How do Shower Filters Protect Your Health?

Shower filters protect your health by removing chlorine and other harmful elements from your shower water. These chemicals are more toxic in your shower than in your drinking water. Here’s why:

  • Chlorine is re-vaporized in the shower, inhaled into the lungs, and transferred directly into the bloodstream. In fact, the chlorine exposure from one shower is equal to the chlorine you would ingest from drinking a day’s worth of tap water.
  • The heat in your shower opens your skin’s pores. This allows your skin to absorb chlorine and other harmful chemicals in the water. This can cause skin damage and make existing skin problems worse.
  • You’ll breathe easier when you’re not inhaling concentrated chlorine in every shower. You’ll see improved skin and respiratory health and possibly more overall energy.
  • You’ll have smoother skin and softer hair within a week of installing a shower filter. Chlorine dries skin and hair by stripping it of its natural oils. After installing your shower filter, your skin and hair will take about a week to replenish their natural oils.

My youngest son Hugo suffered from excema patches – until we installed shower and bath filters and then all his eczema cleared up within 3 weeks. Although he can now swim in a salt water pool without any irritation, a chlorinated pool (or bath or shower) instantly brings out all the itchy patches again. Here’s our video where we test all of the filters in our house and choose the best one:

What to Look For in a Shower Filter

To effectively filter your shower water, choose a filter that contains both KDF and a complementary filter media, such as high quality carbon or Chlorgon.

Most water filters contain carbon filtration. However, carbon alone is not enough for a shower water filter and a small carbon filter cannot handle the volume of water that passes through a shower water filter. For carbon alone to work, the filter would need to be so big it couldn’t be attached to your shower head.

Thus, KDF is the key to effective shower filtration. KDF is a finely granulated alloy of copper and zinc, which removes or neutralizes chlorine, iron, dust, sediment, balances the water pH and softens it. KDF-55 (used in Sprite shower filters) reduces surface tension while removing damaging minerals, giving you softer water. This means you’ll rinse cleaner – and so will your shower. Soft shower water will help your shower stay clean longer, so you’ll also spend less time cleaning.

Also, don’t buy a filter that puts a carbon cartridge before a KDF-55 cartridge. Activated carbon takes oxygen out of the water, but the KDF needs oxygen to work properly.

Choosing Your Shower Filtration Media

Here are 4 types of filtration media commonly used in shower filters:

KDF is a mixture of copper and zinc. When water flows through KDF, a tiny electrical charge is created.
This electrical charge forces free chlorine to combine with minerals in the water (usually calcium or another alkaline mineral). The combination of chlorine and these minerals is a harmless chloride. KDF is most efficient at warmer water temperatures typically used in the shower.

Carbon removes impurities from water because it has a sticky surface. Carbon media comes in many grades but a high grade must be used in the shower because of the warm water temperatures. Carbon is primarily a cold water filter. It is most effective at temperature ranges of 50-80 degrees (F). So at higher temperatures, carbon needs to be used as a second-stage filter.

Chlorgon converts free chlorine and some combined chlorines into harmless chlorides. Chlorgon is very efficient at a wide range of water temperatures, so it’s a great combination with KDF.

Crystals, Magnets & Mineral Balls are used to soften water by reducing the size of the clusters of water molecules. This makes the water feel softer and makes soaps and shampoos sudsier.

Let’s have a look at shower filters that use each of the above filtration mechanisms.

Aquasana shower filters have a unique two-stage filter process for the healthiest shower possible. Stage 1 removes chlorine and enhances pH balance with a natural copper/zinc mineral media called KDF-55D. The second filtration stage uses a carbonized coconut shell medium for the removal of synthetic chemicals, THMs and VOCs that vaporize from tap water and are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, potentially causing adverse health and cosmetic effects.

If you’re sensitive to chemicals, or have a respiratory illness, activated carbon can make a noticeable difference by filtering volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s) and trihalomethanes (THC’s) from your shower – as well as chlorine.

