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Nursery Water Vs Distilled Water- Baby Safe & Fluoride Free?

You’re probably reading this article because your baby is older than 6 months and is in the process of being weaned off breast milk and onto formula. You’re also probably wondering what is the best way to provide safe water for your baby, now that he/she is starting to consume water.

Should you get Nursery Water? Install a water purifier? Buy bottled water?

You may be pondering over the different types of water purifier, types of bottled water… and what about those poor reviews you’ve been reading about Nursery water over the internet?

So many options, it’s confusing right? I mean your parents just gave you plain old tap water, so maybe that’s best?

Well, let’s settle the tap water debate first- Going against the FDA recommendations, I suggest you avoid it. I have good reason to say so because in many countries countries such as the US, tap water is fluoridated as well as chlorinated- two chemicals which you should keep babies away from, especially since the dosages aren’t meant for infants. Even boiling doesn’t remove these chemicals which is why I suggest not using tap water at all.

PS: You may like to read more about chlorine and chloramines in your water and how to remove them as well as more about fluoride in your water and what to do about it

As for the other options, let’s break these down one by one:

What Is Nursery Water?

Nursery water is a brand that makes processed water specially for infants. Their packaged water is run through 4 stages:

  1. Through an activated carbon filter to remove chlorine, VOCs and other organic compounds, as well as improve taste
  2. Next, the water is distilled, i.e: it is evaporated and then condensed in a separate container. This further removes dissolved contaminants in water.
  3. Next the water is ozonated which kills any remaining bacteria and viruses in the water.
  4. Finally, the water is run through 1 micron filter(good enough to remove any bacteria, cysts and cryptosporidium in water) before being bottled.

As you can see, there are a lot of redundancies in place for ensuring that water is absolutely purified.

What Are The Concerns With Nursery Water?

The main concern with Nursery water is that they add fluoride to the water. Multiple forums online are filled with parents’ complaining of this fact and talking about how they’ve stopped using nursery water because of this.

So, what’s the issue with fluoridated water exactly?

The practise of public water fluoridation was started in the 1950s in the US to improve dental health of the general population when it was found that fluoride, when applied topically(i.e on top or on the exterior) on the tooth, helps prevent decay.

A lot of countries, such as India(where I live) or even most European nations do not practise water fluoridation, because with the improved standards of oral care in the modern world, it isn’t really needed anymore.

However, fluoridation of public water is still practised in the US- so to be safe, you should talk to your baby’s doctor about the recommended fluoride intake for your child. This is because excess fluoride can cause:

  • Enamel streaking- permanent discoloration of the teeth
  • Skeletal fluorosis– brittle bones as excess fluoride gets deposited in the teeth and bones

The Solution For Nursery Water

Going through their website, I found that they offer two variants of water- one with added fluoride and one without. So, if you’re concerned about your baby’s fluoride intake, you can simply purchase the non-fluoridated version.

The great thing about Nursery water? It’s just 1-2$, and available at most local grocery stores in the US. This probably is one of the few products that are cheaper in retail than online, so I won’t link you to Amazon for this one.

What About Distilled Water?

Firstly- yes, water distillation will purify your water and make it baby safe. However, water distillation isn’t really practical at home because it takes a long time! According to the product details of this popular countertop distiller on Amazon, it takes 5 hours to purify 1 gallon(~4 L) of water.

Mostly, water distillers are used by preppers/ survivalists or those camping out in the open for days at end with no other way to get water. Why else would you waste so much time to get so little water?

And if having your water distilled is really important to you- remember that nursery water is distilled. Save some time, drive to a grocery store and buy that instead. It’ll be quicker than waiting for the water distiller.

Does Bottled Water Not Contain Fluoride?

No, bottled water does not contain fluoride because it is usually prepared by Reverse Osmosis(RO) filtration, which removes almost all minerals, chemicals and other contaminants from water.

So yeah, while you could use bottled water for your baby, it really won’t be affordable in the long run. Plus, recent news reports about microplastics finding their way into almost all major bottled waters in the market are even more concerning.

What Water Should You Use For Your Baby?

Firstly, as I suggested earlier, you should definitely consult a doctor about the fluoride intake for your child and start from there.

As for comparing Nursery water and distilled water- both are baby safe, but you should probably go with Nursery water, because distillation is just plain inconvenient.

However, these are short term options. So I’d say it makes even more sense to invest and get a filter the water for your home, instead continuously buying nursery water/ bottled water. The three main methods through which you can get baby-safe water at home are:

  1. Reverse Osmosis(RO) filters
  2. Ion Exchange Water Purifiers
  3. Water Distillation

I went into distillation in this post, but if you’d like to know more about RO and Ion exchange as well as regulations around fluoride, you may want to read another, more detailed post I wrote on this topic

Hope you found the article helpful, and don’t hesitate to jump into the comments below if you have any questions!


