Can Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral added to our tap water because it helps prevent tooth decay. Unfortunately, fluoride may also have unfavorable health effects like skeletal fluorosis and thyroid issues.

Thankfully, there are various methods available to remove fluoride from drinking water. In this article, we’ll review some of the different types of filters that can effectively eliminate fluoride from tap water in your home.

Short Answer

Yes, water filters can remove fluoride from water, but not all filters can reduce fluoride. Complex filter media blends are needed to remove fluoride from water. Activated carbon filters don’t remove fluoride. Only reverse osmosis, activated alumina, and bone char carbon filters reduce fluoride.

Reverse osmosis removes 95% of the fluoride from water. Reverse osmosis removes almost all contaminants, including fluoride, by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane with 0.001-micron pores. Reverse osmosis filters reduce fluoride levels from 0.6 to 0.0 ppm. Gravity water filters remove about 97% of tap water fluoride, compared to reverse osmosis systems. The slow filtration process requires patience.

Fluoride removal requires the right filter. Instead of listing the top fluoride removal filters, share the best from each category. Brita and Pur activated-carbon pitchers and tap attachments cannot remove fluoride. Fluoride does not evaporate like chlorine, so boiling water increases the fluoride concentration.

As a water filter technician, I know how important fluoride-specific filters are. Due to high tap water fluoride levels, my client had dental fluorosis. A reverse osmosis system improved the client’s water quality and eliminated fluorosis. Fluoride-free drinking water requires the right water filter.

Reverse osmosis

A reverse osmosis water filter is one of the best ways to ensure your drinking water is safe and clean in your home. These systems work through the filtration process to eliminate contaminants from the water, allowing you to enjoy delicious-tasting, clean drinking water.

Reverse osmosis works by pressing water through a semi-permeable membrane at high pressure. This membrane has tiny pores that only let water molecules pass through, blocking larger contaminants (including fluoride) from entering.

The RO process can also help reduce the presence of per and polyfluorinated substances, synthetic chemicals often found in products like cleaning supplies and pesticides.

A well-designed RO system should filter out 85 and 95% of the fluoride in your water. However, it’s essential to remember that different filters and membranes may vary in their effectiveness at eliminating fluoride from your drinking water.


Activated carbon is commonly used in water filters to eliminate various pollutants. It can eliminate bad tastes and odors, chlorine disinfection chemicals, organic compounds such as pesticides and herbicides, and bad tastes and odors from foods.

GAC has an exceptional affinity for removing fluoride, making it a popular tool for reducing levels of this hazardous substance in water. Unfortunately, it won’t remove inorganic contaminants or metals such as lead, chromium, arsenic, iron, and mercury.

GAC filtration systems are widely used in home water treatment systems. They can be employed independently to improve the taste and odor of contaminated water or as a pre-treatment for reverse osmosis systems. Furthermore, these filters effectively eliminate organic pollutants, chlorine, and other items that might foul up a reverse osmosis membrane.

Catalytic carbon

Installing a carbon filter is the most efficient way to remove fluoride from your water. Carbon filters come in various types and typically remove chlorine, chloramines, organic chemicals (pesticides), THMs, and VOCs from the solution.

Coconut shell carbon has long been the go-to type for water filtration. Still, catalytic carbon is increasingly becoming a more effective option for eliminating chlorine than its coconut shell counterpart.

Catalytic carbon filters are liquid-phase carbons whose electronic structure has been modified to increase their catalytic capability over traditional carbons. This enhanced catalytic capability makes them particularly efficient at reducing chloramines and hydrogen sulfide emissions.

Catalytic carbon filters can be an ideal solution for those seeking to eliminate chlorine from their water. The filter removes chlorine and then uses reverse osmosis to rid itself of any remaining pollutants.

Bone char

Bone char is an effective and long-standing way to remove fluoride from water sources. In some cases, it has been known to eliminate up to 90% of fluoride.

Animal bones are charred without oxygen to create this mineral. Its hydroxyapatite groups absorb the fluoride and other contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and radioactive particles.

Fluoride sorption onto bone char depends on both solution pH and temperature; at pH values below three, the capacity for fluoride absorption drops off dramatically. At 15 degrees C, its adsorption capacity decreased from 7.4 x 10-7 to 1.5 x 10-7.

Over 300 years ago, the sugar industry discovered this method for eliminating trace contaminants. Although still used worldwide, it is not vegan-friendly as bones must come from animals that have died naturally from causes.