Isn’t it frustrating that we have to deal with year round dandruff and hair fall just because of hard water?
For me personally, years of hard water damage really reduced hair growth on my scalp- how I wish I could get that thick growth back!
A lot of you, like me, might be struggling with hard water hair damage or maybe even skin problems like rashes and acne caused by hard water.
Until the CLEO SFU 717 and SFW 815 shower and tap filters were launched last year– there literally were no real solutions in India.
I have friends who would buy bottled water, or carry buckets of RO water from the kitchen just to rinse their hair every day. While good for the hair, doing that is just too costly and inconvenient in the long term for most of us.
There is a better way now:
One that allows you to shower care-free and have better hair, better skin and a much more hygienic shower experience than you’ve ever had
One that doesn’t leave hard water stains in the bathroom. If you’ve ever wasted time cleaning up limescale from bathroom tiles and walls- I can relate. Now, I don’t have to anymore.
I can confidently say all of the above because I’ve used CLEO’s range of shower and tap filter products over the last 9 months, and I’ve been nothing but impressed. It’s the only shower head water softener in India that truly works.
In this post, I’ll be reviewing the CLEO SFU 717 shower & tap filter. Apart from a sleeker design than it’s predecessor, the CLEO SFW 815 shower filter, this product has a dual functionality- it can be used as either a shower OR a tap filter!
Let’s get started:
7 Benefits You’ll Experience Within Days Of Using CLEO SFU 717
- Lesser dandruff, buildup and dryness on scalp
- Stronger hair and decreased hair fall
- Softer and more hydrated skin
- No more limescale on bathroom tiles and walls
- Cleaner, more hygienic showers- CLEO filter media prevents bacteria buildup in shower heads
- Smelly showers no more! CLEO removes odors in shower water including the most common- rotten egg smell of sulfur
- For asthmatics or those suffering from other breathing problems– no more coughing during showers. VOCs- a chlorination byproduct in water, are a known irritant to the airways and can trigger asthma attacks
A lot of people in in urban areas face hair and skin issues because hard water and chlorinated water have a dehydrating effect on the skin- which can lead to rashes, hair thinning, and dandruff.
While the hardness of water depends on the area you live in, most households across the world receive chlorinated water as it’s widely used to purify public water supply.
Which is why, I’ve been saying this for sometime now- people need to be as aware of the effects of chlorine and chloramines(a chlorine byproduct in water) as they are of hard water.
If you’d like to know more about how hard water and chlorinated water are bad for you- read this detailed post I wrote on hard water hair loss and this post on 7 Proven chloramine vs chlorine water treatment methods
Go on, I’ll wait for you here till you’re done.
Finished? All right! Let’s move on.
Is There Anything The CLEO Shower & Tap Filter Can’t Do?
Well, there are a two things that you should know:
CLEO SFU 717 Can’t Remove Chloramines
Instead of just using chlorine, a lot of water suppliers now use chloramines (chlorine+ ammonia) which has longer lasting water purification effects.
I doubt that we get chloraminated water in India though, as I’ve only heard of some states in the US doing this. It’s a recent practice, so until it starts to become more common, I’d say we don’t need to worry about this.
CLEO SFU 717 Can’t Soften water or reduce Total Dissolved Salts(TDS)
I know I said earlier that CLEO filters are the only true shower head water softeners, but I wasn’t trying to trick you. I did it because to point out that this is a marketing term used for shower filters that you should know about.
Let me explain:
The CLEO filter cartridges contain a hardness removal stage that conditions the hard water minerals, such that they do not stick to surfaces such as walls, bathroom tiles and even our bodies.
So, technically, while the CLEO filter cartridge doesn’t remove the hard water salts, we still get the benefits of softened water. Soap lathers much better and hard water minerals don’t buildup on the skin and scalp.
This is just a marketing term though, and you should know that it actually is more of a water conditioner than a softener. Actual water softeners remove hard water minerals- calcium and magnesium using an ion exchange process.
A good, though expensive alternative to the CLEO shower filter. Read more about water softeners here.
How Does The CLEO Shower & Tap Filter Work?
The CLEO shower filter works through a 4-stage filtration process:
- The first layer mechanically filters out suspended micro-particles
- The second layer reduces effect of hard water salts and lime-scale
- The third layer reduces chlorine levels(upto 90-95%) and water soluble heavy metals like lead and mercury
- The fourth layer is the nano-silver carbon layer which removes odor from the water and prevents bacterial growth
How Hard Water Gets Treated
“Part of the Cleo’s unique 4 layer filtering system is the hardness-removal layer- a combination of natural MicroSieve Zeolites and food grade anti-scalant media, which ensures that hard-water salts are filtered, reduced and washed away and don’t stick to your skin”
How Chlorine Filtration Stage Works
Chlorine filtration happens in the 3rd stage, which is made using patented KDF technology.
In a nutshell, free chlorine which is a harmful oxidizer gets converted into a harmless, water soluble form which doesn’t affect us. To know more about how KDF and other water filtration technologies work, read this post.
