Chlorine in shower water can be harmful as it may strip the natural oils from your skin, leading to dryness and irritation. Moreover, inhalation of chlorinated steam can harm the respiratory system and aggravate asthma and allergies. Lastly, long-term exposure to chlorine in water can disrupt the body’s natural microbiome, affecting overall health.
A good shower filter can effectively remove chlorine from water. These filters typically use “redox” (reduction-oxidation) to neutralize chlorine, transforming it into a harmless chloride. However, removal efficiency depends on the filter’s quality, and it’s important to replace the filter as recommended by the manufacturer for optimal performance.
How Shower Filters Remove Chlorine?
Working Mechanism of Shower Filters
Shower filters work on the principle of a chemical process called Redox (Reduction-Oxidation). During this process, electrons are transferred between molecules, transforming harmful substances into harmless ones.
Removing Chlorine Through Redox
Shower filters usually contain a Redox media (like KDF – Kinetic Degradation Fluxion), a mixture of copper and zinc. This media induces a Redox reaction that changes chlorine, a harmful substance, into chloride, a harmless compound. When the chlorinated water passes through the filter, chlorine molecules react with the zinc and copper in the filter. This reaction causes the chlorine to lose electrons and reduce to chloride, which is safer.
Some shower filters also employ activated carbon in their filtration process. Activated carbon is very porous and has a large surface area that can trap many chemicals and particles. Chlorine is attracted to carbon, and when the water passes over the activated carbon, the chlorine bonds to the carbon and is removed from the water.
Replacing the Shower Filter
Over time, the effectiveness of the Redox media and the activated carbon in the shower filter will reduce as they get saturated with the chemicals they’ve removed. This is why it’s important to regularly replace the filter (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) to ensure it continues to effectively remove chlorine and other harmful substances.
Note on Chloramine
It’s worth noting that some municipalities use chloramine (a compound of chlorine and ammonia) instead of chlorine for water disinfection. While many standard shower filters can effectively remove chlorine, they may not be as effective at removing chloramine. If your water supply uses chloramine, you’ll need a filter designed to remove it.
How to Remove Chloramine from Shower Water?
Consider using a shower filter specifically designed for chloramine removal to remove chloramine from shower water. These filters often combine activated carbon with catalytic carbon, which is more effective at breaking down chloramine than standard carbon filters. Regularly replace the filter cartridge according to manufacturer guidelines to ensure optimal performance.
Benefits of Removing Chlorine from Shower Water
- Healthier Skin: By removing chlorine, your shower water won’t strip away the natural oils in your skin, reducing the risk of dryness and irritation.
- Healthier Hair: Without chlorine, your hair can retain its natural oils, making it softer, shinier, and less prone to damage.
- Improved Respiratory Health: Reducing exposure to chlorinated steam can lower the risk of respiratory issues like asthma and allergies that can be aggravated by inhaling chlorine.
- Better Overall Health: Less chlorine exposure can help maintain a healthy microbiome on your skin, contributing to overall immunity and health.
- Less Eye Irritation: Chlorine can cause redness and irritation in the eyes, especially those sensitive to it. Removing chlorine from shower water can alleviate this problem.
How much Chlorine Shower Filters can remove?
The amount of chlorine a shower filter can remove largely depends on the quality of the filter and its technology. Generally, good quality shower filters claim to remove up to 90-99% of chlorine from the water. However, this efficiency may decrease over time as the filter becomes saturated, so replacing the filter cartridge per the manufacturer’s instructions is important to maintain optimal chlorine removal performance.
Shower Filter Alternatives to Remove Chlorine
Whole House Water Filters
These systems are installed at the point where water enters your home, filtering all water used in the house, not just in the shower. They can remove chlorine along with various other contaminants.
Vitamin C Dechlorination
Vitamin C can neutralize chlorine effectively. Some people add a Vitamin C tablet to their bathwater or use a Vitamin C infused shower head to dechlorinate shower water.
UV treatment systems use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. While they don’t remove chlorine physically, they can provide additional protection in a comprehensive water treatment plan.
While their primary function is to deal with hard water by removing minerals, some water softeners also have features that can help reduce chlorine levels.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems
These are typically installed under the kitchen sink for drinking water but can sometimes be used for showers. RO systems can remove a wide range of contaminants, including chlorine. However, they require significant installation and are more expensive.