Since water is the leading source of fluoride in most people’s lives, knowing how to remove fluoride from water is a smart thing to know.
And to figure this out, I’ve taken the top fluoride filtering methods talked about online and independently tested each one with a fluoride meter.
This way you’re confident, you’re removing fluoride from your water.
Do You Need Fluoride In Water?
By now you’ve most likely heard that drinking water with fluoride is “good” for your dental health, as it leads to fewer cavities.
However, this belief is based on outdated science. The truth is the ingestion (putting it into your body) of fluoride provides no dental health benefits.
In fact, fluoride’s minimal and questionable dental health effect comes primarily through topical application (contact with surface of teeth).1,2,3
In other words, there is zero reason to put any fluoride in your body.
How Much Is Too Much Fluoride?
In addition to many water filters having zero effect on fluoride, there are many water filters that only remove some.
Important to know, since fluoride is classified as a cumulative toxin.4 Which means it accumulates in your body.
Bad news, considering fluoride is grouped with the likes of lead, mercury and other deadly chemicals.5
And to no surprise, may lead to the following health effects:
- Skeletal Fluorosis: weaker bones, stiffness and pain in joints
- Dental Fluorosis: damage to enamel of teeth
- Pineal Gland Calcification: poor sleep and lowered melatonin
- Brain Damage: increased oxidative stress
Thus I suggest you stick to a filter that completely removes fluoride from your water.
How To Remove Fluoride From Water?
A water filter is the one and only way to remove fluoride from water. However, not all water filters can remove fluoride. The 4 types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, distillers, activated alumina and bone char.
By contrast, “activated carbon” filters like Brita, faucet, refrigerator, and shower filters do NOT remove fluoride.
However, to help you operate through this landmine of information.
Here’s the full list of all the different effective methods on how to remove fluoride from your water.
1. Reverse Osmosis
A reverse osmosis system is one of the most effective and economic ways of removing fluoride from water.
In fact, a quality reverse osmosis system can virtually remove all the fluoride from your water.
Which is exactly what I observed when I tested it myself, as the one I personally use was able to reduce fluoride content from 0.6 ppm to 0.0 ppm.
Best part of all, it does this very cheaply (a few cents per gallon last time I checked).
And basically how this works is simple.
The reverse osmosis system applies pressure, forcing water through a membrane (think of it as a fishing net with extremely small holes).
As this happens, the membrane catches different kinds of molecules and ions, including fluoride.
While on the other side of the membrane, you have pure and fluoride-free water.
But this only applies to quality reverse osmosis systems. Many reverse osmosis systems are poorly built (ex. the membrane “holes” are too big) and many contaminants sneak past to the other side (more on this later).
Right alongside reverse osmosis, distillers produce some of the most pure water possible – easily removing fluoride from your water.
This is how distilling water works.
First the water is heated, as the steam evaporates from the boiling water it’s captured and stored in another container. This process basically separates pure water (steam) and leaves behind fluoride and all other contaminants behind.
This is why, in does distilling water remove fluoride – it was found to reduce fluoride content found in my home’s tap water from 0.6 ppm to 0.0 ppm (pictured below).
Now for those asking if they could do this on their own, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Sure there are ways you can set this up at home without a distiller but a water distiller does all the hard work for you.
In fact, most if not all DIY methods will cost you more in electricity and time, than buying and using a distiller.
3. Activated Alumina
Activated Alumina, also known as aluminum oxide, effectively deals with fluoride and is commonly used in water filter pitchers and some gravity-fed filters.
But there are a few drawbacks.
For example, these types of filters only work on water that is below the pH of 8. While for optimal fluoride removal, pH should be between 5 and 6.
Furthermore, as the water passes through, contaminants like fluoride are supposed to be absorbed into the activated alumina beads, resulting in pure water.
However, it’s been mentioned that aluminum oxide is contained in the filtered water.
This is supposed to be much safer than aluminum but I personally would rather go with a filtering method that does not contain aluminum oxide and instead produces pure water like reverse osmosis and distillers do.
4. Bone Char
Bone char is one of the oldest methods used to remove fluoride from water.
Made from animal bones that are heated at extreme temperatures, bone char has a very high absorption potential for fluoride and many other contaminants like lead, arsenic, and cadmium.
However, just like activated alumina, bone char works best at slightly acidic pH levels and lower flow rates which ensure better absorption (good for water filter pitchers, not as good for whole house filters).
Besides that, this is one of the only methods I’ve not personally tested so I wouldn’t recommend it.
What Does Not Remove Fluoride From Water?
After conducting hundreds if not thousands of fluoride tests, I’ve come to the realization much of the information online is outdated and misleading.
I say this because certain methods that claim to remove fluoride actually don’t or don’t remove all fluoride, and many water filter companies lie about their filter removing fluoride.
Here’s a summary of what will NOT remove fluoride from your water:
- Water filter pitchers: only a few are able to remove fluoride.
- Boiling water: test results have shown no change in fluoride levels before and after boiling.
- Tulsi or Holy Basil: using these herbs may reduce fluoride from high to “acceptable” levels but if you’re looking to have fluoride-free water, this will not work. As my own tests have shown fluoride content of 0.6 ppm before and after the use of these herbs.
- Refrigerator filters: I’ve yet to test one that can remove fluoride.
- Faucet filters: test results were 0.6 ppm before and after filtering.
- Shower filters: test results were 0.6 ppm before and after filtering.
Best Water Filters That CAN Remove Fluoride?
I know this is a lot of information to take in and it may be confusing.
For example, if you’re looking to get a reverse osmosis system or water filter pitcher, how are you suppose to know which ones CAN and can NOT remove fluoride?
So to help you out, I’ll share with you the fluoride test results on all 33+ filters I’ve tested.
This way you know exactly which filter and brand CAN remove fluoride and guarantee yourself that you’re drinking fluoride-free water.
And all you have to do is enter your email below and I’ll send it to you right away.
Enter your email below to receive fluoride test results on 40+ water filters + my top picks!
Now if you’re still not sure which filter is best for you, that’s okay (trust me, I remember how hard and confusing it is).
In that case, I suggest you take a look at my guide on the best fluoride water filters (link to guide).
That’s where I give you the top 3 filters from the 33+ filters that I’ve tested and tell you exactly which one would be best for you – all in under 10 minutes.
Anyways, if you follow what’s written in this article or just pick one of the water filters I’ve tested.
I can guarantee you that you’ll be able to remove fluoride from your water.
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Many people are unaware that their current way of filtering may have zero effect on fluoride.