How To Install And Use The CLEO SFU 717 Shower & Tap Filter
Apart from the filter body and cartridge, the product box includes the following add-ons to help in installation:
- 1 Wrench
- Some sandpaper
- 1 Teflon tape
- Few extra washers: These are just replacements for the existing washers inside the filter, which are used for restricting water pressure to a steady flow
- 24mm male aerator- needed to install as a tap filter
PS: If you have a non standard tap, with a wider opening, you’ll need to buy a 28 mm male aerator to install the tap filter. It’s not an expensive add on, thankfully, and you can easily get it on Amazon
Now, as for the installation. Getting the filter in place is just a 2 minute job. And you don’t even need to call the plumber for this.
Let’s talk about how you can install it as a shower filter and a tap filter.
Installing CLEO SFU 717 as a Shower Filter:
The CLEO SFU 717 has two connectors- the top one is female and the bottom one is male. Also, the filter fits all standard ½” shower arms.
To install it, here’s what you do:
- Remove your existing shower head
- Rub the sandpaper on the shower arm’s threads to smoothen them if needed(I usually skip this)
- Wrap some teflon tape onto the threads of the shower arm. This ensures leak proof operation
- Align the top connector(female) of the CLEO SFU 717 onto the threads of your shower arm and rotate clockwise a few times to attach it firmly
- In case you need a little help tightening it, use the wrench
- Now, take your regular shower-head and align it with the bottom connector of the CLEO SFU 717( male). Rotate clockwise to attach.
- If you want, use sandpaper and teflon tape in the above step as well.
Initially, you’ll see some black residue coming out of the filter. That’s just some carbon particles- let them flush out by running water through the filter for 1-2 minutes and then you’re good to go.
Installing CLEO SFU 717 as a Tap Filter:
The CLEO SFU 717 will fit all standard taps and faucets with a 24 mm aerator(included in product box).
Simply remove the existing aerator in your tap/ faucet and install the 24 mm aerator by aligning it’s threads with your tap and screwing it into place. You may want to use the wrench to firmly position it.
After that, you just need to align the top connector(female) with the aerator threads and attach it.
In case you’re still confused or want to SEE how the installation looks- watch the video below(automatically skips to the installation part)
Maintenance Costs Of CLEO SFU 717 Shower & Tap Filter
First off, the main recurring cost of this product is that you need to replace the filter cartridge every 6 months or 25,000 L of usage- whichever comes first.
This figure is just an estimate though, and might be slightly lesser, say 3-4 months for some people, depending on their water quality and daily usage.
While some people will find this maintenance cost to be too much, I personally would be okay paying upto double the amount Waterscience charges for the cartridges, given the contaminants they filter out.
And you don’t need to worry about going out to the store to buy it. You can easily order a CLEO replacement filter cartridge on Amazon.
Bonus Tip: How To Maintain The CLEO Shower Filter Cartridge For A Longer Life
(YT Video Coming Soon)
A Little Known Service Waterscience Provides
I spoke with a Waterscience representative who told me that they also send customized CLEO filter cartridges, on request.
She told me that they can customize filter cartridges two ways:
- With extra an thick KDF layer for those who face severely chlorinated water
- With an extra thick anti-scalant layer for consumers that have really hard water.
If this isn’t dedication to customer service, then what is?
Here’s how you can get a customized CLEO filter cartridge:
- Call waterscience on 9242 000 100 within the 90 day warranty period on your filter cartridge
- Register your product for warranty on the phone and provide them with your Amazon Order ID so they can verify you as a recent buyer.
- Waterscience will then send you a customized filter, as per your request with a unique ID on it
- The next time you need a replacement filter cartridge, simply order the regular one on Amazon and e-mail/ call Waterscience with your Unique ID. They’ll send across the customized one
The best part of this?
The customized CLEO filter cartridge costs the same as the normal one!
My Personal Experience With CLEO
I live in an area of New Delhi which is notorious for it’s hard water. Having suffered hard water hair loss for close to 10 years without a convenient solution, I am really grateful that there’s a product out there for me.
I won’t say it’s a magic pill that’ll solve your hair fall or skin problems. There can be a lot of reasons for skin and hair issues- genetic, environmental, puberty related, etc- and no single product can solve all that.
However, personally, my biggest worries- hair fall and dandruff due to hard water- have definitely reduced. I can’t say that they’ve gone away fully, but there is definitely an improvement.
And I no longer have to worry about my scrubbing my bathroom tiles for removing limescale!
Also- my area gets tanker water, not from the municipality. This means that it sometimes comes with other contaminants that aren’t usually present in public water supply. I’m really happy that these too, are removed by my shower filter.
This is a special product. No other shower head filter actually conditions hard water like the CLEO Shower & Tap Filter.
I wrote a whole post on why all hard water shower filters being marketed online are a hoax– however, this filter is the only one I could find that actually does what it says.
The nearest alternative to the CLEO SFU 717?
A salt free water softener- costs about $200 minimum or about 12,000 Rs! And even at that price, you don’t get any of the other benefits that the CLEO filter provides.
Given that there are so many contaminants in our water- not just chlorine and hard water minerals- I strongly feel that shower filters aren’t a luxury anymore, they’re a necessity, a matter of basic hygiene.
I think it’s time you check out the CLEO SFU 717 Tap+Shower Filter on Amazon.