Monday, February 13, 2012

How To Remove The Chlorine From Tap Water

For years I've noticed people dechlorinating tap water for their plants. My question as a kid was, why are we drinking chlorinated water if it's so bad for the plants? I was always told that plants have more sensitive systems than we do. I'm not convinced that this is true; plants are just more obvious about their ailments than we tend to be. To be sure, chlorine provides no benefit to our bodies, and people are becoming savvy to its dangers. In any case, dechlorinated water is helpful for any sprouting or fermenting project; I use it exclusively, since chlorine would kill the very life that I'm trying to promote. While it's certainly possible to grow sprouts and ferments successfully with normal chlorinated tap water, I think your results will improve with dechlorinated water.

What first got me dechlorinating my water was growing sprouts. I was experiencing what I considered to be a low rate of germination; a lot of unsprouted alfalfa seeds remained at the bottom of the jars. Considering that my seeds were fresh and organic, I had to consider that the problem was in the water. Switching to dechlorinated water made the difference. While there will always be a few unsprouted seeds, most of them should grow when treated properly because that's what seeds do best.

Dechlorination is as simple as leaving a jug or jar or water open to the air, where the chlorine will transform into a gaseous state and float away. It may take a day or two for all the chlorine to escape, but even leaving the water out overnight will remove most of the chlorine. If dechlorinating water for an aquarium, leave it out for two days to be sure none is left to hurt your fish. The water can be left outdoors to dechlorinate, so chlorine gas isn't floating around your house, but I think in a ventilated house, with a few jars of water, it's not a problem to do it indoors.

My simple method for our kitchen water involves two glass jugs, which I rotate. When one is empty, I fill it with tap water, cover with a cloth to keep it free of dust, and leave it all day or overnight, or until my other jug is empty. This is the water I use for drinking, making smoothies, growing sprouts and making fermentations. Boiling is another way to remove chlorine, so I don't use dechlorinated water for cooking. Fancy pitchers are not required; any glass jars work fine.


Check out what kind of cool things you can do with dechlorinated tap water:
Lacto-Fermented Dandelion Soda

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How To Remove The Chlorine From Tap Water
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February 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-february-14-2012/

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Anonymous
February 14, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Jill, I have a question. I have done this but I can still taste the chlorine. Is it really gone by leaving it to "air out"?

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February 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Perhaps try leaving it in more of a wide-mouth container? Or, in a warmer area. Both warmth and surface area exposed to air help increase the rate of dechlorination. If you can, leave it out in the sun which will really take care of the chlorine. For me, it works just in large glass jars that sit for a day or two before use. It could be that your municipality uses a higher level of chlorine also, which makes this process even more important.

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Adam Michelson
March 8, 2012 at 11:18 PM

If this method doesn't seem to be working, its likely because your city uses chloramine (NA2CL) either in conjunction or additionally to chlorine. You can filter it out, but it won't evaporate. In fact, you're increasing the concentration with this method. Your water utility can provide info on how they treat your waste

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March 9, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Adam, does Seattle treat water with chloramine?

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March 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM

portland oregon water is chloraminated because of our open-air reservoirs.

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Anonymous
May 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

how do you know you got the chlorine out? do you have some kind of tester?

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May 15, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Good question. I don't have a tester, but the fact is that chlorine evaporates out of water. It's just a matter of how quickly... and the rate is dependent on temperature, surface area, and of course the chlorine concentration in the water. I know this method works because people use it to render tapwater safe for their aquariums, and fish will die in chlorinated water. There are some good answers about chlorine evaporation rates here: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen06/gen06449.htm

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May 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Great tip! I just recently learned about this and have started doing it a few months ago after learning that our water filter doesn't in fact filter out things like chlorine. I also read that after filling up your jug, you should stir it a few times to help the chlorine evaporate faster.

Thanks again for sharing this tip at Tiny Tip Tuesday, and congrats on having your tip from last week featured this week!

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May 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Stirring is a great idea, thanks!

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Anonymous
May 29, 2012 at 8:19 AM

I was reading different sites to get out chlorine and from what I read boiling is the best option because of the possibility of bacteria growth. The site said that bacteria starts growing as soon as the chlorine is removed. Is it really safe to drink water that's been left out for 2 days? I would think that it would get bacteria in it after the 1st day.

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May 29, 2012 at 8:38 AM

We haven't had any problems, but if you were immune challenged, boiling would probably be a safer option. For us, I prefer the passive, low-energy method.

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June 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I didn't know you could do this. Thanks for sharing this and Thank you for linking this up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

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ctfplumb@hotmail.com
July 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

SODIUM THIOSULFATE,removes chlorine instanly,only 2 drops per gallon for most municipal water.Has other benifits as well. It's available at most pet stores for dechlorinating aquqriums. A teaspoon will remove all the chlorine in a bathtub.

