The Best Bath Water Filters to Reduce Toxins

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » The Best Bath Water Filters to Reduce Toxins

Regular tap water can be a source of many chemicals from chlorine to fluoride and many others. We have a water filter for our drinking water, so why not have a bath water filter too?

Thoughts on Bath Water Filters

I’ve gotten lots of water filters over the years. While I still use the drinking water filter, I’ve added a whole house filter too. This helps further reduce contaminants throughout the home.

For showering and bathing, we also use shower filters on our shower heads. When my kids were younger and taking baths though, I wanted a good option for bath water. They’re not easy to find! I told my dad (an engineer) that he needs to work on one of these.

In the meantime, I wanted to find ways to reduce the chemicals my children were exposed to during bath time. My son had allergies and skin troubles since he was a baby, so it was especially important for him. Thanks to some food and lifestyle changes we’ve been able to mostly get rid of those.

Step one was switching to more natural bath products. Even homemade bath bubbles helped. Still, I knew I wanted to do something more.

Toxins in Bath Water?

While the EPA regulates water quality in the US, there’s still plenty to be desired. High levels of heavy metals, like lead from old pipes, can cause problems. Then there are the PFAS (forever chemicals), pesticides, and other contaminants.

What’s added to public drinking water isn’t any better. Fluoride is a known neurotoxin. And chlorine is a poisonous gas. While the idea is that diluted amounts aren’t harmful, that may not be the case.

Most municipal water supplies use chlorine to help reduce pathogens in the water. Some combine chlorine with ammonia or add fluoride. These chemicals are known to increase the risk of asthma, allergies, breathing problems, cancer, and more. They’re toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Children: A Special Concern

Unfortunately, this puts children most at risk. Some children bathe for 45 minutes or more several nights a week. They also have a larger surface-area-to-body-weight ratio and may absorb chemicals more quickly. They can also be more severely affected by them.

Children’s tissues, organs, and biological systems are still developing. They go through several stages of rapid growth and development from infancy to adolescence. These factors make it so children are likely to have more issues with toxins. Especially at certain age ranges.

Types of Shower & Bath Filtration

We don’t want our kids soaking in a toxic soup, but what can we do about it? And on the occasion I take a relaxing soak, I don’t want to bathe in toxins either!

There are several different options, depending on your preference and budget. For people with rust and really hard water, a water softener is a great first step. Culligan is one popular option. This is more common with well water. Tap water in cities is more likely to have added fluoride and chlorine to it.

Whole House Filter

One of the best ways to get out toxins is with a whole-house water filter system. This water filtration system helps clean water before it even gets to the tub. Here’s the one we have. For added protection, you can pair this with a faucet water filter or shower filter.

Bath Ball Filter

These are a popular option that are budget-friendly. The bath ball hangs on the bathtub faucet and filters the water as it flows through. The filtration media in it can catch sediment and neutralize chlorine. Some popular brands are Crystal Quest and Sprite. Replacement filter cartridges vary in price and quality. Crystal Quest bath filters claim to remove a much wider variety of contaminants.

One common complaint is bath ball filters don’t do well with hard water. Another issue is they don’t work well with the flow rate of certain tubs. The fast water flow can spill over the sides, leaving some water unfiltered.

I like using this bath ball de-chlorinator instead. You just swish it around in the water for 5-8 minutes before getting in. This water purifier is good for over 200 baths and uses vitamin C as the filter media.

Shower Filter

We also have a shower filter the kids and I use. If you have a good shower filter you can also use that to fill up your tub. It takes longer though and the water may not be as warm by the time you get to it.

Here’s what else I do to reduce chemicals in our bath water.

Vitamin C to Reduce Bath Toxins

Carbon block filters remove chlorine, but they can be tough to use for shower and bath water. I have a countertop filter that uses carbon for drinking water. You can also find them in under sink water filter options.

A simpler option is to use Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for the immune system, but it can also play a role in reducing bath water chemicals and chlorine. It also helps with chloramine (chlorine and ammonia). These chemicals are often used in treating water and can be more dangerous than chlorine alone.

Two forms of Vitamin C will work to neutralize chlorine more effectively:

Personally, I prefer to use sodium ascorbate since it has less of an effect on the pH. But either form will work. I use a teaspoon of either of the above per tub of water. It’s best to put the powder in for 2-5 minutes before getting in the bath to allow it time to work.

If you aren’t a fan of adding powder to the bath each time, there’s another option. The bath ball de-chlorinator mentioned earlier does the same thing.

Adsorbent Clay

Healing clays (like Bentonite clay) bind to heavy metals in the body and help remove them. They’re used as an adsorbent even across industrial and agricultural industries. This same process happens on the skin, and many people use it in detox baths.

One of my favorites is Bentonite Clay (from a previous post):

“Bentonite Clay is a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals.”

I use Bentonite Clay to detox my hair and as a “shampoo” of sorts. I also regularly add bentonite clay to my kids’ baths after removing the chlorine.

