How To Remove Chlorine From Tap Water

Water is an essential part of life, but you might not be inclined to drink enough when it tastes off or unpleasant.

Your local water treatment facility generally adds special chemical additives like chlorine, fluoride, chloramine, and others to clean the water and kill microorganisms. The result? Safer water to drink, shower, and use in cooking.

The downside is that many of these chemicals aren’t always the best for our health, and they can cause the taste of your tap water to be less than refreshing.

Thankfully, there are ways you can improve the flavor and remove chemical elements safely and effectively. 

Here’s what you need to know about how to remove chlorine from tap water.

How Do You Remove Chlorine From Tap Water?

Removing chlorine from tap water usually happens in three ways: water distillation, activated charcoal, or reverse osmosis filtration.

The distillation process is where the water is brought up to temperature, boiled, and de-condensed. However, the problem is that this takes a lot of time and energy to happen. For most families, completing distillation to keep up with the daily drinking water needs requires too much effort.

With activated charcoal, the water flows through a special filter that includes small pieces of activated carbon. The carbon absorbs chemicals, pesticides, and other particles, leaving you with cleaner water that tastes better. 

Ancient Egyptians discovered that storing water in charcoal made it stay fresher and taste better, and people have been using carbon to clean water ever since.

A whole-house activated carbon filter will remove the chlorine and dozens of other chemicals from all water throughout the home, including your baths and showers.

A third option is Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration, which is the ultimate water filtration system.

A small kitchen RO unit can be installed under your kitchen sink and provide safe, clean, and great-tasting water for drinking and cooking.

There are whole-house RO systems, but they are unnecessary in most cases, expensive, and waste a lot of water while increasing your water bill.  

A much less costly whole-house carbon filter to remove chemicals, an ultra-violet filter to destroy any microorganisms, and a kitchen sink RO system for great drinking and cooking water will usually do the job.


activated charcoal for water filtration

Do Brita Water Filters Remove Chlorine?

Many people want to know if Brita water filters remove chlorine. The answer is yes, and they can also help remove additional additives.

Whether you choose the option that attaches to your faucet or a separate pitcher that you keep in the refrigerator, the filter used in Brita products is said to remove the taste and odor of chlorine. Most also remove pesticides, particulates, and other chemicals.

While it might seem convenient to use a Brita filter, it isn’t the best solution for most households. A pitcher filter doesn’t protect you from chlorine when cooking with water, washing your hands, cleaning the dishes, or in the bath or shower.

If your water tests for chlorine or chloramine or other chemicals, then a whole-home carbon filtration system is the better option for protecting your family.

Does Bottled Water Have Chlorine In It?

Many people automatically assume that bottled water has fewer chemical additives than tap water. The truth? Sometimes the drinking water you purchase from the shelf has more additives than what comes straight from the tap.

And the biggest issue is that you might not even know what is actually in your water because most popular brands on the market don’t disclose their water purification practices. In turn, there’s a good chance your family is being exposed to more chemical elements than just chlorine.

It’s much safer, better-tasting, and cheaper if you bottle your own RO water at home and take it with you.

Does Boiling Water Remove Chlorine?

Yes, boiling water does remove traces of chlorine. Generally, you’ll need to consistently boil it for fifteen minutes or longer to remove chlorine and other chemicals thoroughly.

However, the problem with this method is that it takes time and effort every day. Therefore, for most families, this not a reasonable solution.

How to Test for Chlorine in Water

If you’re wondering how to find out whether your local drinking water has a high level of chlorine, the process is pretty easy.

Most home improvement stores carry chlorine test strips in a small container.

Following the directions on the package, dip the test strip into the water. Almost immediately, you should see a change in the color on the tip of the strip.

Compare this color to the bottle’s color chart to determine how much chlorine is in your drinking water.

Another option is to contact your local water department directly. By law, they have to post the chemicals they add to our water and perform and release water quality tests. So, in most cases, they’ll have a water quality report for the public.

Here is a link for the EMWD water quality report: https://www.emwd.org/water-quality

Here is a link for the Riverside Public Utilities water quality report: https://www.riversideca.gov/utilities/residents/your-water.asp

What Water Filters Remove Fluoride and Chlorine?

The answer depends on where you want that to happen.

If you’re looking to remove fluoride and chlorine just from the water you use in the kitchen, then an under-sink Reverse Osmosis (RO) system is probably your best solution.

Suppose you’re looking to remove fluoride and chlorine from the water that comes out of your baths, showers, and faucets everywhere in your home. In that case, a whole-house activated carbon filter is your best and lowest cost option with an under-sink Reverse Osmosis system in the kitchen.

Activated carbon filters work by absorbing undesirable chemicals as the water passes through the filter. These carbon filters are standard in everything from small Brita pitchers to whole-home systems that send purified water straight to the tap.

What Are Chlorine By-Products in Water?

Chlorine is added to municipal drinking water to help reduce dangerous pathogens that would make the vast majority of the population ill.

While the process is highly regulated and there are maximum limits to what a treatment plant can use, the result is that chlorine by-products remain after the decontamination process.

Unfortunately, most drinking water contains chlorine by-products. But as we start to learn about how they ultimately affect our health and the wellness of those we love, many people want to find ways to remove them.

Are you wondering how to remove chlorine by-products? As we’ve mentioned, a whole home carbon filtration system is still your best bet.

Using whole-house carbon and UV filtration, with a kitchen-installed reverse osmosis system can help ensure your water s safe everywhere in your home and your drinking and cooking water is top notch and great-tasting.

What Is Chloramine?

In addition to chlorine, most water treatment facilities also use chloramine as a secondary treatment. The result is declared to be relatively safe to drink by the FDA, but it does affect the taste and odor of the water.

Are you wondering how to remove chloramine from water? Simply put, the process of filtering out this chemical from your tap is virtually the same as chlorine. While distillation is an option, carbon filtration is usually the best course of action with RO at the kitchen sink.

girl holding glass of clean filtered water

Wrap Up: Removing Chlorine From Tap Water

If you use tap water as the primary source for drinking and cooking in your home, then you’ll want to have a filtration plan in place.

If you use bottled water, or have it delivered, consider replacing that high cost with your own system in the home for pennies on the dollar. Payback period should be quite fast and the water will taste better too.

Whether this is a small Reverse Osmosis unit under the kitchen sink or a whole-house carbon filter with UV, having this extra level of protection is important. 

At a minimum, filtration will also improve the taste and smell of the water that enters your home.

Are you ready to learn how a whole house water filtration system can help you protect your family from added chemicals hidden in your drinking water?

Please contact us today to qualify for a FREE water test.

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Owner - Operator at RT Olson Plumbing
Bob Olson has over 18 years experience in all aspects of residential and commercial plumbing. He's a 4th generation plumber. With over 500 five-star customer reviews, he runs one of the best-rated plumbing companies in Corona, CA.
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