Does a Water Softener Remove Chlorine From Your Water?

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Mattias

In this article will answer the question, “do water softeners remove chlorine?”

As you’ll discover below, chlorine removal can be done easily with a reverse osmosis system or other home water softeners. But first, you must understand how a water softener works and what harmful chemicals are hiding in your tap water.

Do water softeners remove chlorine?

According to a U.S. Geological Survey, over 85% of America’s water is “hard water.” This makes water softeners essential for protecting your home and body health.

But can you remove the chlorine with a water softener? The short answer is yes if it’s properly equipped, but that’s not the primary function of a water softener. This means you’ll still need an additional filter to eliminate chlorine.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper, so you can understand the water softener systems better.

Read also: How To Add Salt To Water Softener

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine or “Cl” is a chemical and halogen element with the atomic number 17. It’s used as a bleach, oxidizing agent, and disinfectant when the purification of water. It’s one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the United States.

It can also be found in your water system and the city water. Chlorine is used to make the water quality better and safe to drink. It’s also present in a swimming pool, to clean water.

The chlorine present in our water is a good thing since it kills all the viruses and bacteria that would grow in our public water supply, but once it’s in your home and you’re about to drink or use it, it’s time to get rid of it.

Why Remove Chlorine?

Chlorine leaves a distasteful taste and an unpleasant smell behind it. Even if it can kill pathogens in your tap water, chlorine can be a serious contaminant.

It’s used as a disinfectant in more than 98% of the water distribution systems over the U.S.

But the good news is that you can use a house water filter to reduce chlorine levels.

How much chlorine you get in your water depends on what your water company is using.

What does chlorine do?

Chlorine effectively kills germs and a big variety of microbial waterborne pathogens.

But how does it affect your body? Here’s a list that might get you a bit concerned:

  • Dries out your hair and skin
  • Your clothes get bleches while washing
  • Your rubber gaskets get damaged
  • It kills good and healthy bacteria in your gut and on your skin
  • Your throat, eyes, and nose might get an unpleasant burning sensation
  • It gives the water and food a bad flavor (this is something that you notice when using a filter, then you can taste the difference for real)
  • Chlorine gas can be found in some household products and is classed as a pulmonary irritant

So perhaps you’re wondering:

“Is it safe to drink chlorine?”

According to the federal health authorities, 4 milligrams/liter or less is okay. But some experts are concerned about the links between cancers and chlorine. Bladder cancer, rectum cancer, and breast cancer are three cancers that scientificamerican are mentioning in their article. After all, in World War I, chlorine was used as a chemical weapon.

To know the concentration of chlorine in your home’s water supply, you must contact your water supply company. Because if it got higher concentrations, it could be a good idea to install a filter.

Let’s take a closer look at if there’s any effective way to get chlorine-free water for your home.

Read also: Will Water Softener Water Kill Plants?

Best way to remove Chlorine from Water

  1. Water softener

A water softener’s primary function is to reduce the concentration of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and chlorine. This is done by using a softener resin bed. So when the water passes a tank that contains resin beads and sodium ions, it exchanges places with manganese, calcium, and other minerals.

Instead of harming your skin, clogging your pipes, and adhering to the kettles inside, the tank resins, and so does most chlorine.

2. Reverse Osmosis

reverse osmosis water filtration system with a good carbon filter can remove chlorine from the water and other harmful contaminants.

This is done by forcing the water through many filters and membranes. One great benefit of reverse osmosis systems is that they can remove chlorine from your water before you get it to your softener.

It achieves this by forcing the water through several filters and membranes.

Sometimes you need to remineralize the water with healthy minerals since they can get lost during the filtration process.

3. Whole-House Filters

A whole house filtration system will not get you soft water, although this is a perfect option if you wish to treat your home water. But the filter is, without a doubt, a powerful chlorine remover.

Read also: 9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty

4. Faucet-mounted water filters

If a faucet-mounted water filter comes with an NSF-42 certification, you’re guaranteed that the chlorine is removed. But if they don’t have that certification, there’s no guarantee that those filters can do the job. So make sure to check that before buying, because if you want de-chlorinated water, the best thing you can do is to look after the NSF-42 mark.

