How to Remove Chlorine & Chemicals from Bath Water
Inside This Post: How to remove chlorine & chemicals from bath water. Safely bathe your kids by removing chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals with these 3 ingredients.
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Regular tap water can be a source of many chemicals including chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, radium, aluminum, copper, lead, pesticides, nitrates and more. At our house, we have a filtering water pitcher we use and love, and we also use filters on our shower heads that work well.
Since my kids are young, we take a lot of baths in our house, which means, I needed o find a good option to detoxify our bath water.
I used to only worry about the products I put on my kid’s skin, and carefully avoided toxic chemicals by choosing natural bath and hair products. I thought the water they bathed in would be clean and safe for them.
But, I was wrong.
Chemicals Found in Bath Water
The Environmental Protection Agency (EWG) published a report in the 19902 that a person may absorb more chlorine and other contaminants from bath and shower water than from drinking polluted water with the same toxic chemicals.
Public drinking analysis done by experts have uncovered that tap water contains over 2000 different types of toxic chemicals.
Even though chemicals are added to tap water to purify it and make it “safe” for drinking and cooking, there are still plenty of health risks.
Chlorine when consumed over time in small doses increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and other health conditions. Most all public drinking water systems use chlorine to purify water.
Showering and bathing in chlorinated water may expose us to even more chlorine and its byproducts than drinking this disinfected water.
Other chemicals which are found in drinking water are equally as harmful. Chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers in drinking water have been linked to birth defects.
According to Chris Kessler, he writes:
While our bodies can filter out much of the chlorine from our drinking water, the THMs and other disinfectant byproducts we inhale during showers and baths may be much more harmful, since the chlorine gas we inhale enters directly into our blood stream. (source)
Therefore, even if you filter your drinking water, the amount of toxins you are exposed to from your daily shower or bath, through inhalation or skin absorption, may be cause for greater concern.
Other toxins in drinking and bath/shower water that can effect your health:
1. Chlorine – Can cause asthma, and bladder and rectal cancers. Recently, experts have linked chlorine to breast cancer.
2. Lead – Lead enters tap water through corroded pipes. Lead in drinking water is harmful for pregnant mothers and children. Lead poisoning has been proven to cause learning disorders and severe developmental delays.
3. Giardia and Cryptosporidium – These types of protozoa are responsible for widespread and severe outbreaks of gastro-intestinal diseases. They will make their way in the water system whenever here has been a sanitation breakdown.
4. Chemical Trichloroethylene, or TCE – TCE is a particularly harmful contaminant for children, with links to birth defects; damage to the brain, and the nervous, reproductive and immune systems; and increased risk of cancer.
“People whose water contains TCE can be exposed not just by drinking it, but also by inhaling it while bathing, washing dishes and doing other household activities,” said Tasha Stoiber, Ph.D., a senior scientist at EWG. “Communities across the country have water with potentially harmful levels of this toxic solvent, but many people don’t know about the risk they face when they turn on the tap.”
Children Are at The Highest Risk To These Toxins
Unfortunately, for parents, this puts our kids at the most risk since they have a a bigger body-weight-ratio compared to surface area, meaning they absorb chemicals quicker and in far more potent doses.
Here’s the EWG’s water database to check your home’s tap water and find a list of problems and contaminants.
These are the most common things we do to reduce the chemicals in bath water:
First: Remove Chlorine with Vitamin C Powder
Vitamin C is great for the immune system, but it can also play a big role in reducing chlorine in bath water.
Chlorine is found in most water as municipal water supplies use it to help reduce pathogens in the water.
The problem with chlroine is that when it’s mixed with combines with organic matter to form compounds called trihalomethanes (THMs), also known as disinfectant byproducts. One of the most common THMs formed is chloroform, which is a carcinogen. (2) Other THMs formed include the di- and trichloramines formed when chloramine is used as a disinfecting agent. (3)
These compounds are toxic when consumed, inhaled, or applied to the skin, says Chris Kresser says in this post.
Here’s What I Do:
Using Vitamin C to neutralize chlorine in bath water is very simple. Here are two powders you can add just a teaspoon and wait 5 minutes before getting in the tub. Either will work to neutralize chlorine.
If you aren’t a fan of keeping these around your home or don’t want to add it into the bath each time you draw one, you can drop a vitamin c dechlorination tablet into the water , which does the same thing. This pack comes with 100 tablets for 100 chlorine-free baths.