Salt Based Vs Salt Free Water Softeners-What’s Best For You?

Salt based water softeners are more useful because they actually soften water by removing the hard water minerals. However, if all you care about is getting rid of limescale, go for a salt free softener. It’ll cost you less as well

How Do Salt Based Water Softeners Work?

Salt based water softeners work according to a process called ion-exchange. This basically means that positively charged hard water ions in water(Ca+ and Mg+) are exchanged with a negatively charged ion and removed from water.

The positively charged ions are introduced via ionic resin beads which are coated with Sodium ions, usually. As water flows over the surface of the beads, the ion-exchange process takes place.

Over time, as the sodium levels get depleted, more salt has to be added.

How Are Salt Based Water Softeners Tested and Evaluated?

Salt based water softeners are tested according to NSF/ANSI Standard 44 that certifies, primarily their efficiency based on how much salt and water they use to regenerate.

Salt efficiency is calculated in terms of how much hardness is removed by each pound of salt, and water efficiency by how much water is required to regenerate the system.

‘Regeneration’ is basically, the process of flushing out waste, brine solution and adding more salt to the water softener. The lesser brine produced as waste and salt required to regenerate, the more efficient the softener is.

Do Salt Free Water Softeners Really Work?

First of all, let me make something clear here:

All water softeners are salt based. There are no water softeners that do not use salt. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to trick you with marketing jargon.

What are commonly known as salt free water softeners should be called ‘salt free water conditioners’ instead. This is because they don’t remove hard water minerals from water, they only condition the minerals so that they don’t stick to surfaces.

In other words, the hard water minerals won’t form limescale inside your plumbing, water heaters, etc or form residues on your clothes and dishes. Instead they’ll just get drained away with the water.

However, salt free water conditioners aren’t for everyone as they only work well upto a level of water hardness, over which it’s better to get a water softener.

Salt free water conditioners are mostly used in industrial settings or in wineries and breweries which need water that won’t form scales and damage their expensive equipment. So, if you’re an average homeowner, should you buy one?

According to me, it makes sense to buy a salt free water conditioner when:

  • You already have a RO filter installed for drinking purposes
  • You don’t mind the taste of hard water but want to reduce limescale formation around the house

How Do Salt Free Water Softeners Work?

There are mainly two technologies in the salt free water conditioner market:

  1. Template Assisted Crystallization(TAC)
  2. Magnetic Softeners

Template Assisted Crystallization(TAC):

According to HPAC Engineering, here’s how these systems work in a nutshell:

TAC water softeners consist of resin beads which cause the dissolved hard water minerals in water to aggregate and form crystals on the surface of these beads. Once they’re big enough in size, the seed crystals detach from the beads and flow along in the water, further attracting other hard water ions.

These crystals don’t stick to any surfaces and flow along in water, and eventually- straight down the drain.

Here are some advantages of a TAC water softener:

  • Does not require electricity
  • Does not cause any noticeable drops in water pressure
  • Average lifetime of the resin media is about 3 years and does not depend on the hardness of water or the volume of water processed

Magnetic Water Softeners:

Magnetic water softeners are a very controversial product. While a lot of people claim to have benefited, there is almost no science behind the product. It seems almost too ludicrous that such products, which claim to ‘reduce limescale formation through electromagnetic waves’, are still on the market.

Especially when they have no conclusive tests or certifications to back up their claims. There are a lot of studies that have found that magnetic water softeners do not make any difference to your water, such as studies by:

However, a lot of consumer reviews, such as these on Amazon, are somehow positive! They even seem like legitimate, in depth reviews. I won’t say I am not confused that so many people have found a magnetic water softener useful. Feel free to check out the most popular one- Eddy Electronic Descaler on Amazon, if you like. I still won’t recommend it though.

How Are Salt Free Water Conditioners Evaluated?

They aren’t. Simple as that.

That’s because there are no industry standards as of now for measuring the efficacy of a Salt free water conditioner.

Your salt free water conditioner system could also include other filters that remove chlorine, chloramines, iron, etc from water, and it may have certifications regarding those extra filtration stages. Like I said though, do not confuse them as certifications for your salt free water conditioner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Salt Based Water Softeners


  • Actually soften water, i.e: remove hard water minerals. Salt free water softeners do not
  • Reduce limescale formation
  • Better sudsing- i.e lather formation from soap
  • Good for hair and skin- Showering in hard water is known to cause skin and scalp dryness, rashes, hair loss, and acne(Read more about it here)


  • Recurring cost of buying salt
  • Not eco-friendly. Produces salt water brine as a waste by-product that can possibly pollute nearby lakes, rivers, and are hard to remove from wastewater
  • Some people complain of a ‘slicky’ feeling from showering in softened water due to the sodium/ potassium salts

Advantages and Disadvantages of Salt Free Water Conditioners


  • Require just one change in filter media every 2-3 years- independent of the hardness and volume of water processed
  • Reduce limescale formation
  • Eco friendly- no salt water discharge


  • Does not actually soften water. Just conditions hard water minerals to not stick to surfaces and form limescale
  • Starts becoming ineffective as water crosses a particular threshold of hardness


For most, I recommend getting a salt based water softener because you get the full solution- less limescale formation as well as lower levels of hard water minerals in your water.

