How to Dechlorinate Drinking Water

Most drinking water has a small amount of chlorine added to it as a preventative measure against the spread of disease and dangerous pathogens. However, some studies have indicated that exposure to these small amounts of chlorine, over long periods of time, can negatively impact your health. To remove chlorine from drinking water, you can boil the water, add vitamin C tablets, or use a filtration system in your home.

EditSteps

EditUsing Filters to Dechlorinate Water

  1. Filter your water through a pitcher filter. A very popular way to remove chlorine from drinking water is by filtering your water through a pitcher filter that you keep in the refrigerator. There are many models and brands to choose from, and most are quite effective at minimizing chlorine levels.[1]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 1.jpg
    • Additionally, you can get a water filtration attachment for your tap itself that will be just as effective as a pitcher filter.
    • Remember to replace the filter once every few months, or as indicated by the manufacturer, to maintain proper filtration function.
  2. Use a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems use special carbon filters that remove almost all of the chlorine in the water that passes through it. These systems must be professionally purchased and installed, but they are relatively inexpensive.[2]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 2.jpg
    • You can have a reverse osmosis filter professionally installed under your sink to filter all of your tap water, or you can even set it up to filter all of the water that comes into your home.
  3. Install a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter. These kinds of filters are made from organic materials (like wood, coconut shells, and coal). Heat is used to activate the carbon in the organic materials, which allows the filter to absorb various chemicals and compounds.[3]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 3.jpg
    • GAC filters can also minimize unpleasant smells and tastes in your drinking water.
    • A professional plumber or handyman should be able to purchase and install a GAC filter for you.

EditDechlorinating Water Naturally

  1. Boil the water. Place the chlorinated water in a pot on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for twenty full minutes. This should be enough time for all of the chlorine to evaporate out of the water. Leave the lid on the pot (but slightly off-center so some steam can escape) to prevent too much of the water itself from evaporating out.[4]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 4.jpg
    • Make sure you let the water cool sufficiently before drinking it.
  2. Leave the water outside for 24 hours. Placing chlorinated water outside in the sun will cause the chlorine to evaporate out of the water as gas and make it more suitable for drinking. Simply put the water outside in a sunny location and leave it there for 24 hours.[5]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 5.jpg
    • Consider covering the water with a clear plastic layer (e.g., plastic wrap) while the water is outside. Poke a few small holes in the plastic to aid evaporation. This will prevent other contaminants from getting in the water, while still allowing it to be exposed to the sunlight.
    • This method may not be quite as effective as boiling the water. But it will remove most of the chlorine in your drinking water.
  3. Add vitamin C tablets to the water. Vitamin C is often used to dechlorinate larger amounts of water – like pools and hot tubs – before they are drained. However, this method can also work to dechlorinate drinking water. Just add the vitamin C tablets to the water and allow it to sit for 24 hours.[6]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 6.jpg
    • It should take about of vitamin C tablets to dechlorinate of water.

EditDeciding if You Should Dechlorinate

  1. Understand why water is chlorinated in the first place. Chlorine is often added to a community’s drinking water for preventative reasons. It does a great job of purifying the water and killing off any viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms that could potentially harm you if you ingested them.[7]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 7.jpg
    • As an inexpensive disinfectant, chlorine has kept our drinking water mostly safe for decades.
  2. Learn about the risks of drinking chlorinated water. Despite the benefits of chlorinated water, there have been many recent studies that indicate overexposure to chlorine can be potentially harmful.[8]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 8.jpg
    • In populations that regularly consume chlorinated water, there have been documented increases in bladder cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, miscarriages, and even some negative effects on the nervous system.[9]
  3. Improve the taste and smell of your water. Chlorinated water can have a very specific smell, almost like a swimming pool, that is quite repellant to many people. Dechlorinating your drinking water will remove this smell from your water, making your drinking experience much more enjoyable.[10]
    Dechlorinate Drinking Water Step 9.jpg
    • You can also do other things to improve the taste of your chlorinated drinking water – like adding a lemon slice, using the water to make tea or coffee, or even allowing it to sit out overnight.

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