Those who know the facts do not doubt that chlorine has played a key role as a water disinfectant for more than the last 100 years. However, questions and concerns regarding the consequences of long-term exposure to chlorine and its byproducts have been raised – and rightly so!
That’s why many households are now looking for ways to remove the chemical from their tap water.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy, especially with the help of a filter system. Are you hooked? Great, because you are about to learn everything you need to know about how to remove chlorine from water…
On This Page You Will…
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Chlorine Reduction||Type|
Our #1: The Home Master TMAFC-ERP
|$$$||98.0%||Reverse Osmosis Under Sink|
Chlorine Whole House Water Filter for City Water: iSpring WGB32B
|$$$||95-98%||Whole House Filter|
Clearly Filtered Filter Pitcher
Megahome MH943SBS Distiller
Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Filter
Filtration is the most straightforward approach to water dechlorination.
First, choose between point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) treatment:
When you consider that a large portion of our daily exposure to chlorine and its disinfection byproducts does not come from the water we drink, but from what our skin absorbs and our lungs inhale while showering, going the point-of-entry route makes a lot of sense.
Alternatively, you could combine a point-of-use system for the water that you use for drinking and cooking with a shower filter.
Second, no matter what type of filter you choose, what’s important is that it utilizes at least 1 activated carbon block or granular activated carbon (GAC) filter stage (catalytic carbon works, too).
Carbon as a filter medium adsorbs up to 99.9% of free chlorine and many other natural and synthetic contaminants from water and traps them in the tiny pores on its surface – without the use of chemicals.
Thereby, chlorine removal is a function of contact time with the filter medium. In other words: When it comes to charcoal filters, appropriate sizing is important. The more water that needs to be processed within a given period of time, the larger a filter has to be.
And remember that, as with most other types of filters, carbon cartridges require replacement about every 6 months or so. This maintains removal capabilities and avoids bacterial infestation.
On a side note, a viable but less common alternative to carbon filtration is UV light treatment. Broad-spectrum ultraviolet systems reduce chlorine and chloramines into easily removed byproducts.
How? Wavelengths between 180 nm and 400 nm trigger a photochemical reaction that dissociates free chlorine forming chloride ions/hydrochloric acid.
Simply put, distillation provides water of the highest purity. Chlorine stands no chance of surviving the purification, provided that there is a way for the gas to escape.
Can you boil chlorine out of water? Absolutely you can, although using the term boiling might be misleading. It’s enough to heat up the water, no need to actually boil it.
How long does it take for the chlorine to dissipate? Simply heat for 10 to 20 minutes and voila, all chlorine will be gone. (The exact time that is required could be much lower depending on the amount of water and chlorine concentrations.)
Obviously, this method is much faster than waiting for “natural evaporation” (see question below). The biggest drawback is that quite a lot of energy is required. In addition, it’s harder to get rid of chloramines.
FYI: A growing number of public water utilities are switching from chlorine to chloramine for disinfection. The reason behind the change is that the latter is more stable. The bad news is that more stable also means that chloramine does not gas off as easily. If your utility has switched to water chloramination, too, you should check out our chloramine removal guide.
Yes, chlorine as a gas at room temperature is a volatile solute that evaporates from water over time, escaping into the surrounding air.
How long does water need to sit to dechlorinate?
This depends on water temperature and surface area, air temperature, and the level of dissolved chlorine. For example: If you put a large but very flat bowl of chlorinated tap water out in the sun, the dechlorination process, also referred to as “aging“, will be much faster than if you’d put a glass of the same amount of tap water in your refrigerator.
By the way, apart from UV light, aeration and circulation can speed up the process.
Generally speaking, you should let the water sit for about 24 hours, although chlorine taste and odor might have vanished after a couple of minutes. For more control over the process use chlorine test strips to determine how much of the disinfectant is left.
The main benefit of this methods is that it’s free. Drawbacks are that evaporation takes a long time, it’s way less effective with chloramines and your water can get contaminated with other impurities.
Pro tip: By leaving the water outdoors you can make sure that no chlorine gas floats around your house.
Your last option is to use a dechlorination agent, short dechlorinator, a.k.a. chlorine neutralizer or chlorine remover.
There are different chemicals available including potassium metabisulfite, sodium thiosulfate, sodium sulfite and vitamin C.
Pros of using a dechlorinator are that they work relatively fast. Required contact time: A mere seconds up to 5 minutes. Also, some remove both chlorine and chloramine. The downside is that your water might not be suited for drinking and cooking afterwards.
Does reverse osmosis remove chlorine? You bet! However, chlorine causes damage to the RO membrane. Luckily, every single RO unit that we reviewed applies at least 2 carbon pre-filter stages to eliminate most of the chlorine before it gets the chance to even touch the membrane.
The advantages and drawbacks of using a reverse osmosis system are:
These are 3 of our most favorite RO systems with their tested and certified chlorine reduction rates:
The reason why the Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact is our number 1 is because it’s the only system made in the USA and backed by a 5-year limited warranty that we know of.
What’s more, Amazon customer feedback is outstanding. This is probably mainly due to the sophisticated filtration process that gets rid of anything undesirable.
Also, the built-in permeate pump enhances water efficiency, purity and flow rate while reducing wastewater production to a minimum keeping your water bill low. Another feature is the remineralization stage for healthier and better tasting water.
The only real drawback: The Home Master costs considerably more than its 2 competitors.
