Food, Health/Life

How to remove fluoride from water with a filter: guide to different types

Remove fluoride from water with a filter

Outlines how to remove fluoride from water with a filter, the different types of filters and how each one works to clean fluoride from your water.

Are you worried about the level of fluoride in your drinking water? If you are experiencing too high fluoride levels in your water, then chances are you are looking for a water filter to solve the issue. But, not all water filters can remove fluoride from water effectively.


The types of water filters that can remove fluoride from water are reverse osmosis systems, water distillers, activated alumina filters, and systems using bone char carbon. While other filters could be removing parts of the fluoride, they will not achieve high reduction rates!

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Let’s see in detail what the most effective methods for removing fluoride from water are.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral typically found in your bones or teeth. It is also naturally found in water, soil, rocks, plants, and even the air we breathe.

Fluoride is commonly used in dentistry to strengthen the outer layer of your teeth called enamel and prevent cavities. In the United States and many other countries, fluoride is added in small amounts to the public water supply to reduce tooth decay.

This sounds like a good thing. Tooth decay is a significant health concern in most industrialized countries, affecting 60%-90% of children and adults. But in some instances, too much fluoride can create health problems with severe side effects.

Potential fluoride side effects

While fluoride is a natural mineral, it can still cause side effects when consumed in large quantities. Here are some of the most common side effects associated with high fluoride exposure:

  • Dental fluorosis: too much fluoride causes white spots on the surface of your teeth. Since children are more likely to swallow toothpaste with fluoride, they are more likely to develop dental fluorosis.
  • Skeletal fluorosis: Skeletal fluorosis is very similar to dental fluorosis, but it affects our bones. Over time, high fluoride consumption can alter bone structure and cause ligament calcifications.
  • Thyroid Problems: fluoride can harm the thyroid and trigger a continuous expulsion of parathyroid hormones. It means that bones are losing calcium, while blood calcium levels increase. Low calcium in bones increases the risk for fractures.
  • Neurological Issues: pregnant women have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with more deficient cognitive functions.

How to remove fluoride from water with a filter: the different types

Given the health problems caused by too much fluoride in water, many families are trying to figure out how to remove it from their water supply. The effective methods to remove fluoride are the following:


Distillation is an effective and cheap method to eliminate fluoride in water. When water is heated, steam evaporates migrating into another container. The fluoride stays in the first tank. In the end, the new container only contains clean water.

You can buy a distiller to do the work for you, or you could work out a DIY method to distill water.

2.Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis system uses pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane that only allows clean water to pass through. Fluoride and other contaminants are separated from the water leaving clean water at the other end of the membrane.

Some RO filtration systems get installed under the kitchen sink to treat water for drinking and cooking water. Countertop units are smaller and designed for providing drinking water only. Additionally, one can install a whole house reverse osmosis system at the main water line, providing clean water to all use points.

3.Activated Alumina

Activated alumina is a porous and solid form of aluminum oxide. It absorbs fluoride and other impurities from water effectively. Typically, this type of filter works well with a water pH less than 8.5. Water passes through the filter, and the contaminants are absorbed into the activated alumina granules, resulting in clean water on the other side.

The amount of fluoride removed depends on how long the water is touching the alumina filter media. In other words, the more alumina a filter contains, the less fluoride will be in the final product.

4.Bone Char Carbon

Bone char (BC) comes in filter cartridges and eliminate around 90% of all salts and minerals in water.

It is made from ground cattle bones that have undergone a heating process, and it works best when the water is a little acidic. Bone char removes many contaminants like lead, cadmium, arsenic, and fluoride.

Remember that you may need to change the cartridge often for more effective performance.

In summary:

People can easily set up water filters to remove fluoride if they think it is necessary or if they want to avoid any negative side effects.

Other Types of Filters

There are many more types of filters available to purify water. But while they may be great for removing certain kinds of contaminants, they are not effective at removing fluoride.

Also, boiling water does not remove fluoride. Quite the opposite: It will increase fluoride levels because some of the water evaporates, but everything else is left behind.

Simple filters like those attached to faucets or most pitcher filters cannot remove minerals like fluoride. At the same time, they do an excellent job at eliminating visible impurities and improving water taste.

How Do I Know if My Water Contains Fluoride?

Not every city in the United States adds fluoride to its tap water. Each town can make its own decision about it. The CDC has a tool that you can use to check your local water supply and find out exactly how much fluoride it contains. If too high, think about using a filter for cleaning.

As a guideline, the max daily intake of fluoride should not exceed 7 mg for adults.

Why you should remove fluoride from your water

Water containing high levels of fluoride can create health problems in the long run. And even though you may already have a water filter at home, it might not help with fluoride removal.

The four methods that are guaranteed to lower fluoride content are distillation, reverse osmosis, activated alumina, and bone char carbon. You will have to use one of these filters to ensure that your drinking water is fluoride free.