Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Remove Fluoride?
One solution that many homeowners turn to is reverse osmosis filters.
Do reverse osmosis filters remove fluoride?
The short answer is: yes, reverse osmosis removes around 80-90% of fluoride.
Below, we’re covering how reverse osmosis (RO) removes fluoride from water and we will even touch on just how much fluoride you can expect a RO filter to remove.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis filters are one of the most effective means to clean water.
Their reverse osmosis membrane, in conjunction with additional filters, traps any contaminants that are bigger than H2O particles.
So how does RO do it exactly?
The reverse osmosis system works by forcing water through its semi-permeable membrane at high pressure.
Here, it has very small pores that will allow water to slip past but will stop any larger molecules in their tracks. The water that gets trapped in the filter due to contaminants is then purged from the system, leaving only clean and purified water behind.
RO filters continue this process constantly, forcing water into a chamber, then through the reverse osmosis film and sending wastewater out through the drainpipe.
Fluoride is much bigger than water, so it is one of the contaminants that will get removed with wastewater as the reverse osmosis system works.
How Much Fluoride Is Removed Through Reverse Osmosis?
The amount of fluoride removed from water through reverse osmosis will depend on the specific membrane being used, but the results are typically good.
Compared to other filtration systems, this is likely the best rate of removal you’ll get for fluoride.
This is exactly why so many people turn to RO filters when removing fluoride is their ultimate goal.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Other Contaminants?
Yes, RO filters get rid of other unwanted contaminants from water.
According to the Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition, RO filters are effective at removing as much as 99% of natural contaminants, like viruses and bacteria.
If you need to treat unclean water before you feel safe drinking it, then using reverse osmosis filters would be a great way to do it. Additionally, they can also remove 95% of inorganic compounds like chlorine, lead, sodium chloride, calcium, and magnesium.
Reverse osmosis filters work by breaking up the filtration process into multiple stages, with the RO filter being just one of them.
For example, many RO filters also use carbon filters to remove chlorine particles before the water gets to the RO membrane, as these particles can damage the membrane.
Below are just some of the contaminants that reverse osmosis removes:
Protozoa, bacteria, viruses, sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, lead, arsenic, fluoride, radium, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous.
Risks of Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Some filters may last for six months, while others can last a year.
The reverse osmosis membrane itself can last for about two years without needing to be replaced, but you’ll still need to change out the filters that don’t last as long. If you don’t, the system may not work as effectively or may get clogged.
Pricey to Use Over Time
Reverse osmosis filters are incredibly successful at creating clean, drinkable water. Because they’re so effective, you’ll find that these filters are much more expensive than other water filters designed to remove fluoride.
First, you’ll face a higher up-front cost for the filter itself, and then you’ll still need to pay to replace the individual filters throughout each year. This can make purchasing a reverse osmosis filter less accessible to some people.
If you’re concerned with water usage or live in an area where there is a drought, you may not enjoy this wasteful aspect of the filters.
You can try to find RO systems that aren’t quite as wasteful with ratios closer to 2:1 or even 1:1, but you won’t have any luck finding a system that eliminates waste water altogether.
Leaves Drinking Water Without Minerals
Such minerals, when present in water, give it a more neutral, alkaline taste. Without them, you may find that the water tastes a bit acidic. If you find this taste not to your liking, you might prefer adding a remineralizer filter to put these healthy minerals back in for a better flavor.
Picking a Reverse Osmosis Filter
Do I Want an Under-Counter or Countertop Model?
Do I Want to Get Rid of Additional Contaminants As Well?
What Budget am I Working With?
Am I Looking for a Tankless or Tank Version?
Do I Prefer a Specific Maker?
There are tons of great RO filter brands on the market, and we’ve reviewed the best RO systems and brands in our main guide.
If you check our reverse osmosis systems review page you can do your own research to determine which brand may be the best for your home water needs.
If you’re just looking for a fluoride specific filter, check out our fluoride filters review.
Do reverse osmosis filters remove fluoride?
Yes, and quite impressively.
While these filters are more expensive than other fluoride filters on the market, they’re also one of the most effective ways to treat water.
Spend some time looking into the RO filter options on the market, and you’re sure to find one that meets your needs at a price within your budget.