Shower Filters: Goodbye Chlorine!

Shower filter A couple of months ago, I finally made a purchase that I'd had my eye on for quite some time… a shower filter! (I know, I know, the things that excite me!)

The point of a shower filter is to get rid of the chlorine that is pretty much standard in tap water all over North America. Most of us are aware that consuming chlorine is not good for us, and therefore use water filters in our kitchens to remove the chlorine from the water that we drink.

What you may not have considered is that the chlorine is also able to enter our bodies through that large and very porous organ we call our skin! Particularly when in a warm or hot shower, the pores in our skin open up and absorb even greater quantities of everything in the shower, especially the chlorine! Additionally, we inhale the chlorine that is released as a gas while we shower.

In addition to simply avoiding this toxin, I was really hopeful that using a filter would help with the eczema and very dry skin that I constantly battle on my hands. After using my filter for about a month now, I am happy to say that I have been dealing with considerably less eczema than usual! This is pretty amazing to me, considering that we're having a hot and dry summer here, I'm pregnant and struggling to stay well-hydrated, and that I've been doing oodles of gardening (which usually makes my skin worse). As an added bonus, some recent dry scalp/dandruff issues I'd been having seem to have disappeared and my hair is softer!

The filter that I chose is from Amazon, and it's called the New Wave Enviro Shower Filter. Lindsay recommended it on her blog a while back, and after looking into a bit I felt that it was definitely worth a try, considering how reasonable the price was. The filter itself is $33.00, and the replacement filter is only $24.00. The filter will need to be replaced once a year, so that makes it really quite affordable!

Now I am considering what to get for our kids bathroom, especially because both of my children seem to be quite sensitive to chlorine as well. I'm thinking of trying out a Rainshow'r Crystal Bath Ball Dechlorinator
(which is basically a ball with a built-in filter that you swish around in the bath water to remove chlorine). The price is right, but I'm not convinced that it works all that well or that it's the most practical option. I also just stumbled upon another filter while writing this post, called the Bath Ball Water Faucet Filter, which actually fits onto the bath faucet. It's definitely a bit pricier, but it looks much more effective and easy to use. Hmmm…

Do you use a shower filter? If so, have you found that it has made much of a difference? Any thoughts on the different types of filters?

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  1. We have used these for about two years now. I just wish they made one for the faucet on the tub so when I give my kids a bath they too can have chlorine free water.

  2. I’ve been interested in getting one of these as well. Let us know if you try out the bath option, we’d be interested in that too.

  3. We’ve been using a shower filter for 3 years or more. Ours is compact, which is good ’cause the shower head isn’t all that high & this definitely lowers it.

    For your eczema – have you tried a homemade “lotion” with a glycerin base? I discovered this last fall & it is wonderful! Our climate here is very, very dry & nothing was helping. This has even keeping my feet hydrated & they look good – normally they would be rough & dry.

    The original recipe was easy: 1 part vegetable glycerin to 4 parts purified water. But i played with this quite a bit. I’m currently using 1 part vegetable glycerin, 1 part witch hazel (you have to be careful which one, Thayer products have parabens), & 3 parts aloe vera juice. My sis makes the same, but instead of witch hazel she uses a flower water – rose or jasmine water – for some scent.

    The result is very liquid, so i usually put it in a small spray bottle & spray the water-like stuff on & then rub it in. If you get too much glycerin it will be sticky. I tried one of these with honey instead of glycerin (because of the wonderful antibiotic & moisturizing properties of honey) but that one wasn’t quite as successful. I only did one little bottle.

    AFTER i discovered this recipe online our office manager told me that the office used to have a patient in her 80s who had lovely hands, “skin like in her 20s” the office manager said. When she asked her secret she said vegetable glycerin & water.

  4. Just for curiosity’s sake…does anyone have thoughts on pools and swimming (because of Chlorine?)?

    I grew up as a swimmer and have spent countless hours in pools over the years and didn’t think about any adverse effects of chlorine until my daughter’s exczema got out of hand last summer when for the first time we had chlorinated water at home (well water previously) and then were spending time at the local pool.

  5. I have seen the new wave enviro ones advertised. I want one, but I know its not something we can get right now. I have planned on asking my husband about it when the time is right.

    I saw them in my food co-op catalogue. I also have been wanting their tap water filter too. We currently use a different one but it keeps breaking. If and when I hope to get these, the new enviro ones are the best deals I have been able to find available to me. I have one of their waterbottles and love it (the 1L one).

