There are lots of confusions over water softeners. This is partly due to people not knowing how exactly a water softener works. One of the common questions regarding them is; does a water softener remove chlorine?

In short, the answer is no. Water softeners do not remove chlorine from water. In this article, we’ll look at why and explore ways to remove chlorine from water.

How Does A Water Softener Work?

Before we can look at why a water softener cannot remove chlorine, we first need to look at how a water softener works. A water softener removes hardening minerals like calcium or magnesium, thus removing the hardness from water. It primarily uses an ion exchanging method.

The method is explained below:

Inside the water softener, there are resin beads that are lined with sodium ions The hard water to be treated is put through the mineral tank of the water softener The water in the mineral tank flows and comes into contact with the resin beads Since the hardening minerals are positively charged, and the sodium ions in the resin beads are negative ions, there is a force of attraction between them. Due to this attraction, the minerals move towards the beads and combine with the sodium, becoming attached. The water that flows past has been softened and free of calcium and magnesium With use, the resin beads become depleted, and their ability to attract the minerals decreases. So they need to be replaced from time to time. The brine tank contains salt that keeps the salt flowing into the beads so that ion transfer can smoothly take place.

Why Doesn’t A Water Softener Remove Chlorine From Water?

Since we’ve discussed how a water softener works, we can better understand why a water softener can’t remove chlorine. Chlorine is not a hardening mineral and does not result in water hardening.

Instead, chlorine is used as a disinfectant to clean and treat the water. Chlorine is very good at killing any harmful organisms or bacteria in water, ensuring that the water is safe.

The beads can’t attract the chlorine in the water and can only attract magnesium and calcium; as a result, water with chlorine passes through the machine without any alteration. Chlorine cannot be removed with the ion exchange method used in water softeners, and you must use other means.

Why Remove Chlorine?

So, as you can see, water softeners are unable to remove chlorine. You might ask whether that is bad or not and why we should try removing chlorine from water. Chlorine is a disinfectant and helps keep the water clean, but it can have adverse effects at higher concentrations. Some of these effects include:

A higher concentration of chlorine in the water can irritate your skin and cause rashes Chlorine reaching your hair can cause your hair to dry up or be damaged Chlorine can reach into drinking water and affect the taste. It can also go inside your body and cause damage Your eyes can start burning if chlorine-infected water comes into contact with them As you can see, chlorine can be harmful if it comes in contact with you. So, you may need ways to remove chlorine to prevent it from reaching you.

Ways To Remove Chlorine From Water

Water softeners cannot remove chlorine from water. The best way to remove chlorine is to use a proper filtration system. Some of the filtration systems are often added in conjunction with a water softener to get an appropriate water treatment.

The most popular filtration system to remove chlorine is the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). This makes use of a granular carbon bed which absorbs the chlorine, separating it from the water. It is often placed at the end of a water softener to remove chlorine from softened water.

So, filtration and water treatment systems are some of the best ways to remove chlorine.


The answer to the question – does a water softener remove chlorine – is clear. A water softener cannot remove chlorine. That task usually requires a filtration system. Sometimes this filtration system is used along with a water softener, but on its own, a water softener cannot remove chlorine.