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September 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Great post! I invite you to join me today (and every Tuesday) for Tone Up Tuesdays Link Up! A place for all things healthy living, fitness, and overall well being! Recipes, workouts, motivation, struggles, tips, tricks, and accomplishments!

http://www.feedingmytemple.com/2012/9/4/tone-up-tuesday

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September 19, 2012 at 6:45 AM

I had no idea it was that easy. We just moved and are now on county water (as opposed to well water). The water smells heavily of chlorine! And my basil plant is dying...maybe that it why! I'm going to start this right now. Thanks!

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September 21, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I do the same thing with letting water sit for a while before drinking it. Very informative!

Thanks for linking up with Frugal Food Thursday at Frugal Follies!

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October 4, 2012 at 8:13 AM

My Grandmother used to boil her water all the time...as a kid, I thought this was a little crazy...but now that I am "Old"...I totaly understand the benefits of doing this to our water. It sure is easy enough!

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October 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

We have well water that comes from an underground mountain stream, so hopefully it's pretty clear.

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October 4, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Lisa, that sounds pretty nice. I wouldn't do anything to that water, either ;)

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October 6, 2012 at 4:12 AM

We get our water from a well too, but this is good to know.

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November 7, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Great info here. I had no idea it was this simple to de-chlorinate! I normally just filter my water, but this would make it even better. Thanks for sharing.

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November 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Such a super simple action can rid the water of so much! Awesome! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) We had 101 awesome recipes! What a great resource we are creating!! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

The winner of the Domata prize pack will be announced Thursday at the party!

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Anonymous
November 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Hey, you have a wonderful blog that is very inspiring !! First off, thanks a bunch :):) I used your ginger bug recipe and its bubbling already :) ... So I was wondering if (your county even treats water with this) you do anything to get rid of fluoride in the water? If so you should write a blog to share!! I prefer distilled water for my ferments although I hate consuming tons of plastic that they come in, I feel it is extremely important to avoid flouride at all costs...

-Kombucha Dan
twin cities mn

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November 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Dan, I've heard our water is free of flouride, and I hope it's true! I wish we had clean well water to drink instead of treated city water.

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December 10, 2012 at 3:55 AM

Great idea! I just always keep a glass filled and drink form it all day. That usually helps.
Thanks so much for linking up and sharing!

R O water Tanks

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December 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Thank you for sharing this at Thrifty Thursday! I remember my mom and dad doing this by boiling the water, but I didn't think of leaving it out for a couple of days. That might be easier for me :) I'll have to try it and see, I'm not sure what our city water contains. Wish I could go back to our clean well water on the farm :)

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December 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Yes! I wish we just had pure well water too. For now, this is the best we can do :)

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January 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

What a simple solution! Thanks for sharing it at Raw Foods Thursdays! What could be more raw than water? ;)

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January 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Ha ha, yes- plus I think dechlorinated water works way better for soaking and sprouting raw foods!

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Anonymous
January 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

For places that have fluorinated water boiling the water will concentrate the fluoride. Only a reverse osmosis filter will remove the fluoride. :(

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January 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Great tip :) Thanks for sharing at Thriving Thursday!

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January 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I never knew about this. Very educational. Thank you!

Already your follower hopping by, blogging @ Why?

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Cheryl P
January 29, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Aerating your water will also remove chlorine. The easiest/fastest method I know of (and works wonderfully for my water kefir), is to fill my blender with tap water and then let it run for a min or more. I can always tell if the water is dechlorinated by whether it still smells like cholorine. If there's ANY smell of chlorine - I run the blender a little longer. :) It's really easy to do a similar thing with small amounts of water by just swirling in a jar/glass - or pouring from one container to another until the water smells clean.

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January 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Oh wow, that sounds like a quick way to do it!

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February 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I found you from Diana Rambles Party! I'm your newest follower via GFC. I host Fluster Creative Muster Party on Wednesdays and I would love it if you would come by and party with us. Hope to see you there!

Hugs, Smiles, and Blessings,

Robin
Fluster Buster

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February 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Thank you, I will check it out!

