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How To Remove Fluoride From Water Cheaply (Definitive Guide 2024)

How To Remove Fluoride From Water Cheaply

Over 70% of Americans consume fluoridated water, excess intake of which increases your risk for:

  • Osteosarcoma [a type of bone cancer]
  • Thyroid dysfunction, and
  • Retarded brain development

EPA mandates 4 mg/L as the drinking water standard for fluoride. Some of the most cost-effective ways to remove fluoride from water are activated alumina, reverse osmosis, distillation, and bone charcoal carbon.

This article will provide an in-depth discussion of fluoride and the numerous ways on how to remove fluoride from water cheaply.

Can Fluoride Be Removed From Water: Pocket-Friendly Ways

MethodsEffectivenessExecutionTime RequiredCost
Using a distillerMore than 90%Very easy6-8 hours$90-$300
Using activated aluminaMore than 95%Need professional for initial execution5-10 minutes$20-$30/kg
Using deionizer systemMore than 95%Need professional help to set up10-20 minutes$900-$2000
Using bone Char90-95%Quite easy1-2 hours$15-$25/lb
Using water filter pitchersMore than 95%Easy10-15 minutesLess than $25
Using water bottle filters 90%Very EasyLess than 5 minutes$20-$30
Using POU RO Filters [faucet mount, under-sink, and countertop]95%Need professionals to set upImmediately or 5-10 minutes$50-$300
Also Read: Does Kirkland Water Have Fluoride In It?


Distillation Treatment

The distillation method is the earliest water purification technique and is also quite effective in eliminating fluoride from water.

In this filtration process, steam evaporates from boiling water when heated and is gathered in another vessel, leaving fluoride and other contaminants behind.

Depending on the brand, water distillers can cost anywhere between $90-$300.

The fact that water distillers are extremely low-cost to run is a huge advantage. A few water distillers have a minor carbon filter in the spout; however, they are unnecessary.

On the downside, the distillation process is a time-consuming procedure. For example, an at-home water distiller can take up to 6 hours to produce a single gallon of purified water.

Also Read: Do Water Softeners Remove Fluoride?


Activated Alumina Treatment

Activated alumina is another filtration medium with a strong alumina adsorption capacity that is beneficial for treating fluoride-contaminated water, so much so that the EPA supports it as one of the most effective methods for cleaning drinking water.

In water treatment facilities, activated alumina is frequently used to remove dangerously high concentrations of fluoride and arsenic from groundwater sources.

The best-activated alumina filters can reduce up to 95% of the fluoride in water. Devices at the point of entry or Pre-filter of entry may filter up to 7 to 10 gallons of water per minute.

Water with a pH of 6.5 or lower works best with activated alumina filters. Although these purifiers are initially priced affordably, you have to bear the additional costs of replacing them regularly since they get clogged with impurities quickly.

Bone Charcoal

Bone Charcoal Treatment

Brimac char, often known as bone charcoal carbon, is a form of carbon filter media. Bone charcoal is one of those fluoride-removal methods that is challenging to accomplish at home.

Here’s the worst part:

Bone char is created by heating animal bones to incredibly high temperatures. So vegans or vegetarians will not like to use this method.

Both bone char and activated carbon use extremely different chemical processes to purify fluoride-contaminated water, but they are not interchangeable. The ideal fluoride removal temperature seems to be between 500 and 700 °C with a 2-hour residence duration.

Uncrystallized bone char is composed of 10% carbon, 80% phosphate, and 10% calcium carbonate. Its structure makes it perfect for adsorption; nonetheless, it works better with acidic water than hard, alkaline water.

Water Filter Pitchers

Using Water Filter Pitchers

Without a doubt, the most economical and popular water filters for fluoride removal are water filter pitchers. A pitcher that removes fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, and other tap water pollutants can be bought for less than $25, costing an average of $0.44 per gallon of filtered water.

A pitcher normally takes between 10 and 20 minutes to filter an entire volume of water based on the container’s size and the filter’s age.

Using Water Bottle Filters 

These bottle filters often employ a form of carbon to remove upto 90% fluoride, chlorine and its undesirable tastes. It also removes smell, lead, and other contaminants from water using a proprietary blend of natural media. It’s an ideal method to get potable clean drinking at a fraction of the cost. 

POU RO Filters [faucet mount, under-sink, and countertop]

Reverse Osmosis Filters

You can reduce fluoride exposure at a reasonable cost by using under-sink filters. These filter units must be connected to your water supply and offer clean, fluoride-free tap water in seconds.

The reverse osmosis filtration system employs pressure to drive water across a semipermeable membrane that only enables water molecules to pass through. Reverse Osmosis Filters may originally cost between $100 and $300.

Faucet-mounted filters- are intended to be clipped onto a kitchen faucet to provide immediate access to clean water.

