FAQs - frequently asked questions

If you are considering acquiring a BRITA filter system or if you are already a BRITA user and you have a question, why not first browse through the frequently asked questions pages - we may have anticipated your questions and the answer is there.

For your convenience the frequently asked questions page has been divided into several categories.

Am I drinking enough water?

  • Drinking plenty of water is crucial for good health. Yet research has shown many of us may be dehydrated, with only one in ten of the population consuming the recommended amount. We can go for weeks without food - but without water we would die within a few days.
  • Water makes up two thirds of the body by volume. It forms a major part of our blood, helps to lubricate our joints and eyes, and is essential to the chemical processes that take place within our cells.
  • Drinking water not only quenches our thirst - it is essential for many vital bodily functions. These include transporting food through the digestive tract, flushing out waste and toxins, maintaining fluid balance and regulating body temperature. Not least, it keeps skin fresh, smooth and hydrated.
  • How much water you should drink depends on many factors, such as how tall you are and how much you weigh. Eight glasses (8 ounces each) is a good rule of thumb for most people.

Are BRITA cartridges recyclable?

  • All components of the BRITA cartridge are recyclable. Cartridges returned to BRITA will be returned to our own recycling plant in Germany where the component parts are separated and processed for secondary use.
  • Go to Recycling Information to find out where your nearest BRITA cartridge recycling point is. Gibt es diese Möglichkeit in Thailand? Falls nicht, bitte rausnehmen. ่

Can I use filtered water for tropical fish?

  • Due to the sensitivity of many tropical fish to even the smallest changes in water quality or conditions, such as temperature and pH, as BRITA advises consumers not to use filtered water for tropical fish without consulting a specialist.

Does the BRITA water filter cartridge remove all minerals from drinking water?

  • The BRITA water filter cartridge only partially removes the hardness from drinking water. This part is temporary hardness, which causes scale deposits during cooking. It does not remove all of the minerals from the water. It reduces the concentration of calcium and magnesium with cation ion exchange resins, but these substances are not completely removed as in desalination systems or industrial plants that use reverse osmosis or distillation processes, for example.

Does the removal of temporary hardness affect calcium levels?

  • Yes, but mostly in the form of temporary hardness or limescale which is not a good source of dietary calcium. This will not have a significant effect on the calcium intake of those on a normal diet.

Has filtered water any additional advantages (On Tap)?

  • The BRITA water filter cartridge reduces a number of unwanted substances in tap water such as chlorine, lead, copper, if present. The elimination of lead and copper in tap water is desirable to protect human health. The claim of the BRITA water filter cartridge to reduce copper and lead significantly has been substantiated in numerous tests. Regionally related traces of pesticides in drinking water can also be minimised by the use of the BRITA water filter cartridges.

How does a water filter cartridge work?

  • BRITA cartridges contain a combination of ion exchange resin and activated carbon. The carbon absorbs odor and taste impairing substances such as chlorine and chlorine compounds. It also contains an inhibitor that prevents bacterial growth. The ion exchange resin removes the temporary hardness, which causes limescale; it also significantly reduces levels of metals such as copper and lead.

How does BRITA keep the Cartridge safe from bacteria?

  • The special treatment of the filter media with silver inhibits the multiplication of bacteria. so that the growth of bacteria in the Filter Cartridge is safely inhibited during the entire period of use, and, it remains hygienically safe! However, after 48 hours of non-use, it's just good common sense to replace "flat" water.

How long should the cartridge last?

  • Water quality varies considerably from place to place and even from day to day in the same place. This in turn has an effect on the life of a cartridge. To ensure that your BRITA filter jug is always working well we recommend that the cartridge is changed regularly, at least every 4 weeks. The latest range of jugs from BRITA feature memo, the first electronic exchange indicator that reminds you when to change your cartridge.

I have heard that BRITA filtered water improves the health of potted plants and extends the life of cut flowers: Is this true?

  • Yes, plants and flowers need water to survive but the temporary hardness in the water can interfere by causing blockage of the plant cells responsible for providing the plant with an adequate supply of water.. A BRITA filter reduces temporary hardness with the result that potted plants are healthier and cut flowers live longer.

If the BRITA water remains in contact with the filter cartridge for long periods, do the retained contaminants in the BRITA Filter Cartridge remix with the water?

  • No ... this cannot happen ... the key step in preventing such an occurrence is a process called INNER EXCHANGE. First the contaminants adsorb (stick to the surface of the materials) and then, over the next few hours, these contaminants permanently absorb through INNER EXCHANGE into the interior of the beads thus preventing any release from the surface back into the water.

Is BRITA filtered water suitable for steam irons?

  • BRITA water is preferable to tap water for use in steam irons. However most steam irons recommend de-mineralised water for optimum performance. Filtered water is ideal for irons with a chrome plated steel base. Customers in doubt about the type of iron they have should consult their instruction manual or contact the appliance manufacturer.

