Looking for a water filter for the shower?
More and more people are seeking to reduce the level of contact they have with contaminants, directly onto their hair and skin, through the use of a water filter for the shower or a bath ball water filter.
This article uncovers why some shower filters can be better than others, plus directs you to some of the best options available.
My Top Shower Filter Pick At A Glance:
Why use a Water Filter for the Shower?
Whilst a small amount of chlorine will likely not do much harm, long term exposure and build-up of chlorine can damage hair and skin, both of which are highly absorbent. Chlorine is also re-vaporized in the shower, which means it can easily be inhaled into the lungs, plus the heat of the water opens your skin pores, allowing the skin to absorb contaminants more easily.
Up to 60% of the chlorine many people absorb on a daily basis can come from showering. So using a water filter for the shower is a great way to reduce exposure to chlorine, chloramines and other pollutants.
Many people have claimed an improvement in conditions such as exzema, psoriasis or asthma after only a short period of using a shower filter.
Whilst chlorine is usually the major concern for people looking to purchase a water filter for the shower, shower filters are also often designed to reduce other pollutants, which may be in your water supply, such as chloramines, VOCs, (volatile organic compounds) scale, rust and sediment.
What Type of Water Filter for the Shower do I Need?
There are 100s of types of water filters for the shower available on the market – many making huge claims at a very low cost. Whilst the best options for a water filter for the shower doesn’t need to cost the earth, it is helpful to understand the types of water filters for the shower available and what their limitations are.
Generally, the common types of water filter for the shower fall into 3 categories:
- Activated carbon water filter for the shower
- KDF water filter for the shower
- Vitamin C water filter for the shower
Activated Carbon Water Filter for the Shower
Activated carbon filters for showers are generally less expensive, since the activated carbon used inside these types of shower filter is relatively cheap.
However, whilst carbon filters can be great for reducing chlorine in drinking water, they are generally less effective in showers, since carbon filters were typically designed to be used with cold water.
The main limitations of carbon shower filters are that they:
- lose their effectiveness above temperatures around 80 degrees F and the average shower temperature is higher than this
- need to restrict the water flow to be really effective, which can impact on low pressure showers
- are only really efficient in removing ‘free chlorine’ (chlorine that has not combined with other constituents in water). They have little effect on ‘total chlorine’, which is chlorine that has combined with other contaminants and the form that often exists in tap water. For example, many water suppliers today add ammonia to chlorine, to produce longer lasting water treatment. Carbon shower filters are not effective at removing chloramine or combined chlorine in general.
KDF Water Filter for the Shower
Due to the limitations of activated carbon in shower filters, many shower water filters employ the use of a metallic medium called KDF. These use equal parts copper and zinc which initiate a process which liberates the free-roaming chlorine from the rest of the molecules in the water.
Whilst a KDF water filter for the shower can be very effective at treating chlorine, like the activated carbon shower filters, they are not effective at removing chloramine or combined chlorine in general.
And again, like carbon filters, KDF filters restrict the water flow, which can impact on low-pressure showers.
If you are not sure what type of chlorine your municipal water supply contains, contact your water supplier and ask or try a water test kit.
Vitamin C Water Filter for the Shower
Vitamin C shower filters such as the UBS Vita Fresh Shower Filter are arguably the most effective option.
These filters use a tube of ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) which interacts with the chlorine and the chloramines and neutralises them.
Their effectiveness does not diminish until the vitamin C in the replaceable tube cartridge is used up.
Key advantages of a Vitamin C shower filters include:
- ability to filter out up to 99% of the chlorine found in water, (other types of shower filters generally filter out between 20-80%)
- removes most chloramines and sediment
- works at any water temperature
- works effectively without impacting on the rate of water flow.
The Verdict – Recommended Water Filters for the Shower
Both activated carbon shower filters and KDF shower filters have limitations. Neither can appreciably reduce or remove chloramines, which are now in many municipal water supplies.
So to efficiently treat both chloramines and chlorine in your shower water, I recommend a vitamin-C based water filter for the shower.
FURTHER RELATED READING
- What Is The Best Shower Filter Review: 4 Best Sellers Reviewed
- Vita Fresh Shower Filter Review: 10 Benefits You Need To Know
- Bath Ball Water Filters: Your Natural Route To Chlorine Free Baths