In case you’re on a low sodium diet, you may want to consider using Potassium salts instead of Sodium in the water softener. Also, some people experience itching and skin irritation from showering in softened water- because they are allergic to the salt used. If you think you might be allergic, consider changing your salt as well.

Salt based water softeners are quite expensive and have considerable maintenance costs and well. So you definitely should do your research before buying one.

You may want to check out the Fleck 5600SXT on Amazon– it’s the most popular water softener online. If you have some DIY plumbing experience you could install it yourself, or simply call a service professional.

Do Negative Ion Shower Heads Really Work?

Ionic shower heads have become kind of popular in recent times. But, do negative ion shower heads really work?

I don’t believe they do because I could not find any real science behind the claims their manufacturers make.

FYI- if you have a large amount of chlorine in your water, you should definitely get a chlorine shower-filter. This one on Amazon is the most popular in chlorine shower filter category. You can also read more about chlorine and how harmful it can be in this post

I do not have a lot of good things to say about negative ion showerheads- and negative ion technology, in general. In fact, pretty much bash it in this post. While that may seem biased to some, I promise you- if you go through this complete post, you will come out with a similar opinion.

Let’s breakdown one such showerhead being sold online. The seller claims there are 3 main components of the shower head:

Anion Balls: Comprises of a variety of precious minerals, easily absorbed by the skin and makes it more elastic

Infrared mineral balls: Activate cells to promote blood circulation, delaying skin aging.

Energy Balls: Can adjust the pH of water to slight basic, beneficial to health.

First of all, these claims are quite generic. There is no explanation given as to how minerals make the skin elastic or ‘Infrared mineral balls’ delay skin aging.

While alkaline/ acidic elements are typically used in shampoos to adjust pH and mineral pellets could also easily be included in the shower head- the most ludicrous thing here are the infrared mineral balls.

A quick google search shows a few dodgy online sellers offering ‘tourmaline infrared mineral balls’.

The only article I could find about infrared mineral balls, immediately lost credibility by talking about miniature water clusters- a pseudoscience term thrown around while discussing the benefits of alkaline filters.

Keep in mind though, that this was only a 3rd party seller website. It seems like an ominous sign that I could not find a single ionic shower filter manufacturer who had a website, let alone a website with certifications and test results.

Are There Any Legitimate Benefits of Negative Ion Technology?

Improves Depression: The only benefit that has some sort of scientific backing. Multiple studies have found negative ions to be beneficial for depressive behavior, such as this one that found improvements in Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) due to negative ions.

Other research, such as this 2013 study, found no appreciable difference in mood, sleep and other comfort measures from negative ions. However, lower depression scores were observed, and concluded by saying that more research was needed to understand this.

Other than this, I couldn’t find many more authoritative research articles about Negative Ion therapy. Seems like very little research has been done in this field in recent times, probably because of how snake oil salesmen have given it a bad name.

The few research articles I could find, however, all concluded on the same note- negative ions have no significant, measurable effect.

Here are a few more unverified claims made by manufacturers regarding their ionic gizmos:

Ionic Shower Heads:

  • Improve blood pressure as negative ions are directly absorbed into the bloodstream
  • Improves condition of skin and hair, makes them smoother and softer

Ionic Air Purifiers:

  • Improve air quality, good for asthmatics

Ionic Bracelets:

  • Improve mood, sense of well being and constantly protect us against positive ions

Other Common Uses of Negative Ion Technology

Negative Ion Air Purifiers/Generators

The main selling point of these ionic air purifiers is that they neutralize bacteria, viruses dust and other impurities in the air by emitting negatively charged ions. Whether that actually works or not is debatable, however.

For one thing, their efficacy hasn’t been verified. So, while theoretically, yes it could work- whether it is effective enough in real life or not, no one can say for sure.

For instance:

    • There are doubts whether these negative ions even purify the entire room( it seems like the purification,even if it does happen, just occurs in the immediate range of the air purifier)
  • Do the negative ions even carry enough charge to neutralize impurities?

All legitimate concerns that need to be verified with test results.

