Does Boiling Water Remove Fluoride? (a Water Doctor Explains)

Fluoride is one of the most controversial drinking water impurities out there. While many states fluoridate their water for the dental health benefits of fluoride, most of us would rather not put this potentially harmful mineral into our bodies.

If you’re here to ask, “Does boiling water remove fluoride”, this article will answer your question.

📖 TL;DR

But first, the short answer: no, boiling tap water doesn’t remove fluoride.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at why you can’t remove fluoride from water by boiling it, and offering some better suggestions for fluoride-free drinking.

♨️ Does Boiling Water Remove Fluoride?

No, boiling water cannot remove fluoride.

When you boil water, it kills microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. This makes water microbiologically safe.

However, boiling water can’t remove contaminants that are unable to vaporize at boiling temperatures (i.e. most impurities).

Boiling water can vaporize some chlorine gas, but it won’t touch fluoride.

In fact, when water boils, some of it evaporates. This means that you’re left with the same fluoride concentration in a smaller batch of water.

Let’s say that you have 1 gallon of water containing 0.6 ppm of fluoride. If you boiled that water, you might end up with less water – but you’d still have 0.6 ppm of fluoride.

Boiling fluoridated water will do nothing useful at all.

Boiling water

📤 How to Effectively Remove Fluoride from Water

Don’t panic – just because you can’t remove fluoride by boiling water, you can use other methods that are highly effective and require virtually no effort from you.

We’re talking about water filtration systems.

Let’s take a look at some of the best types of water filters to remove fluoride from water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis takes the top spot on our list, as the number-one method of fluoride removal.

Reverse osmosis systems use several water filters and a semi-permeable membrane to greatly reduce fluoride levels – usually by more than 90%.

An RO membrane consists of tiny pores that allow only water to pass through. Contaminants like fluoride rebound off this membrane, and are flushed down the drain with wastewater.

If you want the best protection against fluoride in your local water supply, install a reverse osmosis system under your sink or on your countertop.

The average cost of a point of use reverse osmosis system is $300-$500, so it’s a big investment – but many people feel that the cost is worth it.

reverse osmosis system for home

Bone Char Carbon

Most carbon filter media aren’t effective enough to reduce water’s fluoride content, but bone char carbon (sometimes referred to as natural carbon) can.

Bone char carbon removes heavy metals, some radionuclides, and fluoride from drinking water.

The better quality the bone char, the better the fluoride filtration. Some ions in water can affect the filtration process, but under optimum conditions, this type of filter can reduce fluoride levels by up to 95%.

Bone char carbon filters cost about $30-$250, depending on whether you buy a filter cartridge (with a shorter lifespan) or media for a tank-based system (which can last upwards of 5 years).

Water Distillers

Water distillers purify water using the distillation process. Distilled water is almost entirely pure, and contains virtually no fluoride.

A water distiller boils water until it evaporates, then sends water vapor through a cooling corridor. Water passes out of the spout and drips into a clean container. Tap water contaminants and harmful chemicals that are unable to evaporate at water’s boiling point are left behind in the boiling chamber.

The boiling chamber is washed frequently to remove the built-up contaminants. Distillation is effective at removing fluoride with almost 100% reliability.

Most distillers cost between $200 and $400. Once you’ve bought a distiller, you don’t need to pay for replacement filters or media.

countertop water distiller

Activated Alumina

Activated alumina is an adsorptive, highly porous filter made from solid aluminum oxide.

The main role of an activated alumina filter is to remove fluoride from water. The filter is also highly capable of removing arsenic. AA media adsorbs, or grabs onto, impurities, preventing them from passing through with water particles.

You can use an activated alumina filter as long as your water’s pH measures less than 8.5. This type of filter isn’t effective in treating highly alkaline water.

Activated alumina filters cost about $25-$180, depending on whether the filters are used in small, point of use water filter systems, or whole house filtration units.

Check out the best water filter pitchers that remove fluoride (tested & reviewed).

🧠 Fluoride in Tap Water FAQs

Is fluoride bad?

Fluoride is good for dental health, but too much fluoride has potential health risks like skeletal and dental fluorosis. Many people prefer to reduce fluoride exposure and its increased risk of health issues by avoiding this mineral in their tap water, and in other beverages, like black and green tea.

Is it dangerous to remove fluoride from water?

No. Fluoride is marketed as a mineral we couldn’t live without, but you won’t get tooth decay if you stop drinking fluoridated water. You can still use fluoride toothpaste for dental health purposes, without the fluoride consumption from drinking water. Many people feel more comfortable managing their own fluoride intake, and that means not actually putting fluoride into their bodies.

Is filtering water to remove fluoride expensive?

No. Many of the tap water purification methods that remove fluoride are affordable. Distillation and bone char carbon are especially good for low budgets. Distillers require no maintenance, and bone char carbon filters are cheap to replace.

Does bottled water contain fluoride?

In some cases, yes. Some bottled water brands, even those that sell filtered water, add fluoride back into their products. So exclusively drinking bottled water doesn’t always reduce your risk of health problems associated with water fluoridation.

Does boiling water remove any other contaminants?

No. Boiled water still contains high levels of arsenic, fluoride, lead, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. The good thing about buying a water filter that tackles fluoride is that it often removes these other contaminants, too.

How do you remove fluoride from water naturally?

There’s no 100% natural or free method of removing fluoride from water. The most natural filtration method is activated carbon bone char, as this is made from natural animal bones, not synthetic or artificial ingredients.

How do you know if your water contains fluoride?

If you don’t know if your water treatment plant adds fluoride to your tap water, you can use this CDC tool to quickly check. If you still can’t find the information you need, request a Water Quality Report from your supplier to find out how much fluoride your water contains. Not many states offer non-fluoridated water nowadays, so it’s highly likely that your water contains fluoride.