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February 22, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I don't mean to but in--- but where did you get a 1/2 gallon jar with a handle?! I **need** one of these! :D

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February 22, 2013 at 9:03 PM

It's a great jug! It was from an online kitchen supply store... This isn't where I got mine years ago, but I just found a similar one on Overstock: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Bormioli-Rocco-Frigoverre-2-liter-Handled-Glass-Pitcher/4151049/product.html

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March 1, 2013 at 4:38 AM

I knew some of this but a great reminder especially since it is so simple. Wondering if that is the reason our 1 attempt to sprout seeds failed here at our house.
Thanks for posting at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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March 1, 2013 at 4:39 AM

Thanks for posting at Wildcrafting Wednesday. Very simple and practical- great post.
Jennifer
The Entwife's Journal

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March 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

ahem.. I had noooo clue this could be done. Thank you! and plaese come link this up with Eco-Kids Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/03/nifty-thrifting-at-eco-kids-tuesday.html

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March 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Quick question: Sorry if this has already been asked, but where do you get your big glass jars with the handles?

Lara

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April 9, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Wow! So easy? Thanks so much! You are certainly a wealth of information!

Have a great day!
xoxo

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April 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Such a great bit of information! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday!" We have a distiller and run our tap water through that. It is amazing the brown sludge that remains. Very sad, though, that our families (and our plants) have been ingesting that. Hope you will be able to join the linkup again this week. I always look forward to your posts. :-)

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May 16, 2013 at 12:08 AM

I ordered those years ago from a kitchen supply store. I just did a google search for glass pitches with lids, and eventually found those. Sorry I don't remember the store!

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Anonymous
May 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I have had a marine reef fish tank for some years, marine fish are very sensitive to our tap water and it must be treated prior to adding to the tank, with the cost of chemicals to add to tap water to rid the chlorine and other chemicals that are added to our drinking water I searched and found cheap or free ways to rid the chemicals the first way was to leave a bucket of water outside in the sun as the sun for a day as the sun eats the chlorine (maybe not good for human consumption if a bird pooped in it) but that was one way, in winter when there is not much sun, I run a air pump with a flow from a wooden air stone at the bottom of the bucket over night with some fabric over it so no house hold dust or chemicals get in it, you can smell the strong smell of chlorine straight away when you turn on the air pump the next morning its surprising to see that the cloth is silted black from the minerals! is another way to purify water :)

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May 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

leave a loosely capped bottle in sunlight for a couple fo hours.the sunlight willbreak down the chlorine faster than it can degas naturally

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Anonymous
June 6, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Hey all! If your water is city and it concerns you, try the PROPUR or PRO-ONE gravity water filters. They take out pollution and mutliple types of fluoride along with stubborn chloramines etc. Just type in propur for the mfc website or go to alexjones store under "water." I'm not affiliated with them but I do love helping people access clean drinking and culinary water. thanks for the simple, handy article!! great job!

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June 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I just discovered this blog and I'm in LOVE - thanks for all these articles! I'm currently eliminating fluoride; it's been making me sick for a long time. The two ways to do this at home, if your water is treated, is either reverse osmosis or steam distillation. I haven't settled on a filter yet, so we're buying all our water right now.

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Anonymous
June 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

What do you do to avoid soaking and/or rinsing seeds with bleach like so many people say you HAVE to do(before sprouting)? I would like to start sprouting seeds for my family and our chickens, but I don't want to use bleach at all. I also don't want to expose my family to dangerous bacteria and mold that the bleach is supposed to kill.

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July 1, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Unless you are immune-compromised, I personally think it's totally fine to eat homegrown sprouts- surely safer than the ones at the store. I have never heard of bleaching them. I specifically use dechlorinated water when I soak my seeds, because I don't want to kill the seeds I'm trying to grow. I've never worried about bacteria- just keep them rinsed twice a day, drain them well, and use them when they're ready.
Of course this is just what I feel is safe for our family; you have to decide for yourself based on what you've experienced and your family's needs. We love sprouts, and have never been harmed by bacteria on them!

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Anonymous
July 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Fortunately, no one in my family is immune-compromised. Right now, however, we are experiencing a "bloom" of mold in the house due to recent and prolonged high humidity. (We are preparing to treat the air and surfaces with diffused thieves oil). So I've had mold-on-the-brain so to speak! I will definitely give sprouting a try after we have the mold problem under control.

Thanks, again.

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July 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Good call! You're totally right- if you have a high concentration of mold spores hanging around, it's pretty likely they'll end up taking up residence in your sprouts. When I make natural sodas, one of the things that keeps mold from growing on the top of the liquid is the twice daily stirring, and I think rinsing the sprouts twice a day serves a similar function- the mold can't get a foothold. Hopefully your future sprouts will be mold free. Good luck with defeating the mold in your home, that can be the worst. And, get all the fresh air you can in the meantime!

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Anonymous
July 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Your statement "chlorine provides no benefit to our bodies" could be misleading. Chlorine is an essential mineral element needed for human health. That said any healthy person should have plenty of it in there bodies from the foods they eat and salt.

