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How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Try

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water
Written by Warner Levit

Are you worried about fluoride ingesting into your tap water? Do you know what fluoride could do to your body when taken in large amounts? If  yes, you must be looking for a way to filter fluoride out of your drinking water.

You probably know that tap water is one of the largest sources for the intake of fluoride. When you consume fluoride in excess, it could cause health risks. Harvard researchers found that living in high fluoride water supply areas results in lower IQ and hampers brain development.

We usually think of traditional methods like boiling water to remove any impurities. However, fluoride is not removed by boiling water! Also, you might think that well-known processes like using popular activated-carbon pitchers or tap attachments will help remove fluoride. But you are wrong there too.

You need to know the right fluoride filters and processes that will be effective in providing fluoride-free water. To help you with that, we will show you how to filter fluoride out of water.

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water?

1. Reverse Osmosis

One way to purify water and remove 90% of fluoride is through reverse osmosis and RO water softening systems. This might seem expensive but you will get real results. There are also options to choose from when it comes to its installation. You can try either the under-sink RO system or the countertop RO system for your home.

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Reverse Osmosis

As these systems can be installed along with your regular faucet, it will be convenient for you to get the filtered water for drinking and cooking purposes. You have to admit that we need convenience in our regular lives and we hate to have to do a lot of things just to get pure water!

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Reverse Osmosis in detail

You might be wondering how this process works. The RO system uses a partially permeable membrane that helps separate ions, unwanted molecules and particles from water. As a result, contaminants such as fluoride, lead, cysts and pesticides are removed out of drinking water.

However, you need to take care of regular maintenance of the reverse osmosis system as contaminants will continuously pressure the semi-permeable membrane and make it grow. This will cause your RO system to become less effective against the fluoride contaminants.

2. Distillation

We tend to always look for an inexpensive yet effective method. Distillation – one of the oldest water purification processes – rings the bells in this regard.

You might prefer this because distillation could ensure as much as 99.99% of pure water. The countertop water distillers are popular today that are so easy to use and the level of simplicity could be compared to that of a coffee maker.

As you know, in this process, water is boiled to produce a suitable amount of steam to work with. The steam from boiling water is captured in a separate container. The fluoride contaminants are left behind in the first container while the steam cools in the separate container that you get the pure drinking water from.

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Distillation

Another good reason for you to try distillation is that you can do it yourself! This is an uncomplicated process and with a little bit of extra work you can set up your own water purification system.

3. Activated Alumina Absorption

You could also consider the activated alumina filtration process that could remove 98% of fluoride and is a common way to get safe water in recent times. Activated alumina is known to attract fluoride and other contaminants. As fluoride is attracted and absorbed, it helps separate the water from impurities and leave the purified water for drinking.

You can go for the point-of-use activated alumina water filters but keep in mind there are some limitations. The pH level of water should be between 5 and 6 to get rid of fluoride. Also, the water should maintain a suitable flow rate to let the active alumina granule absorb the fluorides. If the flow rate is faster then there will not be enough time for fluoride absorption.

Furthermore, this is not suitable for long operation because the amount of activated alumina is less than the fluoride in water that needs to be recharged or replaced. You should check whether the filter slows down the flow rate.

4. Bone Char Carbon

If you are the old-school type then you can consider the Bone Char carbon method to remove fluoride out of drinking water. It is known to remove 90% of fluoride effectively from tap water, well water, or bathwater.

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Bone Char Carbon

The process is interesting since it works similarly to how our bones capture fluoride and replace the porous matrix with the fluoride. Bone Char is made by heating animal bones to an extremely high temperature of 1292 degree F. So, if you are a vegan, it would be better to not use this method. High heat is used as it increases the absorption ability.

You can find Bone Char filters in the form of water filter cartridges but the cartridge needs to be replaced regularly as the media can become saturated. Bone Char’s effectiveness can be compared to that of the activated alumina. Similar to the previous method this also works with water of low pH. Also, this process needs a frequent change of cartridges, at least once every week.

5. Fluoride water filter pitcher

Whenever we think of removing fluorides from water, we think of the most popular choice – fluoride water filter pitchers. It is the easiest and simplest way to consume pure drinking water. Not only does it have a small size for convenient use, but it is hassle-free when installation is needed. You might find it in almost any household, a small jug like a pitcher with the filter installed on the top.

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Fluoride water filter pitcher

If your want to keep things effortless, you can just buy this filter to get fluoride-free water.

6. Ion exchange resins

Ion exchange resins are a must when deionization is used in the filter to remove fluoride. So, when you are about to purchase a new filter, remember to check for a filter that uses the ion exchange resin. The mechanism of filters that use ion exchange resins is different from the RO system that has been mentioned previously. If you are concerned about less use of energy then this is better than RO.

7. Solar Stills

How to Filter Fluoride out of Water: Solar Stills

If you are a DIY enthusiast and if distillation of water using sun interests you then consider this choice similar to the distillation process discussed previously. Take your DIY kit out and go to the roof. What you will need is a plastic container to store water.

Once on the roof, place a plastic bag over the container. Wait until the heat of the sun vaporizes the liquid on the plastic bag. The vapor will be condensed into liquid on the plastic bag and then be collected in a reservoir.

However, this method is not as effective as the other methods since heat is lost to the surrounding environment.

Why You Should Not Drink Fluoridated Water – Possible Side Effects

  1. Dental fluorosis
  2. Skeletal fluorosis
  3. Thyroid disease
  4. Hampered brain development and lower IQ
  5. Endocrine disruption
  6. Cancer
  7. Gastrointestinal problems
  8. Low fertility

Conclusion

Fluoride is a water contaminant that needs to be addressed immediately. An alarming factor is that many people still believe that fluoride is actually beneficial for their teeth. But they don’t understand that this can be poisonous if taken in an excess amount.

If buying a high-quality water filter is out of your reach then you can always find natural ways to remove fluoride. You have to adopt measures to remove fluoride in your drinking water and create awareness on how to filter fluoride out of water. Before taking any steps, make sure you know the level of fluoride in your water supply.

FAQ

Q. 1: Do refrigerator water filters remove fluoride?

A. If you are considering a refrigerator water filter to remove fluoride then it is not the right choice. Refrigerator water filters use carbon filters that are unable to remove fluoride. But if your carbon has reverse osmosis then it is possible to remove fluoride.

Q. 2: Does lemon remove fluoride from water?

A. No, lemon does not remove fluoride from and citric acid from lemon does not have any effect.

About the author

Warner Levit

Water Filtration Expert

As a trained chemist and an independent researcher I started working on a portable water filter project as part of my business plan. While carrying out my research, I got involved with FaucetsReviewed. My fields of expertise include environmental science, biochemistry and water purification chemistry. Apart from contributing to this website, I’m currently working on my book “Water Filtration Science”. It will be published soon. I grew up in California, and completed my postgraduate degree from the University of California-Berkeley. I also work as a private counselor on the household water management system.

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