These filters typically employ a carbon filter to remove fluoride from water.


De-Ionizating your water

Fluoride can be removed from water using a special type of resin, an anion-exchange resin. It has quaternary ammonium functional groups attached to it. This approach involves the addition of ion-exchange resins to the system for the removal of fluoride.

The process goes like this:

Fluoride has a positive charge, and the resin has a negative charge. So the fluoride attaches to the resin. It can also be used with other water purification systems to remove fluoride from water. All you need to do is purchase the deionization cartridge and add it to the existing filtration system.

However, the resin must be used twice to remove all the fluoride.

Also Read: Difference Between Deionized and Distilled Water

Fluoride In Water: Sources, Health Hazards, And Safety Measures

Fluoride in water nuances

Fluoride is a naturally occurring monatomic ionic mineral found in foods, water, soil, and the earth’s crust. Fluoride is the element fluorine in its ionized state. It also aids in mineralizing your bones and teeth, which is necessary for them to remain hard and strong.

Nearly 99% of the fluoride in the body is kept in bones and teeth; you can also find it in your toothpaste and local water supply. Fluoride may also assist in the prevention of cavities and the maintenance of healthy teeth.

History of Fluorination

Dentist Frederick McKay was among the first to note that most people in Colorado Springs had little to no tooth decay 90 years ago. Upon discovery, he found that fluoride in drinking water in Colorado Springs is the main reason for good dental health in Colorado residents.

Because of this mineral’s perceived oral health benefits, it is frequently used in toothpaste and mouthwash. Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first-ever city to fluoridate its water supply willingly.

Although fluoridation is still used today, several scientists have questioned the efficacy and safety of introducing this mineral into local water systems. They say fluoride in your water is not pharmaceutical grade.

In addition, since most individuals are unaware that their water contains fluoride, fluoridation violates the ability to give informed consent before medical treatment.

The early research studies which convinced communities that fluoridated water was good were argued to be fundamentally faulty. Eventually, the maximum contamination limit for fluoride was set at 4 ppm by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to current National Sanitation Foundation tests, the amounts of arsenic in various forms of fluoride are relatively high, reaching up to 1.6 ppb after being added to public water.

Also Read: 5 Best Arsenic Filters 

Health Hazards

Risks to health

Concerns regarding the potentially harmful effects of elevated fluoride levels in drinking water have grown over the past few decades.

  • Skeletal fluorosis, a painful bone disease in which there is fluoride accumulation in the bones, can be brought on by prolonged exposure to levels greater than 4ppm in water. This may eventually cause stiffness and pain in the joints and weak or fractured bones in older people.
  • It gives rise to skin issues, neurological, tooth and bone damage, and thyroid issues (harmful to the parathyroid gland).
  • Constant exposure to fluoride has also been associated with reproductive and cardiovascular issues.

Preventive Measures

  • We advise you to use fluoride-free toothpaste. But if you use fluoride toothpaste, it’s crucial to monitor your kids when they brush to ensure they just use a “pea-sized amount.”
  • Teflon-coated pans, or pans that don’t stick, have been shown to considerably raise the fluoride level of food when used for cooking. Consider converting to stainless steel if you currently use Teflon pans.
  • Some individuals think boiling tap water will significantly lower the amount of fluoride. This is untrue, and boiling water will not eliminate the fluoride concentration of tap water. Seek out water that has been filtered by distillation or reverse osmosis instead.
  • Refrain from black or crimson tea or decrease its daily intake. Although black and red tea comes from distinct plant species, both varieties’ leaves naturally contain large amounts of fluoride.
Also Read: Does Zerowater Filter Remove Fluoride? 

How To Remove Fluoride From Water Cheaply FAQs

How long does fluoride stay in the body?

After entering the bloodstream, the kidneys gradually eliminate fluoride, dropping to half its initial concentration in three to ten hours.

Do water softeners remove fluoride?

No. Water softeners employ an ion exchange method restricted to eliminating minerals causing hardness in drinking water and limescale in water pipes.

How do I know if my drinking water is fluoridated?

On the CDC website, you can access details about fluoride in your regional water systems at my Water’s Fluoride tab. Fluoride is added to public water supplies following strict safety regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
You can use an at-home routine testing kit to check your water for fluoride. You might also send a water sample for analysis to a lab.

Is there fluoride in bottled water?

The majority of bottled water doesn’t include fluoride. If so, it will be mentioned on its label. Many water bottles are filled with municipal water supply, some of which may have been fluoridated. However, fluoride won’t be listed on the label if it isn’t added as part of the bottling process. Call the number on the label for detailed information.

Does freezing water remove fluoride?

Yes, in isolated or constrained areas, freezing does help in removing fluoride. It was discovered that fluoride removal was temperature-dependent, and the ideal temperature range was between 15 and 20 °C.

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