5. Gravity-based

Almost all gravity-based filters use a carbon filter to remove chlorine. This isn’t the case every time. Many companies don’t tell what their filters contain. Is it alarming, or have they found a perfect filtration they don’t wanna share? A good question to keep in mind.

6. Filter pitcher

This is popular to clean your water, and it’s understandable since the price is much cheaper than the others. They can be an effective solution if you can’t afford another filter. But they need granular carbon filters or activated blocks to remove the chlorine. These filters aren’t common, so look for them if you want to remove the chlorine.

How does a Water Softener work?

If you want softened water, it’s essential to get additional filters.

One method is called catalytic filtering: it eliminates hard elements like magnesium ions, iron ions, some levels of calcium, heavy metals, and chlorine. This is made with an ion exchange method as described above.

The softening process makes the water silky smooth, and you can feel the softness on your hair and skin when you shower. In simple terms: It feels amazing!

Another method for removing chlorine from water is Granular Activated Carbon (GAC).

The water softener resin bed lasts 3-10 years but is most effective during the first 3 years.

It’s an effective method, but you must replace the GAC quickly since it can decrease the resins mattress lifespan.

There’s a good chlorine filter called KDF-55. It uses fine media for its water filtration systems. It can make your water soften, but you must put in an enclosure for media, mostly it’s a basket that is attached to the bottom of the valve.

Before the water enters the softener, this amazing device will remove massive amounts of chloramine and chlorine.

If you wish to remove the hardness of your water, you watch this video

11 Advantages of a water softener

  1. Saves money

You might duck some expensive repair costs on your pipes and appliances since the softened water doesn’t contain any mineral ions which can cause rust.

2. Softer skin and Cleaner hair

Since hard water dries your skin and hair, you will start to notice with water softening, you’ll have a much easier time maintaining your hygiene.

3. Softer and brighter clothes

The softening resin from the water softener can reduce hard water’s negative effect on your clothes.

4. Cleaner dishes

The hardness minerals that can be found in hard water give stains on your dishes. This won’t be a problem with a water softener.

5. Less time spent cleaning

If you have a home with hard water, you might have experienced the chalky stains that take forever to clean away. When softening the water, you won’t get any chalky stains anymore!

6. It gives the water a better taste

The water tastes better, and you’ll stay hydrated for a long time.

7. You need much less water

When softening your water, you’ll start to notice that you don’t need so much water anymore, for example, cleaning. This is something good, both for your wallet and nature!

3 Disadvantages of a water softener

  1. Water softeners only get rid of minerals

You must have an additional filter to eliminate heavy metals, chlorine, and iron.

2. The installation can alter your home

Since the installation can alter your home, this might not fit everyone.

3. Your drinking water might taste different

Some prefer the mineral taste of water instead of softened water’s fresh taste.


What is a granular activated carbon filter?

It’s a filter that has been proven to remove certain chemicals, especially organic chemicals, from water.

Is media guard filters good?

A Media guard filter can remove chlorine and heavy metals from your water. Which makes it a very good option. (Check out the KDF-55 media version here)

What are granular media filters?

It’s a process for removing suspended and colloidal particles by passing water through a porous medium.

Will a water softener remove scale buildup?

Yes, it will remove the built-up scale from your plumbing work within two weeks.

Does a salt-based water softener remove chlorine?

No, a salt-based water softener doesn’t remove chlorine.

What is municipal water?

It’s tap water sent out to industries and homes through underground pipes. The City owns all pipes, structures, and mains.

Summary Does a Water Softener Remove Chlorine

I hope you enjoyed this article about water softeners and if they can remove chlorine.

As you discovered, it’s not possible without an additional filter. But water softeners can, without a doubt, be a good investment for your home.

In the end, it all comes down to your personal choice. Do you want better water quality for yourself and your family? You might need a whole house water softener or another method that fits your budget.