Speaking of which, the iSpring RCC7 is highly affordable, even cheaper to maintain and is certified by the WQA to remove 95% of free chlorine. On top of that you get a leak detector plus a 1-year money-back guarantee for ease of mind.
The Brondell H2O+ Circle comes in a single box with a sleek design – it’ll help to keep the space under your kitchen sink nice and tidy. Filtration performance is solid. Wastewater production is reduced which is going to save you money in the long run. Thanks to the fast tank filling speed you won’t have to wait for long to get freshly purified water. Average annual filter replacement costs are a bit high though.
As the name suggests, with whole house water filters chlorine removal begins right where the water enters your home and before it gets distributed to the various outlets and appliances.
Our favorite model: The iSpring WGB32B – reduces 95 to 98 percent chlorine!
The whole house filter system is one of the most popular on the market and best suited for city supplies. It provides great tasting water and flow is sufficient even for larger homes.
Furthermore, replacement filters are affordable and you can buy in bulk for an extra discount.
Yes, they do. The Brita Longlast for filter pitchers reduces 97.4% of chlorine according to independent lab reports. What’s more, we know that the Brita Standard (also for filter pitchers) reduces chlorine, too – we just don’t know to what extent. Brita’s On Tap faucet mounted water filter removes 97.5%.
Comparing all three, the Brita Standard is the least effective and lasts for a mere 40 gallons. Brita Longlast and Brita On Tap are similar in terms of contaminant reduction rates and filtration capacity. One Longlast cartridge can treat up to 120 gallons of water. On Tap replacement elements are good for 100 gallons.
As far as ZeroWater is concerned, the filter pitcher reduces 97.4% of chlorine, according to a test conducted by NSF International. It’s also known for removing more than 99% of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). However, the handling is rather difficult. And it’s one of the slowest pitchers you can buy with a low filtration capacity so that replacement costs will add up quickly.
Now, a filter pitcher is easy to use and clean, portable, relatively inexpensive and doesn’t require installation. Drawbacks are that it needs regular refilling, the filtration is slow, not a whole lot of contaminants can be removed and the filters are prone to clogging.
That being said, there are alternatives to Brita, PUR and ZeroWater.
Our first choice for chlorine removal is the Clearly Filtered which eliminates 99.9% of chlorine + chloramine in addition to more than 200 different tap water pollutants – all according to NSF Standards 42, 53, 244, 401 & 473.
Filters are made in the USA and last for 100 gallons (2-6 months). Above that, you get a lifetime warranty on the pitcher itself.
Like we said, distillation provides almost pure H2O which is why about 15% of U.S. bottlers rely on it. The major disadvantage is that the boiling is energy-intensive.
The one purifier that we like to recommend is the Megahome MH943SBS that can process a full gallon of distilled water every 5½ hours, so about 2 to 3 gallons a day.
It’s a top seller on Amazon with the inside made of stainless steel and a glass collector so the water cannot possibly touch any plastic parts and get contaminated. An activated charcoal filter traps volatile substances.
Also, the Megahome is backed by excellent customer feedback and usually comes with free shipping!
Countertop water filters combine ease of use with decent filtration performance.
Our proposed countertop filter for chlorine removal: The New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Plus for 98.8% average aesthetic chlorine reduction.
Similar to countertop filters, faucet mounted units are affordable and provide a simple solution for better tasting and somewhat cleaner drinking water free from odors.
Our favorite faucet filter: The Culligan FM-25 – certified to remove 97.4% chlorine on average!
Adapters for almost all standard faucets are included in the package (verify thread size with faucet manufacturer to ensure compatibility).
A simple diverter tab allows you to quickly switch between filtered and unfiltered water which will greatly extend filter lifetime. Capacity: 200 gallons.
As long as you are not using a whole house filtration system you will be exposed to chlorine and other chemicals and contaminants each time you take a shower. Thus, installing a shower filter in your home is a smart idea.
Models you should look into are the Sonaki which relies on vitamin C and claims to neutralize 99.9% of all chlorine/chloramine. The second is the Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe, certified against NSF Standard 177 for chlorine reduction (>87% after 10,000 gallons).
Both have their ups and downs, but they are the best we could find on the market for dechlorination.
More on Chlorine Filtration
Indeed! Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, can neutralize both chlorine and chloramine in tap water. It comes in form of powder or dechlorination tablets and can be used to treat large volumes.
Compared to other chlorine neutralizers, the benefits of using vitamin C are that it’s an environmentally safe method and that it can be obtained for little money from many different places such as your local pet store.
How much vitamin C is needed?
Although this depends on individual chlorine concentrations you want to add about 1 teaspoon per gallon.
Unfortunately, conventional water softeners do not remove chlorine, chloramines or any other disinfectants or their byproducts. To be more precise, a softener does not remove anything from water except calcium, magnesium and other ions like iron.
The exception are systems that have granular activated carbon added to their resin bed. The carbon will remove chlorine for some time. However, after just a few years the filter media will be saturated and loose its removal capabilities.
This can be a huge problem if the softening resin is good for another 5 to 10 years. In this case you will have to replace both which is not only costly but a real waste.
Looks like we’ve already answered this question (yes, they do). Of course, there are different types of filter systems that utilize carbon media.
Like all other water filters that rely on carbon media most refrigerator water filters do remove chlorine.
Boiling (heating), aging and aeration are the go-to methods. You can learn more about them above.
If you have any questions or thoughts about how to remove chlorine from water please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!