The slightly concerning side effect if ion air purifiers is the generation of small amounts of ozone, which can be very harmful if greater than 0.07 ppm(According to EPA)

The good thing is, while negative ions in air do create some amount of ozone particles, their concentrations are too low to be harmful – according to American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The reason that these air purifiers are somewhat accepted is because ozone has a sharp, clean smell, which gives the feeling that air has been purified. That fresh, sharp smell right before it rains? That’s the ozone at work.

Apart from the general public, ionic air purifiers are also marketed blatantly to asthmatics and people with other respiratory diseases. In fact, This 2013 literature review of  23 studies, spanning 1933-1993, found no appreciable effects of air ions improving respiratory function.

Goes without saying, I won’t recommend you buy ionic air purifiers/ generators.

Ion Balance Bracelets:

The ion bracelet manufacturers claim that we are surrounded by positive ions due to the modern day infrastructure- which takes a toll on our health, and causes tiredness, even depression in some.

The way to counteract it…is by buying a bracelet that emits negative ions!

Again, whether these products work or not has never been verified. In fact, this study at the Mayo Clinic, Florida, was done to find if there are any benefits to muscle or joint point from ionic bracelets. Of course, they found no evidence to support this popular claim by ion bracelet makers.

The fact is though, that these bracelets are sold to uninformed consumers as remedies for cancer, asthma, depression and many other serious illnesses which is quite unethical.

One of the things that fool people further is the FDA approval for these ionic bracelets. According to popular science, these ionic bands are Class 1 medical devices, i.e: they aren’t critical enough to require extensive regulation and do not need verifiable proof backing up their claims, in order to get a FDA registration number.

Essentially, their FDA registration is marketed as an approval, which further hoodwinks the consumers.

Now, even if I suspend my disbelief about the science behind these products for a moment, the logic used for selling these seems flawed. If we’re bombarded by positive ions from all directions, how can having a localized source of counteracting negative ions(on the wrist, as a bracelet) help?

In case you’re still on the fence, here’s a news article about the Power Balance bracelet, which incorporates ‘ion’ and ‘hologram’ technology into it’s bracelets and was forced to admit in court that it’s claims are basically bogus.

You might’ve seen celebs like Lindsay Lohan wearing these- until the lawsuit that is.


Research has found limited benefits to humans from negative ions. Getting a negative ion generator or ionic shower head is fine if you want to experiment and test it for yourself, but you now know that there is no scientific basis for getting one.

If you’re thinking of going down that road, my advice is start small- such as this cheap ionic shower head(affiliate link).

Better yet, just go out into the nature. High concentrations of negative ions are found near waterfalls, according to this study. Even taking a shower helps, as running water produces negative ions.

As for me, I have better things to spend my money on.

Can Shower Water Cause Eczema Or Psoriasis?

Showering won’t cause eczema or psoriasis- they are caused by a variety of other factors. If you already do suffer from these skin diseases, your condition may get aggravated by showering.

This is because of hard water minerals(not applicable if you get soft water) and chlorine, which usually IS present in the water. These two have an extremely drying effect on the skin and can worsen your skin condition. 

As most of you reading this post would already know, there is no known cause of eczema. However, according to WebMD, researchers have singled out these factors as possible causes of eczema:

  • Genetics
  • Abnormal function of the immune system
  • Environment
  • Activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
  • Defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in

So why do some people complain about worsening eczema from their shower water? Others who haven’t had eczema ever also experience rashes similar to the condition.

There can be a lot of triggers that flare up peoples’ eczema or psoriasis. Here are a few things to keep in mind with regards to your bathing habits:

  1. Only use cold to warm water. Never hot, as that strips away oils and moisture from the skin.
  2. Don’t soak in the bathtub or shower for more than 10-15 mins because it starts having a drying effect on the skin as the water starts to evaporate
  3. Applying too much soap/shampoo/conditioner can leave the skin dried out and irritated
  4. Applying the wrong kind of soap/shampoo/conditioner can have the same effect as #3
  5. Moisturizing well after a bath is extremely important
  6. Scrub gently around the inflamed, irritated areas
  7. Pat yourself dry gently with a towel, do not rub

Two Eczema/Psoriasis Aggravators That Almost No One Talks About

If you’ve followed the above diligently and still are experiencing worsened eczema/ psoriasis it just leaves two things to talk about with regards to your water.

And even if you don’t have eczema or psoriasis but are experiencing breakouts of dry skin, rashes, acne from your shower water- it might just be because of the following two ‘contaminants’:

  • Hard Water
  • Chlorine and Chloramines

Effects Of Hard Water On Eczema and Psoriasis

Limited studies such as this one by the University of Nottingham have found some correlation between hard water and increased incidence of eczema, especially in young children. While further research is needed to scientifically establish this correlation, anecdotally, a lot of eczema/psoriasis patients have said that hard water is quite harsh on their skin.

