What is KDF Shower Filter? How it works?

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    If you’re in the market for a new shower filter, you’ve probably come across the term “KDF filtration.” So, what exactly is KDF?

    Let’s break it down. KDF, or Kinetic Degradation Fluxion, is a key component in many water filtration systems. This innovative media is made from a high-grade mixture of copper and zinc, forming a granulated alloy. Its primary role? To effectively strip away unwanted elements like chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals from your water. But that’s not all – KDF also plays a crucial role in preventing the growth of bacteria and algae, ensuring your water stays cleaner and healthier.

    What is KDF Shower Filter?

    When it comes to shower filters, the presence of KDF means more than just clean water. It’s about enhancing your daily shower experience. KDF-equipped filters tackle the harsh substances in your water that could lead to skin irritation, dryness, and damage to your hair, leaving it brittle. By filtering out these impurities, a KDF shower filter not only purifies your water but also contributes to healthier skin and hair. In short, it’s your frontline defense against the ‘nasties’ in your water that can affect your overall well-being.

    What is a KDF Shower Filter?

    Venturing into the realm of water filtration, KDF shower filters emerge as a revolutionary solution. But what exactly is a KDF filter? At its core, KDF technology utilizes a unique blend of copper and zinc, creating a powerful electro-chemical reaction as water flows through it. This innovative approach was developed to tackle the challenges of water purification in a way that is both effective and environmentally friendly. The historical journey of KDF filters is a testament to the evolving science of water treatment. Originating from the quest to find more efficient ways to purify water without relying heavily on chemicals, KDF technology has advanced significantly since its inception. Today, it stands as a pinnacle of filtration excellence, combining the wisdom of past practices with modern scientific breakthroughs. This blend of history and innovation makes KDF shower filters not just a tool for water purification, but a symbol of the ongoing evolution in our quest for cleaner, healthier water.

    Types of KDF Filters

    KDF filters are available in several varieties:

    • KDF-55: When water passes through this filter type, a redox reaction changes harmful contaminants into harmless ones. KDF-55 effectively removes chlorine and heavy metals from your water, making it one of the most common filtration media used in shower filters.
    • KDF-85: This is a different media that targets various contaminants. KDF-85 is primarily used to remove iron, hydrogen sulfide, bacteria, algae, fungi, and scale.
    • KDF-F (Fines): This KDF filter is used in tandem with an activated carbon filtration media to remove chlorine and bacteria.
    • KDF-C (Coarse Mesh): This removes and/or reduces heavy metals and chlorine.

    Who Makes KDF Shower Filters?

    While KDF filters may seem like a generic filtration system, they are a patented technology made by Michigan-based KDF Fluid Treatment, Inc.

    Effectiveness of KDF Filtration Media

    KDF is a standout choice among shower filters, renowned for its impressive ability to eliminate up to 95% of chlorine from water. What sets KDF apart from many other filters is its enduring efficiency. Where typical filters gradually degrade in performance with each gallon of water they process, KDF maintains its filtration prowess well beyond the initial setup.

    KDF Filtration Media
    Source: kdfft.com

    The graph illustrates this distinction clearly. Observe the white line representing a KDF 55 filter, which consistently achieves over 90% chlorine reduction even after processing 30,000 gallons of water. This is in stark contrast to the green and red lines, denoting GAC (Granulated Activated Carbon) filters. These filters start to falter in effectiveness relatively quickly, showing a marked decrease in performance after filtering just 8,000 gallons of water. This comparison highlights the superior long-term effectiveness of KDF filters in maintaining water quality.

    How Does KDF Work?

    A standout feature of KDF is its unique, nature-inspired method of water filtration. Rather than relying on chemical additives or substances like salts, which are often used in water softening, KDF harnesses the power of science and chemistry.

    How does KDF 55 work?

    As tap water flows through a KDF shower filter cartridge, it undergoes a fascinating chemical process known as Redox (reduction-oxidation). This is where the magic happens. In scientific terms, Redox triggers an electrochemical reaction between the water’s particles and the KDF filter medium. This reaction has the remarkable ability to transform harmful substances, such as Chlorine, into harmless, water-soluble salts. These transformed salts can neither be inhaled nor cause skin irritation.

    Essentially, it’s this electrochemical reaction at the core of the KDF functionality, offering a sophisticated and efficient way to purify your shower water.

    The Science Behind KDF Filters

    The true prowess of KDF shower filters lies in their unique scientific foundation. At the heart of this technology is the principle of redox (reduction-oxidation), a process where electrons are transferred between molecules, altering their chemical structure. When water passes through a KDF filter, the copper-zinc media initiates a redox reaction. This reaction effectively transforms harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, mercury, and iron into harmless components. Unlike traditional filters that may rely on absorption, KDF uses this electrochemical process to neutralize contaminants, making it more efficient and less prone to bacterial growth. What’s more, KDF filters are adept at handling a variety of waterborne contaminants, including heavy metals, bacteria, and algae, making them a versatile choice for diverse water quality issues. This scientific approach not only elevates the performance of KDF filters but also ensures longevity and durability, setting them apart from other filtration technologies in the market. Understanding this intricate science is key to appreciating the effectiveness of KDF filters in providing a safer and more pleasant shower experience.

