Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride? Ultimate Truth

does reverse osmosis remove fluoride

One of the main questions people have is does reverse osmosis remove fluoride from water. Reverse osmosis is a popular water purification process to remove water contaminants. It purifies water for drinking and other household uses.

The short answer is yes! Reverse osmosis systems remove various contaminants from water, and fluoride is one of them. However, the efficiency of reverse osmosis in removing fluoride depends on the type of membrane, fluoride concentration in the water, and the water pressure. Reverse osmosis can remove fluoride from water, but there are some things to consider. 

In this article, you’ll explore how reverse osmosis removes fluoride from water. So if you’re wondering does reverse osmosis remove fluoride or not, keep reading to find out.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical present in natural groundwater. It is an ion that is commonly found in minerals and rocks. In addition, it dissolves quickly in water, has no scent or flavor, and is not visible in a combination.

In certain instances, the groundwater can contain high fluoride, which can be hazardous to health. You can eliminate the excessive fluoride from the water by using reverse osmosis water purification.

The US Health and Human Services Department has set 0.7 milligrams per liter as the maximum permissible fluoride in drinking water. Many US cities have been putting fluoride in public water sources since 1945 to protect children and adults from dental fluorosis.

What Is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?


Reverse osmosis is a popular way of purifying water. It consists of a semi-permeable membrane with holes that let water molecules pass.

The filtration process removes impurities from the water. Applying force to water on one side of the membrane causes molecules to pass through the other. This results in pure water.

Reverse osmosis removes most impurities, yet it can be inefficient. It only cleans a small amount of the water put through the mechanism.

A 2008 University of Nebraska guide states that reverse osmosis eliminates a variety of pollutants present in water, such as calcium, magnesium, solid matter, and pesticides.

This guide indicates that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems provide enough fluoride-free water for an entire family. It is best to contact a dependable water treatment specialist to pick and install the most suitable system.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: Concerns Regarding Fluoride Consumption

Generally, the fluoride concentration in municipal drinking water is approximately 1 part of every million gallons of water. This protects teeth from decay. Nevertheless, some underground water sources may naturally contain more fluoride ions because of dissolved minerals.

Suppose people are exposed to a monthly fluoride concentration of 4 parts per million or higher. In that case, they may suffer from joint rigidity, a bone disorder called fluorosis, and discolored teeth.

Does reverse osmosis remove fluoride? If the drinking water contains too much fluoride, it should be filtered through reverse osmosis.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: How Reverse Osmosis System Filters Fluoride?


The Reverse Osmosis (RO) procedure successfully eliminates fluoride from the water. Furthermore, the RO system is beneficial in eradicating other pollutants as well.

The RO system uses elevated water pressure. It forces water molecules to pass through its semi-permeable membrane with small pores. This process obstructs bigger molecules of contaminants, such as fluoride, from passing through. Consequently, the reverse osmosis system drains out the remaining tap water contaminated with residuals.

The RO system has a continuous cycle where water is brought into its chamber and forced through its membrane, while wastewater is expelled through its drain pipe.

Like other pollutants, fluoride molecules are too large to go through the RO’s semi-permeable membrane. Therefore, the system eliminates them and most other contaminants in regular tap water.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: Do RO Water Filtration Systems Work?

RO’s efficiency depends on the quality of its membrane. Generally, a standard RO membrane performs optimally in eliminating fluoride.

Reverse osmosis systems are perfect for eliminating fluoride and other impurities from their drinking water. They can filter out roughly 80-90% of the fluoride.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: Cons Of Using RO


Even though a reverse osmosis system can be beneficial for eliminating fluoride from drinking water, it also has certain drawbacks. These include:

Needs Daily Maintenance

Regular RO systems require 3-4 distinct filters with different lifespans to purify water. Typical reverse osmosis systems involve three to four stages of filtration for purifying water, which necessitates three to four distinct filters with varying lifespans.

Water Wastage

The proportion between wastewater and filtered water produced by RO is 4:1, which makes it a less sustainable & costly option. Some reverse osmosis systems might produce a decreased amount of wastewater compared to filtered water.

Removes Even Healthy Minerals

The reverse osmosis filtration process eliminates fluoride molecules and other beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium.

If you want to eliminate excessive fluoride from your water, a reverse osmosis system is your best option. Nevertheless, before making your final decision, make sure to take into account its drawbacks too.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: How Much Fluoride Does RO Remove?