This makes sense too, because the two common hard water minerals- calcium and magnesium are known to have a drying effect on the skin, strippng away moisture. These hard water minerals also tend to clog the pores of our skin, leading to oil buildup and acne.

A good indicator of hard water is that you have a tough time lathering up with soap. The calcium and magnesium ions inhibit the formation of lather. This leads to people using excess soap which further dries out the skin.

So, needless to say, all this dryness leads to an exacerbated skin condition and can trigger/ worsen breakouts. Even people who don’t have eczema or psoriasis complain of dry skin, acne and rashes due to hard water.

Effect Of Chlorine/Chloramines On Eczema and Psoriasis

The cosmetic effect of chlorine and chloramine on the skin is similar to hard water- strips away natural oils and moisture, leading to dry skin and rashes.

However, the overall ill effects that chlorine and chloramine have on the human body seem quite troubling:

  • Links to cancer through formation of cancerous compounds – Trihalomethanes and Thrihaloamines
  • Respiratory distress due to formation of Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs) in water
  • May affect healthy gut bacteria- gets absorbed by the skin easily and goes directly to the bloodstream
  • Brittle hair, hair discoloration and hair fall

You can read more about the effects of chlorine and chloramine in your water, as well as how to safeguard against them in this post I wrote.

Coming back to the immediate concern, I would say that it’s quite probable that chlorine/chloramine could be affecting your skin. This is because almost all Governments and public water suppliers around the world use chlorination as a means of purifying water. While it has been a significant discovery and has helped stop water borne disease outbreaks, it has it’s clear disadvantages as well.

In some areas, chloramination has started to take over instead of chlorine, however, the effects of both on our bodies are the same.

How You Can Shower Safely Without Worsening Your Breakouts

#1 RO Filters- For Acting Against Hard Water, Chlorine & Chloramines:

RO filters are the only solution that can filter out hard water minerals as well as chemicals like chlorine and chloramine from water. They are moderately expensive- an undersink RO filter starts in the 200$ range.

If you think your skin may be acting up because of hard water, my suggestion would be to try bathing with bottled water for a few weeks( I know, it’s really wasteful, but I can’t think of a cheaper short term substitute). If you see any improvement in your skin, you could then actively consider getting a RO filter for your house, like this one on Amazon.

Though generally used as a drinking water filter, you can get a bit of customization work done by your plumber and connect the filter outlet to your bathroom to get purified water in the shower.

#2 Shower filter- For Acting Against  Chlorine & Chloramine

I always recommend getting a shower filter anyway because of how prevalent chlorine/ chloramine is in our water. Even if we discount the fact that these chemicals may have other serious effects on health, as they are unproven, the fact remains that chlorine and chloramine are damaging for the skin.

Also- a shower filter is quite inexpensive(anywhere between 15-70$), and along with chlorine and chloramines, it can also removes heavy metals and other micro particles in water.

For removing chlorine and chloramines, I’d suggest you go for a Vitamin C shower filter, such as this one on Amazon. Otherwise, I suggest buying a KDF shower filter that removes chlorine, heavy metals and other impurities(but not chloramines), like this one on Amazon.

If you’re confused whether your water has chlorine or chloramines, you can get a simple home water testing kit from Amazon that can conclusively answer this and help you decide on the best shower filter for you.

#3 Ion Exchange Water softener- Only For Hard Water

The jury’s still out on whether water softeners actually help manage eczema and psoriasis. According to the Soft Water Eczema Trial report findings, there were some statistically significant secondary benefits of using an ion exchange softener, as reported by the participants. However, the report also goes on to say that this may be due to response bias.

Still, a lot of anecdotal evidence exists online, such as on this forum, about people finding relief from soft water.

Keep in mind though, that Ion exchange water softeners are expensive(they start in the 500-700$ range and can go up to a few thousand dollars), so only buy one if you know for sure that hard water triggers your skin breakouts.

If you’d like to check them out, here’s a popular one on Amazon

Few additional things you can do:

Eczema and psoriasis patients should use the right, specialized shampoos, soaps and creams, because the regular ones can be too drying. For this purpose, I found a few popular shampoos and moisturizing creams on Amazon.


This article is meant for people suffering from eczema, psoriasis or even those who have had bad skin because of hard and chlorinated water. For the latter, the issue can be quickly identified and dealt with through one of the solutions outlined above.

However, for those of you suffering with eczema and psoriasis, it gets tricky when giving recommendations.

This is because there can be so many triggers irritating your skin that it can become hard to pinpoint. The only advice that I can give is to figure out through trial and experimentation, as this mom did with her baby, what your triggers may be. That, combined with your doctor’s inputs would allow you to know your triggers.