 

Sprite shower filters use KDF and then Chlorgon as a second stage filter. They remove chlorine, iron, dust, sediment, balance water pH and soften water. The main difference between the various Sprite shower filter models is how long the filters last and the design features of the shower head. All Sprite shower filters are certified to NSF Standard 177.

Removing these elements from your shower will not only result in healthier skin, hair and lungs, your shower will also be easier to clean since these filters soften the water and balance the pH.

 

Sprite Bath Ballfilter uses KDF and mineral balls to remove chlorine, iron, dust, sediment, soften your water, and neutralize pH.

In my house, we have the Aquasana shower filter on one shower, the other two showers have Sprite filters - the Royale is my favorite – and we have a Sprite Bath Ball for the bath. Of course, in a pinch, you can fill a bath using your chlorine filter on your shower, but this takes a long time and you lose a lot of heat from the shower spray and distance the water has to travel before reaching the tub.

The only points to keep in mind with this bath filter is that (a) your bath faucet has to be straight (like the one in the photo) and cannot be curved – otherwise you cannot attach the filter and (b) you need to be able to adjust the flow of water coming out of your bath faucet. The water flow from your bath tap into the filter has to be slow enough so the filter has time to filter the water, without it overflowing.

If you’re unsure as to whether removing chlorine is necessary for you, I encourage you to just try one shower filter and see/feel the difference in your skin, hair, lungs, etc.

21 Comments

21 thoughts on “How do Shower Filters Protect Your Health?

  1. (sorry, I know this is a pretty old article!!)

    Are there good filters for the bathroom faucet? I’ve seen lots made for the kitchen tap… but they (1) don’t seem to fit in the bathroom correctly and (2) aren’t supposed to be used with warm/hot water. Thanks!

    Also– I did just get a Sprite filter for my shower–a Slim Line, I believe. It was surprised how easy it was to install! And it really doesn’t take away from the pressure at all, which I understand can be a concern for some.



  2. Hi,
    I saw your videos & now have a question:-

    Which bath filters remove the Monochloramine or Chloramine & Chlorine from the water?

    Thanks
    Sibaram



  3. SIBARAM – it seems to be a tricky feat to remove chloramines from water, since the water has to remain in contact with the filter (carbon) for quite some time for this to be removed. I’m not aware of a shower or bath filter that can do that. It seems that you would have to get an at-source, whole house filtration system first.

    Here’s what I found about the Sprite Shower filters that I use:

    “Shower filter technology is a challenge. Filter carbon, which is the hands-down champion at chlorine removal in drinking water filters, has limited effectiveness in shower filters, where a small amount of the filtering agent is required to handle a large amount of water that goes through the filter very quickly. An added challenge is hot water, which carbon doesn’t handle well.

    Because of these problems, most shower filter makers rely on a filtering medium called KDF. KDF is a granular metallic substance that under proper conditions converts chlorine to harmless chloride. Shower filter sellers typically show impressive charts that demonstrate long-term removal of chlorine. However, if you read the tests carefully, you’ll see that they apply to “free chlorine” (chlorine that has not combined with other constituents of water). Many water suppliers now use chloramines, a blend of chlorine and ammonia, and there is little if any “free chlorine” in the water. Sprite adds a patented mineral salt medium called “Chlorgon” to the KDF in its shower filters in an effort to deal with certain forms of combined chlorine. No claim of chloramine removal is made.

    Chlorgon is a type of Redox filtration media. Researched, developed and patented by David Farley, CEO of Sprite Industries, Inc., Chlorgon contains Calcium, Zinc and Copper. It works to convert free chlorine and some combined chlorines, such as sodium hypochlorite (liquid swimming pool chlorine), to a harmless chloride. Chlorgon also works well in a variety of temperatures from hot to cold.”



  4. What about vitamin C filtration for showers? What are your thoughts on this method? I have tried a Carbon + KDF filter but where I live the Chlorine is so strong the filter wasn’t very useful. When I had a bath I tried adding vitamin C and it removed the horrible chlorine smell.