Is filtered water good for babies? Can I use BRITA Water for preparing my baby's formula and bottles?

  • Yes. Babies also benefit from the advantages of filtered water, for example the reduction in heavy metals such as lead and copper. Nevertheless, it cannot be emphasized enough that drinking water must be boiled for the preparation of baby food. This also applies to filtered water.

Is filtered water the same as distilled water?

  • A BRITA water filter removes substances from tap water which can affect the taste and appearance, it is therefore only partially de-mineralised. Distilled water is totally de-mineralised and therefore filtered water cannot be used where distilled water is required, e.g. car batteries.

My child broke the Filter Cartridge and ate some of the contents ... is this dangerous?

  • All materials used in a BRITA Cartridge are non-toxic, top foodgrade quality and are in no way dangerous. We do specify "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN" as a common sense approach ... after all, who wants to eat carbon and beads?

My dogs will not drink water freshly drawn from the tap, will a BRITA water filter help?

  • Like many animals dogs have a well developed sense of smell and the chlorine in the water smells horrible to them, this is why they would rather leave the water for a while until the chlorine evaporates. Your pets will probably love filtered water since the chlorine content is reduced.

Should I use BRITA filtered water to wash my hair?

  • BRITA water is ideal for hair care since it reduces the temporary hardness in the water that affect the soap lathering. The result is hair with better volume and a silky shine.

What are the advantages of the activated carbon?

  • The activated carbon reduces substances such as chlorine and chlorine compounds which can interfere with the taste. The activated carbon has an extremely porous structure, and thus a very large surface area. If the activated carbon comes into contact with water, it can be observed that air bubbles begin to form, showing that the pores are slowly being filled with water.

What happens if we don't drink enough?

  • When the weather is very hot, we need to drink more - some experts recommend a large glass of water every hour. And anyone who spends a lot of time in dry environments, such as overheated or air-conditioned offices or homes - will also need to compensate by drinking more water. Water loss can begin to affect the normal functioning of the body even before we actually feel thirsty. The early signs of dehydration can include lethargy, headaches, irritability, an inability to concentrate and constipation. Other symptoms include aches and pains, nausea, dry or cracked skin, dizziness, increased pulse and reduced blood pressure. Certain people need more water and should increase their intake, these include pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who exercise, dieters and anyone with a fever, sickness or diarrhoea.

What is contained in the BRITA water filter cartridge?

  • The content of the original BRITA cartridge is an experienced mixture of ion exchange resin and activated carbon.

What is the difference between a water softener and a water filter?

  • Water softeners are usually plumbed into the mains water system and are used to remove temporary hardness from the water to prevent limescale build-up in household appliances such as washing machines. Water softeners do use a form of ion exchange resin but this is regenerated in the household using common salt (sodium chloride). In this way the calcium ions in the temporary hardness are replaced with sodium ions, thereby increasing the sodium content of the water. Due to the increased sodium it is not recommended that sodium softened water is used for drinking, cooking or food preparation. A separate tap with untreated water should be provided.

What is the difference between cation and anion exchange resins?

  • Ion exchange resins exist in the form of cation exchange resins and anion exchange resins. The BRITA water filter cartridge is filled with cation exchangers. These replace positively charged ions such as calcium, magnesium, lead or copper with positively charged hydrogen ions. Anion exchange resins replace negatively charged ions from tap water (e.g. nitrate, sulphate and phosphate) with negatively charged chloride or hydroxide ions. These are primarily used as nitrate filters.

What is the objective of an ion exchange resin?

  • Ion exchange resins are synthetically manufactured, insoluble artificial resins used in granular form. They can take certain ions from tap water, and release an equivalent quantity of other ions into the filtered water. The objective is to replace undesired ions, such as lead or copper against hydrogen ions.

What is the reason for the film on "tap water tea" and what causes the unsightly rings and stains inside the cup?

  • These are the result of carbonate hardness in water which turns into chalk when water is boiled. This chalk absorbs tea extracts that change the colour, cause the unsightly appearance and produce a bitter taste. All this disappears when the BRITA Cartridge decarbonises the water ... the tea is clear, the flavour develops fully and the rings and stains inside the cup do not appear.

What is water hardness and why is it important to reduce it?

  • The overall hardness of water consists of permanent hardness and temporary hardness. Permanent hardness (caused by calcium and magnesium sulphates as well as chloride) does not influence the taste of water or the function of household appliances. Temporary hardness (caused by calcium and magnesium hydrogen carbonate) primarily affects the taste of food and other beverages prepared with hot water. It is also responsible for the scale deposits found in household appliances that heat water. Not least important, many plants and flowers flourish with decarbonised water.
  • The BRITA water filter cartridge reduces the temporary hardness of drinking water. The results of this reduction: great tasting water for hot drinks and cooked food and less scale build-up in household appliances. Tea tests performed over almost 40 years have consistently shown that consumers perceive differences between the appearance and taste of tea prepared with BRITA-filtered water versus with unfiltered water. This difference is clearly more pronounced in regions with harder water than in soft water areas.