Next: Add Bentonite Clay
Certain clays are considered, “healing clays” for the way they bind to heavy metals in the body and assist in removing them. They’re a natural detoxifying agent and this is why clay is sometimes added to bath water to help detox.
This property is referred to its poly-cationic nature, which leads to absorption of negative charge toxins (source.)
Upon contact with liquids, the electrical components of bentonite clay chard, making it available to absorb toxins.
Mountain Rose Herbs says this about bentonite clay,
“Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an electrical charge. It is a swelling clay, and when it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge.”
Meaning, when bentonite clay becomes a porous sponge, it’s absorbing all the toxins into itself from the bath water.
Here’s What I Do:
Once I remove the chlorine from the water with Vitamin C, I add bentonite clay to the bath water.
You don’t want to handle bentonite with metal because it reduces its effectiveness, so I mix 2 tablespoons bentonite clay with water in a separate jar or container with a plastic lid (avoid mason jars for their metal lids.)
Once it’s all mixed up, I pour it into the bath after the vitamin c powder has de-chlorinated (remember, to let the Vitamin C powder sit for five minutes to completely work.)
Here’s what I’ve personally used and liked for mixing into the bath:
Here are some more benefits of bentonite clay in products and used for treatement:
Used in Sunscreen: In case of sunscreens, it has been reported that inclusion complexes of commercial sunscreens in montmorillonites have optimized functional properties such as water resistance and skin adherence, which make them good substrate in these types of skin product. Furthermore, it is reported that sun lotions containing specific proportion of bentonite mineral are more potent than commercially available sun lotion in absorbing the highest level of UV light.
Skin Conditions: Bentonite is also shown to act efficiently in healing of skin lesions and ulcers.
For a long time bentonite has been used externally on skin. Poison ivy and poison oak are the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis in North America. Quaternium-18 bentonite lotion has been shown to act effectively in preventing or diminishing experimentally produced poison ivy and poison oak allergic contact dermatitis.
Stomach Issues: For a long bentonite was considered as a treatment of diarrhea. At 1961, it was shown that orally administered bentonite treat 97% of cases with different causative factors of diarrhea (virus infection, food allergy, spastic colitis, mucous colitis, and food poisoning.)
YOu can see the full range of benefits from those listed above to antibacterial effects, bone, cancer, kidney and more in this article by the National Library of Medicine.
You Can Also Add in Magnesium & Salt for Nutrient Benefits
I love using magnesium in a detox bath not only to help detox our bodies from toxin build up and helping to get over a cold, but because adding minerals to bath water has so many benefits to the body such as:
- reduce inflammation
- improve muscle and nerve function
- improve circulation
- prevent artery hardening
- help the body remove toxins
- relieve headaches
The sulfates in magnesium help improve the absorption of nutrients, while flushing out toxins and giving them a good night’s sleep.
Here’s What I Do:
I add 1/2 cup of epsom salts or magnesium flakes (which absorb better in the water) with 2 tablespoons baking soda (to clean the water and eliminate chemicals.) You can also add 2 tablespoons Vitamin C Powder in place of the baking soda.
For adults or if you have kids over 60 pounds, I use 1 cup of epsom salts or magnesium flakes, and combine with 2 tablespoons baking soda or Vitamin C Powder. For myself, I like to add 10-12 drops of essential oils or a splash of vanilla extract.
- Let the bath tub fill and add your ingredients, stirring until the salts dissolve completely.
- Enjoy a 15-20 minute bath however, do not use any of your bath products or soaps while in a detox bath because you’re reintroducing those toxins and offsetting the balance of the bath.
- Afterwards, be sure to drink lots of water to continue to help flush toxins out and because you’ll be slightly dehydrated from the bath and magnesium.
If I don’t have time for a bath, I like to use magnesium oil spray and feel the beneficial effects of magnesium this way. I like to use it before bed because it helps me fall asleep quickly and I notice I sleep really well after massage it into my skin.
If you’re dealing with cold/flu, eczema, muscle strain, these baths can be done daily over the course of a week, but always check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions. Otherwise, I stick to once a week detox bath for the regular health benefits.
Toxins in Shower Water
I know I don’t take baths as often as my kids, and most of my time is spent in the shower. This is what we’ve installed on our shower heads to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. If you have a standard shower head, this shower head filter would fit as well.
To gain a full understanding of what harsh toxins are lurking in your home and what happens when you breathe, eat, touch or smell them, Download Your Free Starter Guide to Environmental Toxins Hiding in Your Home