  5. Hi there, I am really struggling to find a shower filtering I feel is the best one, I don’t know what brand to trust. I have cancer and I have changed so much to get my health restored, just need a little help with choosing the purest shower filter, can u help me please.

    Thank uou.



  6. I am also interested in the Vitamin C filters. They are said to remove chlorine and chloramine. I have seen a Sprite shower connected to vitamin c filter connected to shower head. Although some just use the vitamin C filter. What are your thoughts?



  7. Hi Zoe,

    The only shower filters Jini recommends are the ones in her blog post above so you might want to try one of them out if you haven’t already.

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



  8. i have seberric dermatitis i need a good and reasonable shower head



  9. My hair has turned green, I believe this is from copper in the water. Which shower filter is best for this?



  10. Hi Amanda,

    If copper is the cause, these filters will likely not have any effect but if the cause is chlorine then they will. Generally speaking, shower filters that claim to have an effect on copper content tend to be much more expensive than the others and usually only claim to “significantly reduce” copper rather than remove it completely. Dr. Mercola sells one such shower head + filter for around $100 with 6 month replacement filters around $55 each.

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



  11. HI THE PROBLEM WITH MY WATER IS THAT IT REALLY STINKS LIKE COPPER OR IRON ORDER….WILL THESE FILTERS WORK MY PROBLEM?

    THANKS



  12. Hi Ellie,

    If you purchase a filter with KDF, it may have an effect on the iron odor as the KDF is designed to remove iron (among other things) from the water. Regarding copper, please see comment #12 above.

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



  13. Someone posted above, but I’m also curious about filters for bathroom sinks. I’ve seen them from the kitchen sink, but it says they should only be used with cold water. Suggestions?



  14. Nic – good question… I wonder if the kitchen filter components are not approved for high heat use? Also, I believe in the under-sink hookup you only hook the filter up to the cold water line. So perhaps it is a functional restriction as well?



  15. I loved and relate with you on the filtered shower head video! Very well done comparison!
    Thanks Again for the input.
    Ben



  16. Hello~! Does the Sprite Royale come with an indicator showing when to replace the filter? We’re a family of four–two children and two adults who use the shower daily (the kids sometimes bathe). I would also like to know if you carry, or can recommend a water pitcher that effectively removes fluoride from tap water. Thank You very much! Rama



  17. Hello Rama,

    There’s no indicator but the filter should be good for either 9 months or 20,000 gallons. You can also open the housing and flip the filter over to extend the life of the existing filter by a bit. If you’re around the 9 month mark or suspect that you need a new filter, we have the replacements available here:

    http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/sprite-royale-replacement-filter/

    We don’t carry water pitchers but reverse osmosis and distillation seem to be the only processes that reliably remove flouride. Here’s a link to a discussion about that which might help you in choosing a suitable pitcher:

    https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=32775.0

    Let us know which pitcher you end up going with!

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



  18. I was wondering which shower filter should be selected in the case of removing the chloramines as mentioned by Jini above. I understand the shower filters mentioned above only remove chlorine…is that correct?
    Also I am looking to get a benchtop reverse osmosis for health reasons. From the information I have been able to fine – the Ro does not remove the chlorine along with fluoride, would you agree with this information and should I use a tap filter like the shower filter to first remove chlorine?

    Any help on the best way to remove both chlorine and fluoride please?(without under sink or whole house)



  19. Hi Ally,

    Many reverse osmosis and distillation systems advertise the removal of flouride so those would be the only way to go that we’re currently aware of. Please see post #5 regarding chloramines. For chlorine, many companies only advertise that their systems remove the chloring “smell and taste” for liability purposes. Here’s a link to a FAQ from a good manufacturer where everything is explained pretty well:

    http://www.purewaterproducts.com/articles/reverse-osmosis-faq#ro-and-chlorine

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



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