And only if you figure out, that hard water and chlorine are the real aggravators, do I advise you to buy a water softener or RO filter, as they can be expensive.


Are Hot Showers Bad For Asthma?

The reason that your hot shower may be triggering your asthma is due to a class of contaminants in your water called Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs). In fact, if this is the case, even a cold shower will leave you breathless.

Firstly, all asthma patients do not have the same triggers. For instance, some asthmatics might find difficulty breathing in hot and humid conditions, while others get triggered by cold and dry conditions.

Or maybe both.

For some asthmatics, the steam from hot showers helps open up airways and loosen up the mucus lining. However, others find themselves unable to breathe within minutes of stepping into a hot shower.

Why could this be? All my research into this pointed to just one fact- that there haven’t been enough scientific studies on this topic, and we need to know more. So, while there is a general list of environmental conditions which might trigger an attack, what isn’t clearly known is why everyone’s triggers are not exactly the same.

So, while the triggers related to air quality can’t be generalised, there is a major contaminant that, through several studies such as this one, has been seen to cause breathing problems like asthma, or worsen existing breathing problems.

Volatile Organic Compounds, by definition are volatile. Hence, they evaporate easily, even at normal temperatures, and can cause respiratory problems when inhaled.

There are two ways through which VOCs get into your water:

  • Due to chlorine/chloramines
  • External contamination due to human activity

The Chlorine/Chloramine Effect

VOCs are formed in water due to a reaction between chlorine/chloramines in water and organic compounds(compounds that contain carbon). One of the most common VOCs is chloroform- which was used as anesthesia until it was banned in 1976 for having cancerous properties.

Now, water chlorination is a common practice worldwide when it comes to public water purification. In some areas, chloramination(chlorine + ammonia) has replaced chlorination, but nonetheless, it has the same effect of acting as an oxidizing agent that form VOCs in water.

When the chlorine/chloramine in water combines with organic matter in water, it forms these volatile organic compounds, such as chloroform, which are easily evaporated during the time we shower.

Further, when inhaled, VOCs can cause coughing and wheezing even for those with normal respiratory systems. For asthmatics, inhalation of VOCs can be even more severe.

Apart from forming VOCs, chlorine/chloramine in water can have a lot of harmful effects on the human body, such as hair fall, rashes, dry scalp and skin, acne, etc. Read more about that in this post- 7 Proven Chloramine Vs Chlorine Water Treatment Methods

External Human Contamination:

VOCs are generally not found in surface water, such as rivers, lakes or streams, as they evaporate over time. The USEPA, however, estimates that over 1/5th of the US water supply contains VOCs. According to Minnesota Health Department:

Most VOCs found in the environment result from human activity. When VOCs are spilled or improperly disposed of, a portion will evaporate, but some will soak into the ground. In soil, VOCs may be carried deeper by rain, water or snow melt and eventually reach the groundwater table. When VOCs migrate underground to nearby wells, they can eventually end up in drinking water supplies.

If you’re unsure, the best way to know is get your water supply tested for VOCs by a local laboratory. If you live in the US, you could also get access to your water supplier’s annual water quality report.

Common Effects On Humans Due To VOCs

According to EPA, these are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

How To Test For VOC Levels at Home

Get an air quality tester, such as this one on Amazon. If you’re looking for something a little more good looking that you could display on a coffee table, say, you could go for this product on Amazon.

I highly recommend getting an air quality tester because it is a relatively inexpensive way of finding out the VOC contamination levels, as well as other common air pollutants in your home. Otherwise, getting your air quality tested by a lab, such as through this Amazon product, may cost you about 100-150$ extra.

Prevent Asthma Attacks From Showers: Get A Shower Filter

I recommend you get a shower filter for removing VOCs from your water. Keep in mind that there are two shower filter technologies commonly used:

  • KDF(Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) Shower Filters
  • Vitamin C Shower Filters

Vitamin C filters are good at removing chlorine and chloramines, but not much else. Instead, get a KDF shower filter, which removes VOCs, chlorine, heavy metals and other common contaminants in water.

The added advantage of KDF shower filters is that they are way cheaper than Vitamin C filters. They are usually priced between 15-50$, such as this one on Amazon.

Additionally, I’d also recommend installing and using an exhaust fan, to limit the steam in the bathroom and keep it well ventilated.

Other Sources of VOCs at home

According to the EPA’s indoor air quality report, some common sources of VOC indoors are:

  • paints, paint strippers and other solvents
  • wood preservatives
  • aerosol sprays
  • cleansers and disinfectants
  • moth repellents and air fresheners
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • hobby supplies
  • dry-cleaned clothing
  • pesticide

Sounds like a lot, right? While the levels of VOCs indoors may usually not be very high, asthmatics or people suffering from other respiratory diseases are more sensitive, and are affected easily.

