Brita water filters are well-known – and were once the go-to choice for folks looking to enjoy cleaner, better-tasting tap water at home.
But can Brita filters remove chlorine, and if so, how? Are Brita pitcher filters certified to reduce chlorine? And would we recommend Brita for chlorine removal?
Find out in this guide.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- Yes, Brita water filters remove chlorine and are certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 42 to do so.
- On average, a Brita filter removes 92%-95% chlorine from tap water.
- However, there are better water pitcher filters that remove many more contaminants than Brita can, so consider all your options before you choose Brita.
Table of Contents
- 🚱How Does Chlorine Get Into Drinking Water?
- 🩺 What Are the Health Risks of Chlorine?
- 🧪 How Can I Test for Chlorine in My Water?
- 🤔So, Do Brita Water Filters Remove Chlorine?
- 🔎 How Do Brita Water Filters Remove Chlorine?
- ✅ Are Brita Filters Certified For Chlorine Removal?
- 🕵️♂️ Our Verdict
- 📊 Brita Filters Contaminant Removal Chart
- 💡 Alternative Options for Chlorine Removal
- ❔ Brita Chlorine Removal FAQs
🚱How Does Chlorine Get Into Drinking Water?
Chlorine is one of the predominant drinking water contaminants. It’s not usually found naturally in the environment – it’s actually added to our water in the treatment plant to kill bacteria and other microorganisms, preventing waterborne disease.
Chlorine is popularly used for disinfection because it’s an affordable and easy-to-use option in large-scale water treatment. However, adding even small amounts of chemicals to our water is less healthy (and frankly less appealing) than a chemical-free disinfection method, like UV purification.
🩺 What Are the Health Risks of Chlorine?
Chlorine itself isn’t thought to have any health effects when ingested in small amounts. However, you may experience skin irritation and very mild respiratory problems from showering, swimming, or bathing in chlorinated water, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. This is more common in water with a higher chlorine content, such as swimming pool water.
The most well-known health risks of chlorine aren’t actually from the chlorine itself, but are from the byproducts produced when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic matter in the water.
Health Risks of Disinfection Byproducts
There have been numerous studies conducted into the potential health risks of ingesting disinfection byproducts in drinking water.
The CDC reports that disinfection byproducts may increase cancer risk and increase the likelihood of liver damage and nervous system damage.
Frustratingly, many disinfection byproducts don’t yet have an official EPA legal limit, which means they’re currently not as thoroughly regulated in drinking water as other contaminants with known health effects.
🧪 How Can I Test for Chlorine in My Water?
You can test for chlorine in your water with two methods:
- Chlorine test kit. You can buy a DIY test kit to use at home. Dip the test strip in a sample of your tap water and wait for it to change color. Compare the color of the strip to the included color chart to work out roughly how much chlorine your drinking water contains.
- Laboratory test. A laboratory water test will give you the most accurate chlorine test results. Send off a sample of your water and wait for the laboratory to deliver the results via email or post. You’ll learn exactly how much chlorine your water contains, the potential health effects of this concentration, and how your water’s chlorine levels compare to legal limits.
We also recommend testing for common disinfection byproducts, including TTHMs and haloacetic acids, since these are almost always found in a water supply disinfected by chlorine.
🤔So, Do Brita Water Filters Remove Chlorine?
Yes, all filters currently sold for Brita pitchers and other Brita products remove chlorine. Let’s take a look at each filter available.
The Brita Standard filter (for Brita pitcher filters) is a coconut-based activated carbon filter with an ion exchange resin that’s NSF/ANSI certified to remove chlorine water taste and odor. It also removes copper and mercury.
The Brita Elite filter (formerly LongLast, also for Brita pitcher filters) has the same chlorine removal capabilities, and the same NSF/ANSI certifications, as the Standard filter. The Elite filter costs more because it removes a few more contaminants, including lead.
The Brita Stream filter (filters water as you pour, used for specific Brita pitcher filters), uses activated carbon filtration media, which is NSF/ANSI certified to produce filtered water with around 90% of chlorine removed.
Brita water bottle filters also have a carbon-based filtration media, this time carbon block, which reduces chlorine, tastes, and odors, as well as particulates Class VI.
