Do refrigerator filters remove fluoride? The answer may surprise you.
None of the refrigerator filters available today can remove fluoride from water. All of the filters sold by refrigerator manufacturers use activated carbon to purify water, and carbon only removes a tiny fraction of fluoride. There are a few in-line water filters that reduce fluoride levels that can be used to treat your refrigerator water. These aftermarket filters are not technically “refrigerator filters” because they do not plug into your appliance, but they work very well.
Most people don’t think about fluoride when it comes to their refrigerator, but it’s a good idea to know how the filter works and exactly what is can remove from your water. In this blog post, we will discuss the question of whether or not refrigerator filters remove fluoride and provide some information on why you should care.
Read my ultimate guide on refrigerator filters.
Fluoride in Your Drinking Water
Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in water and soil. It is also added to many public water supplies as part of a community fluoridation program. Fluoride is added to public water supplies because it helps prevent tooth decay, but some people are concerned about the safety of drinking fluoridated water.
Why is fluoride in your water?
The addition of fluoride to public drinking water began in the United States in the 1950s and has been shown to reduce cavities and tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fluoride reduces cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. The CDC also reports that community water fluoridation has been shown to reduce cavities by 25% in children and adults.
Worries over fluoride
There is no evidence that fluoride in drinking water causes any health problems, but some people worry that too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis.
Fluorosis is a condition that causes white spots on teeth, and it can occur if a child ingests too much fluoride while his or her teeth are developing. Fluorosis is not a health concern, and it is not painful or harmful. In most cases, it is only a cosmetic issue.
The CDC reports that fluorosis is most likely to occur when children drink water that contains high levels of fluoride, use fluoride toothpaste, or take fluoride supplements. In rare cases, fluorosis can cause brown spots on teeth or pitting of the tooth enamel.
Refrigerator Filters – Do They Remove Fluoride
Refrigerator filters do not remove fluoride from water. Most of these filters use activated carbon to purify water. Activated carbon is only partially effective at reducing fluoride concentrations. A typical refrigerator filter might remove 2 to 5% of the fluoride – hardly enough to make a difference.
Some refrigerator filters only have particle filters. These filters are designed to remove particles and turbidity from your water. They do not remove fluoride or other chemicals from the water.
In-line filters that remove fluoride
There are a few in-line water filters that can remove fluoride from water. These filters can be installed on the water supply connected to your refrigerator to provide some protection for you and your family.
These filters do not meet the definition of a “refrigerator filter” because they do not plug into your appliance, but they work very well.
Crystal Crest fluoride removal refrigerator filter
If you are concerned about fluoride in your drinking water, you should use an inline filter that specifically removes fluoride. There are a few of these filters available, and they can be attached to your refrigerator’s water supply line.
The following in-line water filter reduces fluoride levels very effectively.
The Crystal Quest fluoride removal refrigerator / In-line Water Filter System is designed specifically for refrigerators with ice-makers and water dispensers. It is a great way to ensure you have fluoride-free water whenever you want. It’s simple to install and even easier to maintain.
How Do Refrigerator Filters Work
As we mentioned before, most refrigerator filters use activated carbon to purify your water. Activated carbon is a filter media that removes contaminants from water using a process known as adsorption. Adsorption is the process of attaching contaminants to the surface of the filter media.
As water passes through the activated carbon filter, contaminants are adsorbed (adhered) to the surface of the media. Over time, the activated carbon becomes saturated with these contaminants and needs to be replaced.
The other type of refrigerator filter is a particle filter. This type of filter is effective at removing particles and turbidity from water, but it does not remove fluoride or other chemicals from the water.
Test Your Drinking Water for Fluorine
Tap Score offers a laboratory test to measure the level of fluoride in your drinking water. This package provides all the necessary materials to collect and submit a sample for testing. Results will include a detailed, quantified analysis of fluoride levels in your water.
Knowing what’s in your water is the first step to keeping your family safe.
What Does Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
There are several treatment technologies that can remove fluoride from your drinking water. None of the refrigerator filters made by refrigerator manufactures can remove fluoride from water. We review each of the fluoride removal methods below.
Read my article The Complete Guide to Fluoride Water Filters for a complete discussion of this subject.
Reverse osmosis is a treatment technology that is very effective at removing fluoride from water. A typical under-sink RO filter can remove 94% of the fluoride in your water.
This technology works by passing water through a semipermeable membrane. The pores in the membrane are small enough to remove fluoride, but not small enough to remove water molecules.
As the water passes through the membrane, the fluoride is removed and flushed down the drain. The filtered water is stored in a holding tank for later use.
Reverse osmosis membranes typically have a long lifespan and only need to be replaced every few years. They are also very effective at removing other contaminants from your drinking water, including lead, PFAS, and viruses.
Activated alumina is a type of filter media that can remove fluoride from water. This technology works by passing water through a bed of activated alumina beads.
The beads are very porous and have a large surface area. As the water passes through the beads, the fluoride is adsorbed to the surface of the media.
Activated alumina filters typically have a lifespan of about six months. They are also very effective at removing other contaminants from your drinking water, including arsenic and selenium.
Distillation is a treatment technology that can remove fluoride from water. This technology works by boiling the water and then condensing the steam back into liquid form.
The distilled water is free of contaminants, including fluoride. A typical water distiller can produce about 1 to 4 liters of purified water at a time. This treatment method works best for batch processes rather than a whole house system.
Distillation is a very effective method of water purification, but it is also expensive to operate on a per gallon basis.
Do EveryDrop filters remove fluoride?
EveryDrop refrigerator filters do not remove fluoride. These filters use coconut shell activated carbon to treat water, and carbon is not effective at treating fluoride. Their filters are NSF certified for lead, cysts, and chlorine. EveryDrop does not claim to reduce fluorine on any of their product literature.
Do ICEPURE PRO refrigerator filters remove fluoride?
The ICEPURE PRO refrigerator filters do not remove fluoride. Their website indicates that the filter is NSF certified to reduce lead, chlorine, odor, and taste. It does not mention fluoride reduction.
Do LG refrigerator filters remove fluoride?
LG refrigerator filters do not remove fluoride. These filters use activated carbon to treat water, and carbon is not effective at treating fluoride. LG does not claim to reduce fluorine on any of their product literature.
Do Clearly Filtered filters remove fluoride?
Clearly Filtered filters are capable of removing fluoride from drinking water. The filters use a proprietary blend of activated carbon and other filter media that are designed to target a range of contaminants, including fluoride. Independent testing has confirmed that Clearly Filtered filters are effective in reducing fluoride levels in drinking water, meeting NSF/ANSI standards for fluoride reduction.
Final Take on Refrigerator Filters and Fluoride
So, do refrigerator filters remove fluoride? The answer is unfortunately no.
However, there are several other methods that you can use to get rid of fluoride in your drinking water. If you’re looking for a filter that will specifically remove fluoride, we recommend using a reverse osmosis system or activated alumina filter. These filters are effective at removing not just fluoride but also other harmful contaminants from your water supply.
You can install an in-line water filter on your refrigerator’s supply line to remove fluoride. These units aren’t “refrigerator filters”, but they work very well at removing fluoride from your water.