RO’s effectiveness as a fluoride filter largely depends on the membrane quality. According to the Water Quality Association’s fluoride fact sheet, RO systems can eliminate approximately 80-90% fluoride from drinking water.

Reverse osmosis filters are incredibly well-regarded for eliminating fluoride, making them a preferred selection for many individuals.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: What Else Does RO Remove from Water?

Reverse osmosis filters eliminate various contaminants from the water, including fluoride. They can eliminate up to 95% of the non-organic substances in regular tap water, including chlorine, chloramines, lead, sodium chloride, calcium, and magnesium.

Moreover, some RO filters can eliminate nearly 99% of organic matter, including viruses and bacteria.

As an example, chlorine can be harmful to reverse osmosis membranes. Therefore, most reverse osmosis filters have activated carbon filters that take out the chlorine before it passes into the RO filtration stage.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride: How To Choose A RO System


When you are picking which RO system is right for you, take into account the following: 

Remove contaminants other than fluoride

Eliminating fluoride from water is likely your top priority. But I advise you to conduct a test to find out what other pollutants may be present in high amounts in the water.

A reverse osmosis system will likely reduce or remove the typical impurities. However, if you are particularly concerned about any specific contaminants, check if they are mentioned when researching different products.

You can expect a RO system to reduce or eliminate all the common contaminants, but if you have a particular set of contaminants in mind, look out for them when researching products.

Tank or a Tankless system

Most reverse osmosis systems have reservoirs that hold the purified water. So you can quickly have access to clean water when you use your tap.

However, specific space-saving systems don’t come with a tank, so wait a few moments each time you turn on the tap for the water to pass through the system.


Currently, reverse osmosis is not viable if you aim to eliminate water waste. Few individuals don’t agree with utilizing 4:1 proportion water. If you want something more efficient, search for one that has a 1:1 or 2:1 proportion.

Countertop or under counter model

Most reverse osmosis (RO) systems are placed under the kitchen sink, where they can be kept out of view. Nevertheless, if you do not give up the area beneath the sink, RO filters can also be installed on the ground or your countertop.

These systems are placed on a countertop, making them generally more petite and occupying less space.

Certain brand

You may have heard of a certain water filtration brand from a trusted source, and you are interested in understanding if they provide a reverse osmosis filter. A wide selection of companies offers RO filters. However, the most renowned ones are: 


Reverse osmosis filters are more costly than other filters, with prices ranging from $1000 to upwards. However, it is still possible to find decent systems within the $250-$500 range that perform as effectively as more expensive models.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride

1. Does reverse osmosis remove 100% of fluoride?

Generally, the most effective means of filtering out fluoride from drinking water is through an RO system membrane. This method reduces the fluoride content by up to 90%. RO’s efficacy in eliminating fluoride is contingent on its membrane quality.

2. How much fluoride is removed by reverse osmosis?

A Reverse Osmosis (RO) system is a straightforward way to eliminate fluoride from drinking water. This system can eliminate between 85-92% of fluoride from the H2O. The reverse osmosis process relies on the water pressure from the faucet to force the water through the filtration system.

3. What is not removed by reverse osmosis?

Reverse Osmosis systems cannot take certain impurities out of the water. Moreover, reverse osmosis systems cannot successfully eliminate most organic compounds, microbial organisms, chlorine derivatives, or gaseous substances such as carbon dioxide, methane, and radon.

4. Is reverse osmosis water good for your teeth?

It is possible to consume distilled or reverse osmosis water, which lacks all additives, vitamins, and minerals. Some people think this is the cleanest form of water. Although drinking distilled water does not risk your health, it can be detrimental to your dental health.

Summary: Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride


Reverse osmosis systems can be beneficial for eliminating fluoride from drinking water, as well as other impurities. Every reverse osmosis system is different, and some might not be as effective as others.

Does reverse osmosis remove fluoride? The answer is yes! The RO system eliminates fluoride molecules and other pollutants while removing healthy minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. However, the RO system cannot remove the fluoride altogether.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how much fluoride they want in their drinking water. Use a reverse osmosis system to avoid fluoride in drinking water.

However, if you want to eliminate fluoride sustainably from drinking water, then consider using a filter that contains minerals.

I hope this article on does reverse osmosis remove fluoride sounds helpful!

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