Learn How to Remove Fluoride from Shower Water

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Removing fluoride from water, especially fast-flowing shower water, can be tricky.

Not many water filtration technologies can pull it off. However, it’s not entirely impossible.

If you’re interested in finding out about these methods, stick around.

This article discusses how to remove fluoride from shower water in detail.

Key Takeaways

  • There is only one shower filter NSF-tested to remove fluoride from water: The Propur ProMax. Its fluoride reduction rate is 48.2%.
  • Ideally, you use a whole house water filter to remove fluoride from your entire water supply, including the water you use for showering.
  • Filtration methods that can be used are reverse osmosis, bone char filtration, and activated alumina filtration.
  • One example for a whole house fluoride water filter is the Crystal Quest (>90% fluoride reduction).

How to Remove Fluoride from Shower Water

As we’ve mentioned, not all water filtration methods can remove fluoride from shower water and any water in general. There are 4:

  1. Water distillation
  2. Reverse osmosis water purification
  3. Activated alumina water filtration
  4. Bone char water filtration

Due to the nature of their process, distillation and reverse osmosis can’t be used with shower filters.

That leaves us with activated alumina and bone char. While these filter media effectively remove fluoride from water, they are rare in shower filters. They are used on a few occasions, but usually in insufficient amounts.

young woman taking a shower

In essence, finding a fluoride-removing shower filter isn’t easy. Most don’t have the processing speed to match the flow of water from the shower head. As a result, even the most effective filter media won’t perform optimally when used in shower filters.

That’s why, to remove fluoride from your shower water, we advise that you purchase a whole house filtration system. Once installed, a whole house filter will purify your home’s entire water supply, including your shower water.

Activated Alumina

Activated alumina is a filter media made from aluminum hydroxide that is treated until it becomes a highly porous material.

Activated alumina works by absorbing and trapping impurities in its bed of granules as water passes through it. This is possible because of its high surface area-to-weight ratio and porosity.

AA can be used to filter chemicals like fluorides, arsenic, and selenium. In fact, it’s an excellent water treatment solution for fluoride removal. However, certain conditions need to be met to ensure maximum efficiency. For example, the ideal water pH level is between 5 and 6.

Activated alumina filters are available as point-of-use (e.g., shower filters) or point-of-entry systems (whole house filtration system). We recommend that you use a whole house filter system for removing fluoride from your shower water.

Bone Char

This method is also effective for removing fluoride from water.

Bone char is a filter media made from charred animal bones. It has a highly porous surface ideal for absorbing water impurities like fluoride and certain heavy metals.

Just as activated alumina, bone char works best in acidic water (pH of 4.5-7).

Bone char filters are often available as whole house filtration systems.

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis membrane can remove up to 90% of fluoride in water.

RO membranes have really tiny pores. As water passes through them, most impurities are left behind which includes fluoride.

Another good news is, while under sink RO systems are the most popular type, whole house setups are also available. They will provide you with the purest shower water imaginable.

Water Filters That Remove Fluoride from Shower Water

For real-life filters that can remove fluoride from shower water, here is what we recommend:

Crystal Quest Fluoride Filter

This Crystal Quest filter is a whole house filtration system. It has a fluoride reduction rate of over 90%, making it one of the top choices in its category.

The Crystal Quest Whole House Fluoride Water Filter comes with a lot of unique features like:

  • A mineral tank filled with bone char as the primary filter media
  • A copper-zinc alloy additive in the tank to hinder bacterial growth
  • A programmable head valve that can be used to set up automatic backwashing (regular backwashing will help prolong the lifespan of the filter media)
  • A 5-micron sediment pre-filter protecting the rest of the system from clogging
  • A 5-micron coconut shell carbon block post filter improving water aesthetics
  • It comes in two different sizes – a small one for homes with up to 3 bathrooms and a bigger one for homes with 4+ bathrooms
  • Learn more here

Crystal Quest Big Blue Filter

This Big Blue filter is another whole house fluoride filtration system. However, it’s designed for much smaller homes where it’ll produce a high enough water flow rate for 1 to 2 bathrooms.

Its filter media is identical to the larger Crystal Quest filtration system. It also uses bone char and a bacteriostatic copper-zinc alloy. The fluoride reduction rate is between 90 and 95%.

Being smaller, the Big Blue system is more affordable upfront, but it’s costly to maintain in the long run because you’ll have to replace the filter cartridge at least once a year.

Big Blue Whole House Water Filter

Propur ProMax Shower Filter

The Propur ProMax is the most promising we could find for a fluoride-removing shower filter. Its fluoride reduction rate is NSF-tested to 48.2%, which is quite high compared to other shower filters.

In addition, the filter is tested against NSF 42, 53, P231, and P473 to remove 200+ other contaminants from water.

More features are:

  • It has 4 propriety filtration layers
  • It uses a massaging head with up to 5 spray settings
  • It comes in 3 different finishes: brushed nickel, antique bronze, and chrome
  • It’s made with BPA-free plastic
  • You get a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
  • Learn more here

The only caveat is the Propur ProMax filter is a little pricier than the regular shower water filter.

Where Does the Fluoride in Our Water Supplies Come From?

The most common source of fluoride present in our water supplies these days are the water utilities themselves, which deliberately add fluoride compounds to the water to prevent or reduce tooth decay of citizens.

But another source can be the groundwater from which many of our water systems are fed. Fluoride compounds naturally occurring in rocks sometimes seep into groundwater and later find their way into the water supply.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring salt. It’s present in our soil, water, and some types of food. It is also found in calcium-containing tissues of the body, such as bones and teeth.

Fluoride protects the teeth by strengthening their enamel layer, helping them resist decay. However, while the mineral is beneficial in protecting teeth from bacteria, excess consumption can lead to a condition known as fluorosis, where the teeth and sometimes bones become discolored and disfigured.

Good or Bad – The Effects of Fluoride in Shower Water

The possible side effects of fluoride overconsumption through drinking water include dental fluorosis and hypothyroidism.

However, no substantial data supports the idea that fluoride can be absorbed into the body via the skin. So, there are no known toxic effects of showering in fluoridated water.

Fluoride Water Testing

The easiest way to analyze your water for fluoride is to contact your local government or private water utility. Considering that they manage your water supply, they should be able to tell you if your water is fluoridated.

You can also get them to tell you the concentration of fluoride added. However, if you prefer to test your water on your own, then there are 3 options you can explore.

  1. Visit a Private Lab

Contact a professional lab to do a water test for you. You can find the concentration of fluoride in your water (if any) and that of any competing impurities/contaminants.

This information will help you determine the best way to purify your water. Only make sure you choose a lab certified by the EPA, as such labs will follow due protocol.

  1. Buy a Fluoride Test Strip

Fluoride test trips are a pretty economical way of testing your water. They also produce results almost instantaneously.

The test kit will usually carry instructions on how to conduct your test. Still, you’ll have to be careful when carrying it out because one mistake can compromise the accuracy of the results. Speaking of, cheap DIY test strips are not always reliable.

diy water test strips

  1. Reactive Testing Kits

Not only are they easy to use, reactive testing kits are also affordable. All you need to do is carefully follow the instructions to get pretty accurate results.

If you have any questions about removing fluoride from shower water 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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