Dear PoPville – Water Purifiers for a Bathroom?

Dear PoPville,

Over the past few months I have noticed my skin has gotten more and more sensitive when I wash my face. I don’t think it’s as simple as hard/soft water but was wondering if you or your readers know of any water purifiers that can be mounted to bathroom sinks? Or what other potential solutions I could rig up?

11 Comment

  • I’ve never heard of anything like that. this strikes me as a question that might be better answered by googleville.

    • Or better answered at your local hardware store – my old roommate bought a filter for our shower b/c the amount of chlorination in the water at certain times of the year irritated her skin (it attached to the showerhead). I imagine their must be one that is compatible for bathroom sinks.

  • For some reason it made me think of this:

    Kramer, [in the shower, reading an instruction manual]: “Installing your
    Clarkman garbage disposal. Dismantle latch hasp beneath main drainage lot.
    Oh, come on, Clarkman.”
    Puddy, [staring into space, picks up the phone]: “Puddy.”
    Kramer: “Is, uh, David Puddy there?”
    Puddy: “This is Puddy.”
    Kramer: “Well, this is Kramer.”
    Puddy: “I know.”
    Kramer: “Um, listen, you’re a mechanic. Could you help me install a garbage
    Puddy: “Well, it’s a big job. You’ve got to dismantle the latch hasp from the
    auxiliary drainage line.”
    Kramer: “No. It says ‘main line’.”
    Puddy: “It’s a misprint. What do you got, a Clarkman?”
    Kramer: “Yeah.”
    Puddy, seeing Elaine come in: “Hey, man, I’ll call you back. I’ll talk you
    through it.”
    Kramer: “Oh, OK. Well, thanks, buddy.”

  • How do you know it’s a water purity issue? Could it be a soap, a cleanser, a laundry detergent, perfumes, lotions, or anything else that’s causing the problem? It could even be a food or other allergy or internal medical problem. I guess it could be the tap water but it seems to me that would be the most unlikely cause.

  • It could be from the chlorine/chloramine or their byproducts in the water. Ideally, everyone should have a whole-house water filter to remove that stuff, but that’s obviously not practical for many people. I’d suggest looking at kitchen faucet mounted filters and see if they can be adapted.

    For more information I highly recommend the book Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber.

  • First, consider why you want to use a water filter and what you want the filter to remove. We conduct hundreds of water tests each week to ensure a safe drinking water supply.

    If you prefer a filter, various styles and types of water treatment devices are certified for household use, including bathrooms. When selecting a treatment device, be sure it meets National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards – this is listed on the filter packaging. NSF also provides guidance and a full listing of certified products for household filtration.

    Need more info?

    DC Water Filter Guide

    NSF Contaminant Guide & Home Water Treatment Devices Guide

    NSF Drinking Water Treatment Product Database

    DC Water

  • My wife and I use a Sprite Shower Filter on ours and it’s awesome. We’ve found that our skin tends to be in much better condition (particularly in winter). We got ours off of….

  • If you get a filter, particularly a whole-house filter, by all means, change it as often as recommended! Most have activated carbon, which has a shelf life. If you don’t replace it as often as recommended, all the miniscule particulate etc that is caught turns into a breeding ground and the water that comes out will be markedly degraded from what went in.

    Honestly, though, DC water is great both in quality and taste, and I’m doubting this is the issue. I’d bet this is more of a cleanser issue/dermatology issue than a water one, given that it’s only affecting your face.

  • I’m not a huge fan of the water in DC. I know plenty of people who are don’t think there is anything different about water here versus elsewhere, but I’m sensitive to it.

    I don’t like the way it tastes, so I use Brita filtered water even when I cook. I don’t like the way it affects my hair and skin, so I added a filter to my shower. I’ve noticed a difference with the shower filter. It’s not a big difference, but it has definitely helped (also, not a very expensive filter, so that might also explain it). It took my about a year to living in DC to notice that my hair had gotten extremely dry and brittle. I kept trying to use more conditioners, but it didn’t get better until I got the shower filter.

    Not sure what to do about a bathroom sink, but maybe switching to one of those pre-moistened cloth cleansers so you don’t have to use the water from the sink.

  • I have this same problem — since I’ve moved to DC my skin has gotten remarkably more sensitive. I tried switching to new cleansers and detergents with no improvement. I think it’s the high chlorine content in the water here. Often, I can smell it, which seems, if not actually unsafe, highly undesirable.

    I think there might be problems in my apartment building, as well. Often in winter, the hot water has a distinct smell of kerosene. I can’t imagine what causes it (some sort of water-heater malfunction??), but the building maintenance insists nothing is amiss.

    Previously, I’ve lived in very dry and very cold climates, so if anything I would have thought I’d have fewer issues with dry and flaky skin here. Alas.

    If anyone has additional recommendations (being a renter, completely retrofitting my bathroom faucet set-up seems like it might be problematic), I’d love to hear them.

    • I use Aquasana filters for kitchen and shower, and I imagine one of their kitchen faucet filters could be rigged to work in a bathroom. Look at the countertop model and see if that might work for you- just google “aquasana” and it should take you to their website. I used filtered water for drinking/cooking and it removes the weird DC water flavor/smell.

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