Do Refrigerator Water Filters Remove Fluoride? Learn Here!

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Using water filters is the best way to remove fluoride from water.

But not every filter on the market will do the job. Does this also apply to refrigerator water filters?

In this article, we will discuss if refrigerator water filters remove fluoride or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Refrigerator water filters do not remove fluoride, unless you specifically hook up a fluoride filter to your fridge externally.
  • Refrigerator water filters do not remove fluoride because they use the “wrong” type of filter media. Only activated alumina and bone char are filter materials effective against fluoride.

Do Refrigerator Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

Only a small set of filter types can successfully remove fluoride from water. Unless you’re using a filter based on activated alumina or bone char, you likely don’t have one that can deal with fluoride.

This includes pretty much all refrigerator water filters on the current market. To our knowledge, there are no models available that provide specific filtration for fluoride. The only exception are filters that you can connect to your refrigerator as an additional filtration step (inline filters).

But if you’re looking for an integrated solution built directly into the refrigerator itself, you are out of luck. You’re going to have to invest in an alternative…

refrigerator water filter installation

So, What Does Remove Fluoride from Tap Water?

Several types of water filters can remove fluoride. You should focus your search on filters that utilize activated alumina and/or bone char filtration. You could also use 2 basic water purification methods:

Reverse Osmosis Water Purification

Reverse osmosis purification relies on a semipermeable membrane through which water is forced with relatively high pressure. The membrane allows almost nothing except water molecules to pass through, pushing back on everything else.

This includes fluoride. However, this method of purification is not perfect – it can “only” remove around 90% of fluoride present in your water supply. This is still much better than nothing though, so if you don’t want to invest in a more advanced filter that targets fluoride, it’s an option worth considering.

Water Distillation

Distillation is one of the most basic methods for purifying water, but it’s highly effective. It works by boiling water until it reaches the point of evaporation, after which steam is condensed back into water in a separate container. Everything else gets left behind.

Distillation is the most effective approach to removing fluoride from water, eliminating it completely. However, it has a major downside: It’s not a method suitable for large volumes of water or continuous purification. If you only need to purify small batches one at a time, it can work great.

Activated Alumina + Bone Char Filter Media

Activated alumina filtration works well for reducing fluoride content in water, but it has an important prerequisite: Your water’s pH level must be around 5-6, otherwise the effectiveness of this filtration method is severely reduced.

Bone char filtration is another good method. Keep in mind that this is not the same as activated carbon. Many people confuse the two, especially due to the popularity of activated carbon filters on the market.

What Does a Fridge Water Filter Remove?

Even though refrigerator water filters don’t remove fluoride, they can still deal with various other contaminants with a high level of effectiveness. These include:

  • Chlorine
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Organic compounds
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Microplastics
  • Medicine residue

Note that this list varies from one model to another. It’s important to verify what contaminants are specifically removed by each refrigerator with a built-in filter if you’re concerned about treating your water for certain contaminants.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally. One of its main health effects is that it prevents tooth decay, which has made it a popular additive to municipal water supplies around the world.

However, long-term research into the effects of water fluoridation has so far been somewhat inconclusive. While the rate of tooth decay has gone down in areas where fluoride is added to water, the same is valid for other places as well.

The Pros and Cons of Tap Water Fluoridation


  • Helps reduce the prevalence of tooth decay
  • Easy way to get fluoride into your daily diet without going out of your way


  • Difficult to control how much fluoride you’re taking in, especially if you already get it from other sources
  • It’s difficult to opt out from

Kitchen Faucet

How Does Too Much Fluoride in Water Affect Your Health?

Excess consumption of fluoride has been associated with a number of health conditions. Most of these are being actively studied and we see new relevant data on a regular basis. In general, the effects of heavy fluoride intake should not be underestimated, especially in young children.


Fluorosis can refer to two separate conditions – dental and skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is less harmful, resulting “only” in discoloration of the teeth. In more extreme cases, teeth might change their shape as well.

Skeletal fluorosis is more serious, causing pain and stiffness in bones and joints. The condition can have life-altering implications, especially in people already suffering from other issues with their motor system.


Consuming too much fluoride can negatively affect the function of the thyroid, shifting the hormonal balance of your body. This can lead to a number of effects on your health, including fatigue, hair loss, and various digestive issues.

Cognitive Development

Fluoride has also been shown to lead to cognitive changes in younger children. Excessive consumption has been linked to several related conditions, including ADHD and reduced IQ. These effects seem to diminish after a certain age, but this makes it important to carefully control the fluoride intake of any young children you have in your family.

How Can You Lower Your Overall Fluoride Exposure at Home?

Other than filtering your water, there are several things you can do to lower your exposure to fluoride.

  1. The main one is reducing the amount of processed food you eat. Many processed foods on the market have an increased level of fluoride, especially cereals and fish.
  2. Check your medicine cabinet as well. Your toothpaste is the most obvious offender in this category. If possible, switch to a variant that doesn’t contain fluoride. Check any medications that you’re taking on a regular basis too. It’s possible that some of them contain fluoride. While you’re not guaranteed to find alternatives that don’t include it, it’s still worth checking with your doctor.
  3. Many teas tend to be very high in fluoride as well, due to the way tea plants interact with the soil and absorb fluoride from it. If you are a heavy tea drinker, you might want to reduce your intake, or switch to brands grown in countries with lower levels of fluoride in the soil.
  4. Lastly, if you regularly drink bottled water in addition to tap water, verify that the water you’re buying doesn’t have any added fluoride. This is more common than you might assume, especially with certain brands of mineral water.

If you have any thoughts about the question, does a refrigerator water filter remove fluoride, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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