How to Dechlorinate Tap Water (5 Proven Methods)

The best ways to dechlorinate water at home are filtration, boiling, UV treatment, vitamin C neutralization & letting water sit out. Read on to learn more.

Millions of Americans drink, cook with, and shower in chlorinated water every day. It’s normal to be concerned about how much chlorine you’re drinking, and to want to eliminate chlorine from your water supply.

Chlorine serves a purpose: it kills harmful microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses. However, once water reaches our homes, it no longer needs to be chlorinated. As long as you drink your water immediately or store it in a clean container, there’s no way for it to become re-contaminated with microorganisms after disinfection chemicals are removed.

Chlorine is considered safe for human consumption at low levels, but most people would prefer not to drink chemicals in their water.

💯 Best Ways to Dechlorinate Tap Water

Boil Your Water

The boiling method is one of the cheapest ways to dechlorinate water by causing the chlorine to naturally evaporate. Boiling water can reduce chlorine content significantly within 15-20 minutes.

To remove chlorine from drinking water by boiling, fill a pot with water from your faucet and bring the water to a rolling boil. Leave the water to boil for 15 minutes. You can use a chlorine test kit to test your water if you want to know how much chlorine has been removed.

Wait for your water to cool before storing it in a clean, covered container or using it for drinking.

Boiling water

Let Your Water Sit Overnight

Another easy but time-consuming way to dechlorinate water is to leave a batch of chlorinated water sitting out for 24 hours. Within this period, most of the chlorine will evaporate naturally.

How and why does this happen?

Because chlorine gas weighs less than air at room temperature, it’ll escape into air over time.

For best results, leave a pot or bucket or uncovered water to sit in an area that receives direct sunlight, which will cause chlorine to dissipate at a faster rate. Just make sure to avoid areas with insects or airborne particles that could get into the water.

It’ll take longer for all the chlorine to evaporate in large volumes of water, so ideally, only fill a container with the precise amount of water that you need.

Use a Chlorine Removal Water Filter

If convenience is what you’re after, look for a drinking water filter that removes chlorine. A water filter takes the hassle off your hands, dechlorinating your water supply as it flows through your home’s pipes, before it leaves your faucet.

There are several water filters that can effectively remove chlorine and other harmful contaminants from tap water.

Activated Carbon Filters

An activated carbon filter is one of the most capable treatment methods for removing chlorine from tap water. This type of filter has a large surface area that absorbs organic compounds and chemicals affecting taste and smell, including chlorine. High-quality AC filter media can remove more than 95% of free chlorine.

Activated carbon filters are most commonly used to treat tap water. Most water pitcher filters contain some form of activated carbon media. Whole-house filter systems, shower filters, refrigerator filters, and under-sink filters also commonly contain activated carbon. Additionally, activated carbon filters can be installed in fish tanks.

To get the best value for money from an activated carbon water filter, choose a filter that has been tested and certified to NSF Standard 42, for chlorine removal.

Activated carbon granules

Reverse Osmosis Filters

Reverse osmosis filters are multi-stage filtration systems that remove chlorine and a whole host of other contaminants from water. These filters often include a sediment filter, a simple carbon filter, and a semi-permeable membrane, which removes up to 98% of chlorine in water.

RO systems can remove both chlorine and chloramine, so they’re a good option for chloramine-treated water. Plus, RO filters can also remove dangerous disinfection byproducts that are commonly found in the water supplies of Western countries. RO is such an effective means of water purification that virtually all contaminants are removed using this method, producing bottled water quality.

Reverse osmosis water filters are most commonly used as under-sink applications, but whole-home and countertop RO units are also available.

Again, if you want to be certain that a reverse osmosis filter removes chlorine, look for a filter with an NSF Standard 42 certification.

aquatru countertop ro filtration system

Use UV Light

Ultraviolet light is most popularly used to kill microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, but UV exposure also neutralizes chlorine.

The simplest way to remove chlorine with UV light is to install a UV purification system that treats your water as it flows through your pipes. Most UV systems are installed as whole-home applications, just after your water supply enters your home.

If your budget is tight, a cheap solution is to use our natural UV light source: the sun. Direct sunlight can cause up to 90% of chlorine to dissipate within two hours. Simply place a tub of water in an area that gets plenty of sun and wait for the UV rays to do their thing.

Uv purification system

Add Vitamin C to Water

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, neutralizes water. This chemical doesn’t lower dissolved oxygen or affect the pH levels of water, so it’s a safe and effective method to use for dechlorinating drinking water supplies.

Vitamin C is most commonly available in powder form. Follow the instructions on the packaging to sprinkle vitamin C powder into your water (you usually need about one teaspoon for one pint of water). You can also buy vitamin C tablets, often marketed as “water dechlorination tablets” or “ascorbic acid tablets”, that dissolve in water. Simply add a tablet to your water for instant dechlorination effects.

Vitamin C balls are commonly added to showerhead water filters to provide a simple chlorine removal solution for your shower water.

🧠 How to Dechlorinate Tap Water: FAQs

What’s the most effective way to dechlorinate tap water?

The most effective way to dechlorinate tap water is to use a chlorine removal water filter, such as an activated carbon filter or a reverse osmosis filter. Many filtration methods are capable of removing chlorine to almost 100%. Some filters can remove chlorine and chloramine, while others are designed purely to dechlorinate water.

What’s the cheapest way to remove chlorine from water?

The cheapest way to remove chlorine from water is to let your water sit for 24 hours. While this method might not completely dechlorinate water, some of the chlorine will evaporate into the air. This is the only method of removing chlorine that’s completely free (even boiling water uses energy).

How can I remove chlorine from fish tanks?

The best way to remove chlorine from a fish tank is to add a dechlorination agent. You can buy this from most pet stores. Simply pour a measured amount of the solution into your fish tank, and it’ll take effect immediately. If your fish tank has a biological filter, you’ll need to choose a dechlorination agent that doesn’t remove ammonia.

How do you remove chlorine from water naturally?

You can remove chlorine from water naturally by boiling water, letting the water sit at room temperature overnight, or using a filter made from natural media, like an activated carbon filter. All of these methods are cost-effective and chemical-free.

How long does it take to dechlorinate tap water?

Dechlorinating water can be instantaneous or can take several hours, depending on the method used. The fastest way to dechlorinate drinking water is by using dechlorination tablets, which neutralize chlorine in a matter of seconds. Many chlorine-removal water filters also provide chlorine-free water in less than a minute. Choose a filter that hooks up to your main water line to enjoy instantly dechlorinated water.

How long does water need to sit to dechlorinate?

To allow all chlorine to dissipate from a batch of water, you should leave it to sit for five days. However, 24 hours is the minimum recommended time to reduce your water’s chlorine levels at room temperature. If you don’t have 24 hours, leaving your water to sit overnight is better than drinking it straight from your faucet.

Can you filter out chlorine from tap water?

Yes, you can filter out chlorine from tap water. Activated carbon and reverse osmosis systems are the best filters for removing chlorine from your tap water supply. These filters can be installed underneath your kitchen sink, providing instant access to dechlorinated water, or they can be installed as countertop units, dechlorinating batches of water at a time.

How can I remove chlorine and chloramine from water?

If you need to remove both chlorine and chloramine from your drinking water, the majority of common dechlorination methods won’t work. Chloramine lingers longer in water, and boiling and natural evaporation of this chemical take longer. Your best bet is to use a reverse osmosis system or a UV purifier to remove chloramine. Both of these methods can remove chloramine and chlorine with high effectiveness.