    Apparently you can even get whole house filters. Amazing, but VERY expensive.

    As far as the swimming pool goes, I have read that its similar to any effects of chlorine. I Know I can’t swim in chlorine pools at all without it really affecting me. Thankfully we have many beaches near our home, freshwater lakes. However we need some more heat around here to warm them up!

  6. Oh I forgot to say that I have read about people filling up their bathtubs with the shower head using the new wave enviro one and then having the bath water filtered that way.

  7. We use the Aquasana shower filter and love it! Especially now that we’re living in the city, I can tell a major difference in the water quality with the shower filter. I hate washing my face in the sink anymore because the shower water smells and feels so much better (and less chemical-y).

    Oh, and I was going to say the same thing as Nola: you can fill up a bathtub with water from your filtered shower head. That’s what I do now. I used to be unable to do that because we had a separate shower and tub, but now that we have a combo shower/tub, it works great.

  8. Kati, the last filter that I linked to is actually for putting right onto the bath faucet! It’s called the Bath Ball Water Faucet Filter.

    Kathryn, thanks for the glycerin lotion recipe. I haven’t tried that, but it sounds great!

    Nola, I’ve thought about using the shower filter to fill up the bath. I use a different shower than the kids do, though, so I’d still have to buy a second filter either way. It might be worth it though, because then I have the shower head filter for guests, as well as for when the kids get older and shower instead of bathe.

    Faith, I would personally avoid much time spent in public pools because of the chlorine. When you’re actually swimming in it for an extended period of time (much longer usually than the time it takes to have a shower or even a bath), you’re getting quite a bit of exposure to the chlorine. It would be better to try to stick to swimming in lakes, oceans, etc. whenever possible.

    Alison, I’m glad to hear that you’re using the shower head to fill the bath sometimes. Good to know that it work well to do it that way!

  9. My husband and I have been talking about getting a shower filter so this info comes in handy. We have a water system but our water is still not the best. It is turning the ends of my hair orange! I would like to get our water tested too. Any tips on doing that frugally?

  10. My ILs changed their pool over to salt-water base instead of chlorine. It is great & good for the skin, too. It is not salt water like the ocean. And, my understanding is that it still has a little chlorine – made from the components of the salt, but much, much less than a pool. ‘Course, we don’t use their pool much.

  11. I came back to see what others would say about the filters (since I really want one!) 🙂

    My friend just told me that as far as pools go, using salt instead of chlorine is apparently not a good thing environmentally. Apparently, the water eventually gets drained into sewers and the public water supply, which really pollutes and eventually ends up sending salt back into the water (around here, our water is from a nearby lake, which the city pumps out and treats). Apparently in some places salt water pools are banned outright and they are talking about doing it other places. It is very difficult and costly to remove all the salt from the water supply once it gets in. 🙁 I just heard this from her so I don’t know anything more about it or even if that is totally factual. Perhaps someone else does.

  12. Hi Stephanie,

    I understand your concern for alleviating your eczema, but I am not aware of any evidence that chlorinated water causes or aggravates this condition. Chlorine does serve a purpose in our water— to kill germs that can make us sick. The allowable level of chlorine in drinking water is 4 parts per million, a level which EPA says poses “no known or expected health risk [including] an adequate margin of safety.” Also, it is important to clarify that chlorine is not released as a gas as we shower. The chlorine in tap water is in the form of compounds (hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion) which occur only in solution.

    Best Regards,

    Jeff Sloan
    American Chemistry Council

  13. Growing up we all had various skin issues until we began to filter our shower water (and we would know when it was time to change a filter because the skin problems would return!) When I had children I knew there was no way I wanted them bathing in chlorinated water every night. At first we ran their baths through our shower filter but it took a lot longer and the water would lose heat on the way for some reason so it seemed really wasteful to me. We ended up buying the same bath ball that you talked about. It was the best thing I could find for a tub faucet. Although it is not as enclosed as the shower filter I have been really happy with it. As long as you don’t have super powered water pressure that would be “too much” for the ball to handle it works great. It does take a little bit of creativity to get it to wrap around different faucets but we got it to work. I also use it outside to fill their kiddie swimming pool. We purchase our filters through gaiam.com, I hadn’t even thought to look on Amazon though!
    Hope this helps!
    Julie Kreke

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