Renters: Here’s One Way You Can Keep Your Shower Water Clean For Cheap
Is your shower water clean? In short…not entirely. Shower water might make you feel clean, but since 85% of the country has some level of hard water — and all municipalities use a disinfectant — calcium, magnesium and chlorine can leave your skin feeling dry, hair feeling frizzy and your shower looking spotty.
Since drinking water concerns in cities like Flint, Michigan and other areas of the country have become more and more common, many of us are aware of the importance of clean, safe drinking water — but what about your shower?
Depending on where you live, your tap water likely contains a number of naturally occurring and chemical contaminants and additives. Generally speaking, these are harmless and can even be beneficial to drink in moderation. When it comes to your shower however, some of the most common water hitchhikers aren’t doing your hair, skin, or overall health any favors. Dry, cracked skin? Brittle nails? Dull, lifeless hair, and odors that can irritate eyes and lungs are all signs your shower water might need some help.
So what can you do about it? We’ll take a look at some of the reasons people choose to shower with filtered water, and the benefits that come with it.
Should I Shower With A Water Filter?
A quick understanding of your water quality can help you decide if a shower water filter might be beneficial for you and your home:
- Does your municipality use chlorine for treatment? And if so, how much?
- Is your water hard?
You can generally find out how much chlorine is used in your communities’ water treatment online or by calling your local water board. You should also be able to access your water quality report online, which will tell you what kinds of contaminants are present in your water, and at what concentrations.
The bathroom is another important consideration when planning for your personal water experience. Showers, in particular, can cause problems if water is hard, or heavily treated with chemicals.
For example, cities commonly use chlorine to treat the water supply for bacteria and other contaminants, but this excess chlorine can be absorbed into the skin (sometimes in large quantities) when we’re showering, since most of us prefer to shower in warm water. The warmer the water, the more it opens pores, which effectively ushers chlorine (and any other water-borne contaminants that may be present in the water) right into the largest organ in our bodies —our skin.
Hot water can also cause any toxins, bacteria, or fungus in water to become airborne, turning a water-borne concern into a respiratory issue for some, especially those with already-compromised respiratory conditions like asthma.
How a Shower Water Filter Can Help
In addition to reducing chemical exposure when you shower, shower head filters can also improve your hair’s shine and feel, as well as support healthier, softer skin by minimizing contact with chemicals and toxins. If you choose a water filter that softens water as well, you’ll also notice that you need less soap, shampoo, and conditioner to get the job done as soft water helps very little product lather up quickly — saving you money with every single shower.
Shower head filters can be useful even — and especially — if you live in a dorm, rental home, or apartment, or somewhere that already features water filtration. Not all water filters are created equal, so unless you’ve done the research to know exactly what kind of water filter your water is passing through, it may not make much difference when it comes to your general health, hair or skin care routine.
Softeners and filtration systems need to be serviced regularly to be effective, so if your landlord or property manager isn’t on top of the recommended maintenance, a shower head filter can be a great choice to ensure your shower is not only safe, but easier on your hair and skin. An extra bonus? Your shower will also be easier to clean, since shower head filters make it less likely water will leave unsightly or hard-to-remove hard water spots and residue on the shower and fixtures.
Choosing the Right Shower Head Filter
Shower head filters are a pretty affordable, effective way to make sure you’re showering with fresh, clean water that not only protects your health, but also helps your hair and skin look and feel its best. A good place to start when determining what kind of shower head filter might be right for you is to learn what’s in your water to begin with. You can:
- Call your local water utility to ask
- Have Culligan Man provide you with a FREE water test
- Pick up a water test kit at your local hardware store
Or, start online by checking the Environmental Working Group’s water tap database.
Shower Filter Benefits
People With Sensitive Skin
Showering with filtered water can reduce a number of skin conditions from eczema and rashes to dandruff and itchy scalp, so these filters are a smart choice for anyone prone to skin or scalp sensitivity, children, and especially infants. The reason shower filters benefit skin is generally the removal of chlorine, which is responsible for all kinds of skin irritations and skin dehydration.
Chlorine is especially irritating when it gets warm, as it would be when showering or bathing. Other water contaminants, like dissolved minerals, can be hard on hair, nails, and skin, stripping its natural oils and leaving you brittle, itchy, or dry. A shower water filter will be able to remove these kinds of contaminants as well, to leave you feeling more comfortable.
People With Asthma or Other Respiratory Conditions
In addition to skin sensitivity, chlorine and certain dissolved minerals can be responsible for exacerbating asthma. The problems start, again, when chlorinated or contaminated water is heated (for a shower or bath) – this creates chlorinated steam, which can be aggravating when inhaled.
People With Compromised Immune Systems
Showerheads can contain a myriad of bacteria, and unless you’re diligent about cleaning your showerhead regularly, these bacteria can become aerosolized every time you shower. Regular cleaning helps, but a showerhead filter prevents much of the buildup of potentially harmful bacteria in the first place — helping you stay healthier.
People Looking To Improve Their Overall Hygiene Routines
From the health of your lungs, eyes, skin, hair, and more, a shower water filter can refresh your self-care routines and leave you feeling softer and more hydrated. And if you’re simply after a more pleasant shower or bath experience, a shower filter is a quick addition that can have a big impact.
Is A Shower Water Filter Worth It?
The answer may vary depending both on what kind of water you have to begin with, and the severity of the problems you’re dealing with while showering or bathing. For example, if you’re tired of itchy, dry skin, struggle with eczema, or have small children at home, a shower water filter can be a simple way to noticeably improve the quality of your hygiene routine.
Once you know what contaminants and/or chemicals you’re dealing with, you can narrow down shower head filters by what they’re designed to do.
For instance, some filters are best suited to soften water, so their filtration targets removing dissolved minerals and metals from water. Others use carbon filtration to better target problematic additives like chlorine.
From there, it’s often a matter of personal preference about what kind of water pressure and spray settings you’re looking for from your shower head.