Here are a few things you can do to reduce VOC levels at home:

  • Do not allow new furnishings into the home for a week or so. Let them de-gas in the garage first.
  • Do not sleep in freshly painted rooms. Open windows to allow for ventilation for a few days till the emissions from the paint subside.
  • Buy limited quantities of chemicals like paint- only as much as you need, so that you don’t need to store them
  • Added Tip: Latex paints contain lesser VOCs than oil paints
  • Go for alternative pest control methods that don’t use pesticides


Ultimately, it is tough to get rid of VOCs because they have so many sources and not many of them can be easily detected as they have no smell. Even though there are no guidelines for airborne VOC levels in residential homes, if you are affected by them, it is best to minimize VOCs as much as possible.

Here’s my final recommendation:

  • Buy an air purifier- Will remove VOCs from air, along with other pollutants such as dust that irritate the airways. Ensure that it has a HEPA filter for removing VOCs, like this popular one on Amazon.
  • Get a shower filter to safeguard yourself against VOC emissions in the bathroom. Ensure that you buy a KDF shower filter, like this bestseller on Amazon.Also install an exhaust fan to keep the bathroom well ventilated.


Pros And Cons Of Alkaline Water: The No Bullshit Guide

In the last couple of years, alkaline water has become really popular. Certain articles have come up online citing various health benefits as well. Very few, however, go into the science behind it.

So, is alkaline water really good for you or is it just a fad?

Here’s the deal:

There has been very little research on the effects of alkaline water on the human body. Only a few pockets of researchers have spent time on this, but there is no supposed health benefit or drawback from drinking alkaline water that can be backed by scientific research.

Long story short: We don’t know enough yet, it may or may not be good for you.

What are the supposed advantages of drinking alkaline water?

  • Better hydration
  • Acid reflux relief
  • Weight loss
  • Helps increase oxygenation in the body
  • Cure for anxiety
  • Good for hair

Let’s take a look at these one by one:

Drinking Alkaline Water Leads To Better Hydration

The ‘science’ that gets cited behind this claim is that normal water contains H2O molecules clustered together in groups of 13(roughly), while alkaline water contains microclusters- groups of 5 H2O molecules.

The claim is that these microclusters, since they are smaller, are easy for the body to process and hydrate us at a cellular level, much more efficiently than normal water.

The opposing camp says that microclustering is a sales term and that water clusters haven’t been observed much anyway to be make such a statement.

Still, I did find a few research articles that found alkaline water to be more hydrating, such as this one by Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition and this article about research conducted by Montana State University

Alkaline Water Gives Acid Reflux Relief

Everyone knows that the modern fast/frozen food diet is quite unhealthy. One of the side effects of this is that we don’t get enough alkaline foods inside our body. Foods like green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit like apples, etc helps maintain the pH balance of our body, which is supposed to be between 7.35-7.45.

However, because we don’t get enough of these alkaline foods, our bodies struggle to maintain this balance, leading to acid reflux in a lot of people.

Drinking alkaline water certainly helps in restoring the pH balance and solving helping soothe acid reflux. According to this 2012 study, it does so by deactivating pepsin- which is the main enzyme responsible for acid reflux.

However, as Dr. Axe says, just because alkaline water may make your acid reflux better, doesn’t mean that it’s solving the underlying cause. You’re just treating the symptoms, similar to taking antacids.

My view:  Alkaline water might definitely help acidity and acid reflux. However, having a good, healthy natural diet should have the same effect, long term. If you want, you can mix in a glass of alkaline water once a day. Moderation is the key.

Can you lose weight by drinking alkaline water?

This ties in with the point right above. Excess production of acid in our body or Acidosis makes one fat because it eats away at muscle mass and bones. This is because the body tries to restore the natural pH balance, for which it takes from the stored reserves of minerals and proteins in the body(which are reserves of alkalinity)

Overall, this can result in mineral deficiencies, such as calcium deficits, slower metabolism and, ultimately, weight gain.

This creates a vicious circle because muscles burn more calories than fat even when we’re resting- i.e increased metabolism. Once we start losing muscle due to acidosis, it becomes that much harder to maintain weight.

This is where alkaline water comes in, helping restore the pH balance in our body and reducing acidity in the body. So, can alkaline water help you lose weight? Yes, in an indirect way, it sure can. However, eating healthy and clean will do the same, and you won’t have to suffer from acidosis in the first place.

Does alkaline water cure anxiety?

Probably one of the strangest things I’ve heard about alkaline water. One of the articles I read while researching this talked about how alkaline water, because of it’s micro-cluster formation, can cross the blood brain barrier and hydrate the brain better, leading to reduced anxiety.