What kind of activated carbon is used in BRITA cartridges?

  • In the BRITA cartridge, the activated carbon is used as a loose, granular filling together with the ion exchanger and by-products of a pure, natural product: crushed coconut shells.

What should I do with my water filter if my water supplier has notified me that there is a problem with the tap water?

  • Our advice to BRITA users is to follow the recommendations of the water company involved. If their instruction is to boil all water before drinking, our recommendation is to filter the water first and then boil as instructed. Once the water problems are resolved and customers can use their water without boiling, we recommend that BRITA users discard their cartridge as a precautionary measure.

When the BRITA water filter cartridge absorbs pollutants, does it re-release them at higher concentrations into the water?

  • The so called chromatography effect - in terms of filtration - is a process in which a filter first removes material from the liquid that is filtered, but re-releases it again into the filtrate after an unspecified period of time. As a result, there can be a higher concentration of the material in the filtered liquid than in the original liquid. Concerning BRITA water filter cartridges, the release of absorbed pollutants such as lead has never been detected in tests carried out in the BRITA laboratory and at well-known independent institutes, such as the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) in the USA. For these tests, the filter capacity given was partly exceeded by a factor of two or three without any release of the pollutants that had been absorbed.

Where is activated carbon used?

  • Activated carbon has been used for drinking water conditioning for many centuries. In Europe and the USA, most suppliers of drinking water use it as a proven agent for the absorption of organic compounds.

Who tests the BRITA filter cartridges?

  • The BRITA water filter jug and BRITA filter cartridges are regularly tested in our own laboratories and by external institutes: Strict internal quality controls of the raw materials and the finished products as well as the production process are performed continuously and conscientiously to meet the high quality demands in the BRITA organisation. The TUEV Sued regularly certifies the perfect foodgrade quality of the original BRITA filter cartridges as well as the entire jug water filter systems. The Hessian Ministry for Women's Affairs, Labour and Social Order confirms to BRITA that it has no objections whatsoever in the context of its official monitoring of household goods. This applies to the operational controls performed as well as the examination and evaluation under the foodstuffs legislation of the production samples tested.

Why do I need a BRITA water filter?

  • Tap water, whilst safe, may contain substances, which affect its taste and appearance. The BRITA water filter jug uses replaceable cartridges that reduce these substances, thereby improving the taste and appearance of tap water for drinking and food preparation. Over 40 years of research and development have resulted in the range of BRITA water filters and their unique BRITA cartridges, designed to filter better for longer.
  • BRITA filtered water will provide you and your family with optimized, softer, great tasting water. It also gives a finer flavor, appearance and aroma to tea and coffee, improves the colour and texture of foods such as vegetables, rice and pasta when used for cooking and reduces limescale build-up in appliances and unpleasant scum on cooking post. Moreover, it prolongs the lifespan of kitchen appliances by reducing limescale build-up.: clean, clear, and fresh tasting drinking water:
    • Makes great tasting cold drinks, coffee and tea
    • May improve the colour and texture of food cooked with water
    • Protects your domestic appliances against limescale build up
    • Costs much less than bottled water
    • Helps cut flowers to last longer and household plants thrive
  • Impurities that affect your tap water's taste, odour, and colour include:
    • Chlorine: Many water suppliers use chlorine as a safe disinfectant. It has a bad taste and odour.
    • Sediment: This is inorganic matter or natural vegetation. Sediment can cause build up in household pipes and bad tastes and odours.
    • Water Hardness: Hard water contains dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. These 2 elements in time cause limescale build up in kettles and hot water appliances. It also creates bad taste and the unsightly scum on tea and coffee.

Why do tea, coffee and soft drinks taste better with filtered water?

  • Water is a very good natural solvent and helps develop the aroma of coffee and tea. The amount of temporary hardness (limescale) in the water affects the dissolution of aromatics, for example in tea and coffee. The higher the proportion of limescale in the water, the lower is the ability to dissolve. With a low scale content in drinking water, the aroma of tea and coffee develops better, as does that of cooked foods.

Why is chlorine added to tap water?

  • Treatment Plants in some countries add chlorine at P.O.E. (Point of Entry) to remove germs and ensure they do not re-appear while the water travels many miles through the pipes to your tap (P.O.U. ...Point of Use). While the amount of chlorine added is regulated and not considered dangerous, it does impair taste and odor. plus there is a definite chance that it can combine with organic compounds to produce chlorinated hydrocarbons that may lead to health related problems. The activated carbon in the filter will reduce the chlorine by up to 99%.