Note: Don’t use metal when dealing with Bentonite, as it makes it less effective. I mix 2 tablespoons of Bentonite clay with water in a glass jar with a plastic lid and shake well. I then pour this into the bath after the chlorine has been removed. The two types of clay I personally use and have good results with are:

Salts & Minerals

While these don’t reduce toxins in bath water, they help add nutrients back in. I’ve written before (a lot) about magnesium (tired of hearing about it yet?). Due to depleted soil levels of magnesium and synthetic fertilizers, many of us don’t get enough magnesium. One of the easiest ways to help kids avoid this problem is to add these minerals to their bath water.

One 2016 study examined how well magnesium is absorbed through the skin. The researchers found magnesium levels increased in the skin starting at the 15-minute mark.

I regularly add a cup of Epsom salts or magnesium flakes and a few tablespoons of Himalayan salt to my kid’s baths. When I have the time, I take a relaxing bath in this mixture also. Ideally, you’ll want to soak for at least 15 minutes for the best results.

When I don’t have time for a bath, magnesium oil also helps. I notice the benefits of transdermal magnesium (baths or magnesium oil) much more quickly than when I take internal forms of magnesium.

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Relaxing Magnesium Bath Salts

These soothing magnesium bath salts add a relaxing dose of healthy minerals to bathwater
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Yield: 1 bath
Author: Katie Wells



  • Mix the salt and magnesium together in the jar.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla and essential oil on top (if using). These are optional, but add a nice scent and some added health benefits.
  • Add the entire mixture to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes (30 is even better).


  • I try to make time for a relaxing bath at least once a week.
  • When my kids were little I added it to their bath each night, (plus some homemade bubble bath).

For intensive therapy (illness, eczema, etc.) you can take a magnesium bath every day. But check with your doctor first if you have any medical conditions.

So to recap, here are the steps I do to reduce toxins in our bathwater:

Do you use a bath water filter? Do you add anything to your kid’s bath water? Leave a comment and let me know!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


204 responses to “The Best Bath Water Filters to Reduce Toxins”

  1. Brittany Gustafson Avatar
    Brittany Gustafson

    Hi there!
    I am loving your website! I have been printing many articles of your DIY home natural remedies and yummy recipes. I was wondering what kind of filter you use for your shower as I know not all brands get the job done?
    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Jeannie Avatar

    We, also, have a filter on our shower, and for our small children to take baths we fill the bath tub up by running the shower, so the water does get filtered.

  3. Cari Avatar

    Hello, and thank you for your great website. I tried this with my little girls’ bath, but their long hair came out kind of…chalky? and very hard to brush out. Any ideas why and what to do about it?

  4. Megan W Avatar

    I bought some ascorbic acid and added about a teaspoon to my bath. I noticed a very metallic smell. Is this normal when using the vitamin C?

      1. Megan W Avatar

        Thank you for taking the time to answer! I bought a 500 gram bag and it was a very strong smell but I am going to use it for other purposes as well like your vitamin C serum. Thanks for all of your helpful tips and articles. I have learned so much on my journey to wellness.

  5. Christel Hagn Avatar
    Christel Hagn

    First of all, I love your site! Thanks for all of your hard work!!

    I have a question about this..
    I am pregnant and planning for a water birth. Would vitamin C, bentonite clay and sea salt be good to add to the birth pool?
    I am having a hard time finding information about removing chlorine and other unwanted chemicals or heavy metas from the birth pool.
    Although, I’ve found a few sites that say it is beneficial to birth in chlorinated water to kill off bacteria!

    I would love to hear any advice you have whatsoever.

    Thank you so much!! Can’t wait to hear what you have to say:)


    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      You could add Vitamin C…. I wouldnt add the others as they might be too harsh for baby’s skin, but I wouldnt worry about it too much either way since baby isn’t in the water for that long. Congrats!

  6. Elise Avatar

    Would citric acid counteract the chlorine? Or does it strictly have to be ascorbic acid?

  7. Todd Avatar

    This is a great article! I have tested water with the vitamin C and it does a great job at neutralizing the chlorine. I am familiar with the clays also but have not done any water testing with them. I would imagine that they would be better than vitamin C at removing some of the more toxic byproducts from chlorine. We used to carry vitamin C shower filters but the company stopped manufacturing them. The Sprite shower heads are misleading as they do an okay job but the filter is only good for about 2 months in the testing I have done. Also the KDF media is not effective with the most toxic compounds in tap water being the THM’s and other byproducts produced by chlorine. The only way to really reduce the chlorine and the byproducts from tap water are to have a whole house carbon filter installed but even then it needs to have at least 1 cubit foot of carbon and a high quality carbon which is not often sold by companies. The best thing is to find a local water professional near by and talk to them but be careful of high pressure sales employed by most companies. A simple carbon backwashing system should only run you between $900 – $2000 depending on size, plus installation for a good system. The carbon will need to be exchanged every few years but the unit should last you a lifetime. I hope maybe this helps a few people. If you can’t afford a whole house unit then at least try to use the vitamin C and clay to help protect your body from the chemicals.