    Are KDF Filters Independently Tested?

    KDF media is tested and certified by NSF International. It adheres to standards 42 and 61.

    NSF test of KDF media

    NSF standard 42 certifies the following:

    Filters are certified to reduce aesthetic impurities such as chlorine and taste/odor. These can be point-of-use (under the sink, water pitcher, etc.) or point-of-entry (whole house) treatment systems.https://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/articles/standards-water-treatment-systems

    Whereas NSF standard 61 certifies the following:

    Minimum health-effects requirements for the chemical contaminants and impurities that are indirectly imparted to drinking water from products, components and materials used in drinking water systems. This standard does not establish performance, taste and odor, or microbial growth support requirements for drinking water system products, components or materials.https://www.nsf.org/knowledge-library/nsf-ansi-standard-61-drinking-water-system-components-health-effects

    Per NSF, they verify the reduction performance of KDF filters against the claims made by the manufacturer. We found the KDF Fluid Treatment, Inc certifications on the NSF website. Here is their certificate for NSF/ANSI 42 and NSF/ANSI/CAN 61, should you want to learn more.

    Benefits of Using a KDF Shower Filter

    The advantages of installing a KDF shower filter in your home are numerous and significant. Firstly, they offer remarkable health benefits. By efficiently removing chlorine and other harmful chemicals from water, these filters protect your skin and hair from the drying and damaging effects often associated with unfiltered shower water. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with sensitive skin or those prone to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Furthermore, the removal of chlorine not only safeguards your skin and hair but also contributes to overall wellness by reducing the inhalation of chlorine vapors, which can have detrimental effects on respiratory health.

    Best KDF shower filter

    From an environmental perspective, KDF shower filters are a sustainable choice. Their longevity surpasses that of traditional carbon filters, reducing waste and the frequency of replacements. Additionally, the chemical-free nature of the filtration process ensures that no harmful byproducts are released into the environment, aligning with eco-friendly practices. Cost-effectiveness is another critical advantage. Despite their higher initial cost compared to other types of filters, KDF filters offer long-term savings due to their durability and minimal maintenance requirements. Collectively, these benefits not only enhance your daily shower experience but also contribute positively to both personal health and environmental sustainability.

    Installation and Maintenance

    Implementing a KDF shower filter in your home is a straightforward process, easily manageable even for those not typically inclined towards DIY projects. The installation usually involves unscrewing the existing shower head, attaching the filter, and then reattaching the shower head to the filter unit. This simplicity ensures that anyone can upgrade their shower system without the need for professional assistance. Maintaining a KDF filter is equally user-friendly. Regular cleaning to prevent clogging and periodic replacement of the filter medium, usually every six months to a year depending on usage, are the primary maintenance tasks.

    Choosing the Right KDF Shower Filter

    Selecting the most suitable KDF shower filter for your home requires consideration of several key factors. The water quality in your area is a primary concern; different filters are optimized for varying levels of contamination and water types. For instance, areas with higher sediment levels might require a filter with a pre-sediment feature. The specific needs of your household also play a crucial role in this decision. Families with young children or members with sensitive skin may prioritize filters with enhanced capabilities for removing certain contaminants like chlorine. Additionally, the compatibility of the filter with your existing shower setup is essential to ensure a seamless installation.

    Chooing the right shower filter KDF


    Q1: Are KDF filters safe? KDF process media are completely safe. KDF media meet EPA and Food and Drug Administration standards for levels of zinc and copper in potable water, so the process is not toxic and does not cause any adverse side effects.

    Q2:What is the difference between KDF 85 and KDF-55? KDF 55 is NSF-42 certified. It’s mainly used in home systems and is effective at removing chlorine and water-soluble heavy metals as well as scale-causing minerals from your home water. KDF 85 is NSF-61 certified for water treatment plants. It is used to remove iron and hydrogen sulfide.

    Q3:Do KDF filters remove chlorine? KDF is a popular filter media that is used in water filter systems to remove up to 95% of chlorine, iron, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals, and more.

    Q4:How long does KDF filter last? Six months on average

    Q5:Does KDF soften water? KDF treatment media, most commonly used to reduce chlorine and heavy metals as well as H2S and iron, is also said to have “softening” properties. KDF does not remove calcium.

    Q6: Does KDF 55 remove iron? KDF 55 : Filter Media for Chlorine, Heavy Metal, Bacteria, Iron Removal 

    Q7: Does KDF remove copper? KDF 55, KDF 8s and KDF-C media can remove up to 98% of water-soluble cations (positively-charged ions) of lead, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, and other dissolved metals.

    Q8: What is the difference between KDF and carbon filter? KDF is the only filter medium that removes contaminants from running hot water (unlike carbon filters where hot water can release trapped contaminants into the water stream). This makes them ideal for use in the shower.


    In conclusion, the journey through the world of KDF shower filters reveals a technology rich in benefits and backed by substantial scientific understanding. From its ability to effectively remove a wide range of contaminants to its contribution to environmental sustainability and personal health, KDF filters stand out as a robust solution in the landscape of water filtration. Whether you’re seeking to improve the quality of your shower water, reduce health risks associated with water contaminants, or simply looking for a durable and low-maintenance filtration system, KDF shower filters offer a compelling choice.

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