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Anonymous
October 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Don't suppose this would work for fluoride as well?
Any tips on how to get fluoride out of our drinking water?

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October 8, 2013 at 5:21 AM

Fluoride won't evaporate like chlorine, so I think you need a water filter for that. Sorry!

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Anonymous
October 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Fluoride can be removed along with Prozac and other harmful chemicals by proper distillation into a glass or ceramic vessel.

To remove many harmful chemicals quicker than 24hours you can put the water into a vortex which will naturally release the chlorine you are trying to remove while oxygenating the water and removing surface tension.

If possible, having the water turned clockwise and counterclockwise for the same duration will yield the best results. For a test try an A and B situation. Give one vortexed water and the other 24hour left out water. I guarantee you will hit around a 30-40% increase of growth and health on the vortexed side.

Enjoy!

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December 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

I do this using 32 oz. juice bottles. There is a residue I noticed left in bottles walls after a couple days leaving unlidded in house. I do this with bottled water as I have heavy well water. Don't know if it's psychological but it doe seem to taste more clean.

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December 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Bacteria doesn't grow in pure water very well. Bacteria like all living things requires food, bacteria can't make there own like plants, and pure water doesn't have any food in it. You would have to wait for something like algae to grow in the water first, which granted will happen, eventually, but it would take at least a couple of weeks before it became a problem.

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March 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

I do this method too, usually

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April 12, 2014 at 2:06 PM

There is no question that a proper amount of water consumption will detoxify your body and add years to your life. Studies have shown that those drinking at least five glasses of water per day were associated with an approximately 50% decreased rate of heart attacks and stroke, compared with those who drank only two glasses of water per day.

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May 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

There are other methods of removing the fluoride such as an alumina based filter.

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June 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

This is great, have something that will remove flouride from the water?

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June 23, 2014 at 9:00 PM

If you are worried about bacteria you could squeeze fresh lemon into your water. It kills bacteria and it's great for you. :-)

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Anonymous
July 8, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Adding ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) will get rid of all the chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia.
Google it.

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Anonymous
July 27, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Hello, one question please for how long do you boil water to remove chlorine? Thank you :)

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August 17, 2014 at 10:17 AM

I don't boil my water, but if you want to use that method I believe the chlorine rapidly vaporizes at high temperatures. So, if you bring the water to a rolling boil for less than a minute, I'm sure it would be chlorine free by the time it cooled.

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September 14, 2014 at 4:51 AM

I live in Singapore. The tap water here is ok. But I boil my water for drinking (and baking) You can have a jug with lids so you can have cool water anytime. I think boiled water then chilled (if you it cold) taste better than chilled tap water.

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Anonymous
October 31, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Great article .....Now doe this work for making water kefir or kombucha ? Keep the world posted on the simple things for our well being.

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January 5, 2015 at 9:05 AM

Even our ancient selves had this problem, I believe. The Maya in their last reincarnation had artificial water falls in their water. One may imply contaminants that were removed by aeration and the addition of negative ions. It is probable when our Earth cycled that gases were released from the inner mantle/core region. Scientists are now accruing more and more evidence of climate change which I believe is only the result of significant earth gases released into the environment. These were the reason for dna alterations. Perhaps the Moche were victims of huge masses of positive ions from off shore storms.

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February 16, 2015 at 11:08 AM

Boiling does not get rid of chlorine. It makes it worst as the water evaporate and leaves the chlorine.

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March 1, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Wow, that is just so not true.

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Anonymous
April 25, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Sasha Brown: Boiling water is a proven method for removing chlorine from water. It releases the chlorine in the form of chlorine gas.

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June 22, 2015 at 7:31 PM

There's a lot more nonsense in this article than that. This article contains one piece of nonsense after another. Chloramines have been used to make water *safer* for almost 100 years. When was the last time you heard that the cause of death was water that smells funny? And do we really have so much energy that we can waste it boiling water for no reason? Sad.

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June 22, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Sensible comments are deleted by the censor, but this one was approved? Clockwise and counter-clockwise stirring? Wow.

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Anonymous
September 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Yes, blender dechlorinated water tastes better than the regular filtered water.

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October 23, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Does this also work for getting the fluoride out of tap water?
Margaret

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October 23, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Unfortunately, fluoride does not evaporate. You would need a filter for that.

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October 24, 2015 at 6:58 AM

Brilliant advice and ideas! I am sure the power of the sun would dissipate or heal any harmful effects that flouride could otherwise cause. The sun is amazing! It will bring the water back to life and give you that much valued vitamin D! :)

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Anonymous
November 14, 2015 at 6:51 AM

Cheryl P, thanks for simple, instant way to enjoy better city water. Do you have a blog to share?

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