Brita faucet filters use carbon block technology to reduce chlorine, some pesticides and herbicides, benzene, some pharmaceuticals asbestos, and lead.
🔎 How Do Brita Water Filters Remove Chlorine?
Brita pitcher filters and faucet filters are activated carbon filters. Both these Brita filters work to reduce chlorine in a process known as adsorption, which pulls chlorine particles into the filter media, similar to a sponge drawing in water. These contaminants remain trapped in the filter media while water particles can pass through.
Once the media becomes clogged with contaminants, it reaches the end of its filter life and a filter replacement is needed (usually after 2-6 months, depending on the filter type).
✅ Are Brita Filters Certified For Chlorine Removal?
Yes, Brita Standard and Elite filters (the two popular Brita pitcher filters) are both certified for the reduction of chlorine under NSF/ANSI 42 based on Water Quality Association (WQA) testing.
That’s great news – it means that you don’t have to simply hope that Brita’s performance claims are true because they’re supported by official testing and certification.
🕵️♂️ Our Verdict
Brita’s main capability – and main selling point – is its ability to remove chlorine. While Brita filters will improve your water’s taste and odor and reduce its chlorine content, they won’t do much more.
We recommend paying a bit more upfront for a filter that’s more capable than Brita (you have plenty of choice, since most water filter pitchers on the market can remove more contaminants than Brita’s offerings). We especially love the Clearly Filtered Pitcher Filter, which reduces 365+ contaminants and has third-party testing data to prove it.
📊 Brita Filters Contaminant Removal Chart
|1, 2, 4 - Tricholorobenzene||✔️||✔️|
|Select Emerging Contaminants||✔️|
|Select pesticides & herbicides||✔️||✔️|
💡 Alternative Options for Chlorine Removal
If your main goal is to remove chlorine from your drinking water, by no means do you have to stick with a Brita water filter.
While it’s true that Brita filters remove chlorine, so do most other filters on the market. And many of these other filters are more capable than the filters found in Brita pitchers. They remove more harmful contaminants and produce purer, cleaner, safer water than any Brita water filter can.
👨🔧 If you’re specifically looking for water pitcher filters, check out our top recommendations for the best water filter pitchers in 2023.
👨🔧 Or, if you’re open to different methods of filtering water and you just want a good filter that can remove chlorine, take a look at our guide on the best chlorine water filters available today.
It’s also worth considering reverse osmosis systems (these are our top choices), which offer incredibly thorough water purification and virtually eliminate chlorine and all other drinking water contaminants.
❔ Brita Chlorine Removal FAQs
Do Brita filters remove fluoride and chlorine?
No. While a Brita filter can remove chlorine, it won’t remove fluoride. The basic activated carbon filtration in a Brita water filter is only capable of removing a handful of common drinking water contaminants, including chlorine, taste and odor. So, you can use a Brita filter to reduce your water’s chlorine content, but it’ll have no effect on its fluoride levels.
Does Brita filter remove chlorine and chloramine?
Yes, Brita filters can remove chlorine and chloramine from water, like any activated carbon filter. However, chloramine requires a longer contact time with the filter media for it to be thoroughly removed, so don’t expect a Brita water filter to completely remove this impurity.
What chemicals do Brita filters remove?
Brita filters remove the following chemicals: chlorine, some TTHMs and VOCs, some pesticides and herbicides, and benzene. The activated carbon media used in Brita filters is best suited for chemical removal. However, Brita filters don’t remove all volatile organic compounds, disinfection byproducts, or agricultural chemicals, so they won’t completely protect you from chemical contamination.
How much chlorine does Brita filter?
Brita filters up to 97% chlorine from tap water depending on the filter you select. However, the manufacturer doesn’t give an exact figure for chlorine removal in its marketing materials. We did find an old performance data sheet for the Brita LongLast filter (now the Brita Elite) which stated that the filter removed 97.4% chlorine.
What does a Brita filter actually remove?
The Standard Brita filter (for the Brita pitcher) actually removes chlorine, mercury, copper, and cadmium. The Brita Elite filter (also for the Brita pitcher) actually removes chlorine, lead, mercury, particulates Class VI, and cadmium.