  1. Even after giving your bottle or container a good shake, you need to wait at least half n hour before drinking it. After your tablets have broken down, it will take some time for all of the viruses, bacteria, and protozoa to be destroyed. The pollutants may still be alive if you drink water right away. You can also check the instruction that comes with the product, they usually state how long you should wait before drinking it. Also, you can strain the water with a fine cloth or filter if any sediments or debris are remaining in it.

Purification tablets are essentially chemicals, thus the taste of the water may be unpleasant. While using chlorine tablets, simply leave the bottle open to let the chlorine component evaporate. And for iodine, you can carry some neutralizer or flavoring to get rid of the unpleasant taste.

Advantages Of Purification Tablet

There are several ways to purify water but purification tablets are still very popular among them. The most significant advantages of purification tablets are their portability and the fact that they do not require any additional equipment, electricity, or fire. Water purification pills keep the water clean for a long time and prevent dangerous bacteria from growing in it. Hence, these are the reasons why purification tablets are preferable to most outdoor enthusiasts.


To conclude, purification tablets are very convenient and effective compared to boiling or carrying water. This is extremely lightweight and affordable which makes it a great choice, especially for campers or hikers. Despite the fact that a purification tablet is a great way to treat contaminated water, it won’t work if you don’t use them correctly.

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