A shower filter is a water filter which is designed to filter the water used in showering. It may attach to the shower head, or to the pipes which connect to the shower, depending on design. There are a number of reasons to choose to install a shower filter, and many hardware stores stock filters or can order them for customers by request. It is also possible to order a shower filter directly from a manufacturer of such products. Additional supplies like replacement filter cartridges are typically readily available for common models.
One reason to use a shower filter is to deal with hard or soft water, both of which can cause problems during showering. Soft water can inhibit the foaming action of soap, and leave a scum behind after showering, while hard water can cause calcification in the shower head, along with mineral deposits in the shower. Using a water filter with a product designed to treat hard or soft water can eliminate these problems.
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Water filters can also be used to address potential contaminants in the water. While shower water does not necessarily have to be drinkable, contaminants can be absorbed through the skin or through cuts, causing health problems, and some people dislike the thought of bathing in contaminated water. A shower filter which provides bacterial filtration can be especially useful for people who use collected rainwater as a water source, since it hard to control the purity of rainwater.
Shower filters are also used to remove impurities such as iron from the water, or to filter out the bleach commonly used to treat municipal water supplies. Iron and other impurities can stain the shower, or make the bather feel somewhat dirty, while a high bleach content can irritate the skin or eyes. In these instances, a shower filter can make a big difference, especially for people with sensitive skin.
The advantage to using a shower filter is that it targets a specific problem area, usually at a fairly low cost. It is possible to purchase whole house water filters which treat all of the water entering a house, but these filters tend to be more costly, and they may require increased maintenance. If the only areas of concern are the shower and the drinking tap, installing specific filters to address these is more cost-efficient and practical than putting in a whole house water filter.