While I’m no doctor and cannot ascertain the ‘science’ behind this- it certainly doesn’t make sense to believe this unless some peer reviewed research actually proves it. Anxiety is a serious problem, and if someone close to me had it, I would only recommend treatments I know would work.

Does alkaline water help increase oxygenation?

According to this recent study of 100 healthy participants who drank alkaline water, their blood showed increased viscosity, which meant blood flow and oxygen delivery in the body became more efficient.

Is alkaline water good for your hair?

Some anecdotal evidence online suggests that alkaline water helps increase blood flow in the body, as well as research articles(see above). To think that this may extend to increased circulation to the hair follicles, leading to hair growth isn’t a very big logical jump.

Whether it works or not, no one can say for sure.

Does alkaline water cause dehydration/mouth dryness?

No, it does not. If you feel dehydrated even after drinking water, it most could be due to an underlying problem, which should be checked by a doctor.

So- What’s the verdict? Is Ionized Alkaline Water Good For You?

Like I said earlier, there has been very little research on this subject and there is so much that we don’t know. What we do know that alkaline water isn’t harmful and you certainly can incorporate it into your diet.

However, moderation is the key. Having too much alkaline water and foods may lead to alkalosis- a condition opposite to acidosis, where the body’s pH swings over the upper limit of it’s normal range of 7.35-7.45.

If you just want to test alkaline water out and see if it provides you with some health benefits, I don’t see the issue with that. I’d suggest not investing in a costly alkaline water filter straightaway.

You can easily make alkaline water at home, see if it works for you and then if you still feel the need, get an alkaline water filter.

How do you make alkaline water at home?

With Kitchen Ingredients

 You can make alkaline water at home with baking soda. Simply add ½ tbsp baking soda into a 1 L water bottle, and you’ll have water that’s alkaline.

Another thing you could do is add a dash of lemon juice to alkalize your water. For better effect, simply cut up a lemon and put it inside the bottle overnight to allow the juices to infuse into the water. Even though lemon juice is acidic, once inside the body, it has an alkalizing effect.

Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher

Alkaline water pitchers add mineral hydrates, which are alkaline and therefore, raise the pH levels of the water. They aren’t very expensive either, and I recommend getting a pitcher that filters out other common water borne contaminants as well, such as chlorine, chloramines, viruses, bacteria, etc –such as this one on Amazon.

If you’re frequently on the go, you could also get yourself an alkaline water bottle, like this one on Amazon, which also filters out other contaminants in water.

Goes without saying though, that the filter cartridges would require changing every few months, depending upon your usage and the manufacturer’s recommendation. But overall, I’d say a relatively inexpensive way to try alkaline water, you should get this first if you’re contemplating buying an alkaline water ionizer.

Alkaline Water Ionizers

If your water is hard, buying an alkaline water filter pitcher or adding baking soda won’t work effectively because the Total Dissolved Salt(TDS) levels would already be high and adding further minerals wouldn’t be possible to a significant extent. For people with hard water, the best thing would be to get a water ionizer.

Water Ionizers basically consist of two oppositely charged metal rods that attract the H+ and OH- ions in water(These two ions, when combines make up H2O). So, on one side of the container, you have ionized acidic water and on the other you get ionized alkaline water.

After draining the ionized acidic water out, the remaining alkaline water is poured out for use.

These water ionizers can be quite expensive though. Expect to pay minimum of 600-800$ on a water ionizer. Check it out on Amazon.

How to store alkaline water

Alkaline water is best served fresh because it starts losing it’s pH and Oxidation Reduction Potential(ORP) soon as it comes into contact with air.

This means that it starts becoming less alkaline and losing it’s anti-oxidative properties over time. Generally, you can store alkaline water in a normal water bottle/container for about 24 hours.

This, by the way is also a good reason why buying plastic alkaline water bottles doesn’t make sense. The thin plastic can hardly stop the water from losing it’s pH and alkalinity over the few days it takes from being packaged and shipped to finally being drunk by someone.

With proper storage though, you can keep alkaline water for about a week. For best results, get a vacuum steel bottle such as this one on Amazon, or glass jars.

Can you boil alkaline water?

Yes, if you must. It will decrease the pH and ORP(antioxidative value) somewhat, but it will still be better than tap water.


Alkaline water may help you somewhat, but please don’t forget that with most of the touted health benefits, such as soothing acid reflux, it’ll just be treating your symptoms and not the underlying problem.

Following a healthy diet is still the best long term strategy, but if you’d still like to experiment with alkaline water- go ahead. What you should not do is ignore your doctors advice, and invest heavily in an alkaline water machine without first evaluating it’s effects on you.