  8. Debra S Avatar

    Hi, I am coming across this post from Pinterest! I occasionally, not every time, use epsom salts for our baths but after reading this will use it every time and want to try the sea salt as well. I have an unopened 5 pound bag my dad bought me for cooking and was hoping you could tell me if it mattered what kind is used? It’s a red alaea salt so it’s Hawaiian sea salt with alaea {volcanic clay}. I’m assuming since it’s edible that it’s okay for the bath as well and probably good for us. The place it came from says it has digestible dietary iron and other trace minerals {but doesn’t specify}.

    Thank you!

  9. Shannon Avatar

    I love your post! I’ve always been paranoid about the chemicals in water. I have read numerous times not to stay in an Epsom salt bath for more than 10 min as the toxins can be reabsorbed. I don’t know if you have read that at all in your research and what you think about it.

  10. Laura Avatar

    I have a question. If chlorine is so worrisome, what are your thoughts about swimming in a pool? I swim regularly for exercise and my four-year-old is taking swimming lessons. Is this a bad idea??

    1. Leah Avatar

      Firstly I am no expert on the matter of health but here is my view . . I read so many comment os people worrying or bordering on paranoia about exposure to toxins and chemicals that could potentially cause damage. My answer would be to really chill out a bit.

      The benefits of exercise and learning the life skill of swimming negates the risk of any exposure in my opinion.

      Limit exposure in situations where you have control, check your health regularly, eat healthily and detox where possible. In situations where you cannot limit the exposure then trust that your body will right itself. If you give it the correct tools and environment most of the time then there is no reason to suspect that it won’t. Stressing about issues only makes your immune system weaker and less able to deal with them.

      If we all knew how many toxic chemicals we were exposed to just by stepping outside the door then we would never go out. The mind and body connection is a real and strong phenomena so again, trust that your body will right yourself and it likely will . . Meditation and visualization for cleansing the body/self healing can be a very powerful tool. There are many free videos on youtube if you are interested.

  11. lynn Avatar

    I am interested in learning more on the magnesium butter.
    I read that magnesium deficiency can cause a lot of health issues like depression.
    Where do you get magnesium butter? Thanks

  12. stacy Avatar

    Hi! Have you tried a bath ball? I use this for my daughter and the tub water runs through it before filling the tub and filters out all of the chemicals 🙂 I just discovered your site – love it and looking forward to reading through all of your informative articles!

  13. alice baker Avatar
    alice baker

    Is there any reason why you wouldn’t just run the bath water from the shower head for kids’ baths?

  14. Bill Avatar

    Just fill the tub with your shower head filter. I turn on the shower, close the shower curtain and let it fill while we get the tots ready.

  15. Lisa M. Avatar

    Have you happened to research well water? We have very hard water with plenty of lime and/or calcium remnants in all places where water is allowed to air dry. Do you suppose an additive (such as one of the three listed above) would be beneficial for the children or would the spring, which feeds the well, have enough natural vitamins, clay and salt/minerals in it to make adding it obsolete?

    1. pam Avatar

      I lived in rural Colorado for years and had bad well water. we had it tested by a lab in Grand Junction and found it really was not safe to drink of course so always had drinking water brought in by delivery but unfortunately had no alternative for baths/showers then… smarter now and living in the city. So having a heavy metals test done on myself and also using the Vit. C and Epsom salts in my baths here in the city. So Id suggest getting your well water tested for all the mineral/contaminant levels… especially if there are farms nearby

  16. Mandy Avatar

    I too am a little confused. So do you remove the chlorine before you do any of these things or does the salt and vitamin c filter the water? Also can’t you use baking soda to filter the water? And I also have a metal drain, can i still add the clay to the bath water?

  17. Ashlee Avatar

    I’m actually working with a company that sells ionizers to produce alkaline water and I’ve learned SO much about tap water. Tap water has a neutral pH of 7 because the government doesn’t want it eventually rusting our pipes and costing them millions (if not billions) of dollars to fix. Yet, they allow producers to sell bottled water that has a less than neutral pH. Stear clear of Dasani water. It’s one of the most acidic brands of bottled water you can buy… and sadly, used to be my favorite.

    1. Heather Avatar

      The reason why tap water is a neutral PH is because of the chemicals in it. Besides chlorine or chloramine and fluoride most tap water also contains lye. The lye is what reduces the acidity of the water and keeps pipes from rusting.

      As for bottled water brands like Dansani, Vitamin Water, SmartWater, Aquafina and Arrowhead are all super acidic. The leaching from the plastic also adds additional chemicals to the water. If you have to drink bottled water in plastic then Crystal Geyer is the least acidic.

      I prefer drinking all my bottled water from glass and my favorite water in Mountain Valley Spring water. It has a neutral PH.

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