Do remineralizing filters really work?

Do remineralizing filters really work?

The short answer is no.

Many companies suggest that because reverse osmosis systems remove the minerals from water that you should add a remineralizing filter afterwards for the purpose of restoring minerals to your water.

I’ve tested these filters and while the pH rose dramatically due to carbonates in the filter there were no minerals added.  A number of companies use coral calcium as the remineralizing filter and it is true that coral calcium contains some 70 trace minerals.  The problem is that the water passing through a filter system is not in contact with the coral calcium long enough to dissolve it.   The water picks up carbonate and as a result the pH increases but essentially no minerals are added.

So, what should you do about the lack of minerals in your reverse osmosis water?

Don’t worry about it.

I’ve now done substantial testing of water and minerals and concluded that while it would be nice to have minerals in your water, it’s far more important to remove the contaminants.  You can read a referenced article on that topic here: Minerals in Water.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Best Water Filter, Exposure to Toxins, Healthy Drinking Water, Reverse Osmosis, Sweetwater LLC, Water Purification. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Do remineralizing filters really work?

  1. Mark says:

    You need to remineralize the water because drinking acidic water is unhealthy. It will at the very least, demineralize your teeth, possibly causing you to break one on a hard peanut, or something.

    • Hi Mark,

      I appreciate your comments but that wasn’t the point of my post. The remineralizing filters that I have tested do not add minerals back into the water. That was my point. They are hype, as far as I can tell. If there is one that is working I would love to hear about it.

      They do raise the pH – too much in my opinion. And that is really what you’re addressing here when you talk about ro water being acidic. RO water is acidic and I think it is healthy to raise the pH slightly, to a pH of 7.4 or thereabout, to make it slightly alkaline. I do that in the RO systems I sell by using a calcite filter. Many remineralizing filters raise the pH to 9 or higher and that is unnatural and in my opinion unhealthy…maybe even dangerous.

      As for demineralizing your teeth, and possibly your bones, that is an area I am researching further. I don’t think that water has much to do with it but am open to learning differently. I do think that aging and diet are key factors. Again, thanks for commenting.

  2. Bruce says:

    I am not a chemist, and my understanding of the science is insufficient to enable me to draw my own conclusions based on the science, but I am ok at critical thinking and I like what I read on your blog.

    I am in the process of designing my own home water treatment (RO) and I would like to talk to you; specifically about re-mineralization.

  3. Joseph Moreno says:

    What if you have an expensive esspresso machine? Manufacturers don’t want you to use Reverse osmosis because the machine depends upon the minerals to function properly but they also don’t want you to use tap water because the water is very hard and would require more frequent descaling which would be a hassle especially if you buy a machine that requires you to send the machine to a company to descale it.

    So what would be the best filter to use?

    • It is my understanding of coffee making that the presence of minerals contributes to better taste and lower acidity, but I do not know this for a fact.

      The filter you would use would depend on where you live and the mineral content of the water supply.

  4. Sam says:

    RO water filtration is probably the best. It filters down to 0.0001 micron. Adding a block style activated carbon filter also helps.
    To add minerals back into your water and help to raise the pH, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt/gal.

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