5 of the Best Water Hose Filters for Your Garden – A Definitive Buying Guide 2020

Did you know that unfiltered water is more deadly than most viruses in human history? Yes, you read that right. Water, in its unfiltered glory, can kill. It is almost as deadly as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that we know now.

These deaths are not the end of the danger that unfiltered water poses. There’s a 5.7% disability and ill health statistics. The decline and regeneration of populations sustained by water is also a concern. With plant-based food and biotic communities in line, the effect is on our agriculture-dependent society.

With agriculture — the largest consumer of water — defining modern human society, optimizing the use of our water resources in food production by removing the unsafe components before it reaches the plants that we eventually consume, represent our socially evolved modern-day Agricultural Revolution.

How Do Water Hose Filters Work

Removing the nasties in the water does not mean the lab-grade process and equipment. Yes, it is not always necessary to be this complex. Some people can handle a certain amount of these chemicals and compounds in the water. But, for those who cannot, it is possible to replicate the process, one home, one garden, or even one hose at a time.

There are different water filters in the market. All meant to bust, absorb, or catch the dissolved organic matter (DOM) and chemical add-ons in the water. Some have permeable membranes with super tiny holes to let water flow through without the debris. Others involve ultraviolet light, an exchange of ions, or the addition of chemicals. They also come in different shapes, sizes, and uses: to wash cars and pumps, to do pet baths with, or to use for gardening.

Filtering methods vary for different garden hose filters. Most use Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) and carbon in filtering outdoor water supply. With KDF, water goes through redox (reduction-oxidation), transforming contaminants into harmless compounds. The adsorption qualities of activated carbon dissociate chemicals with water particles. These may not make the water safe for drinking, but it won’t kill all the soil organisms, which may be essential for the health of the plants.

Pros and Cons of Using a Water Hose Filter

Having a filter on your garden hose is not exactly a popular idea. Even if you are one to oppose the need, I am sure you would agree that there is a certain reassurance in safety. Knowing for sure that the vegetables you eat are clean should be enough to change your mind.

The Good

Filtered water contains little to no toxins or harmful chemicals.

Water, being a universal solvent, attracts and dissolves almost everything. It is also treated, so aside from the stuff it dissolves, there are nasty add-ons too. Most are harmful compounds that can seep into the plants: leaves, flowers, and fruits alike. Some of these chemicals affect human behavior and intelligence levels. Whether it is chlorine or chloramines or some other compounds, if it can cause cancer to humans, it can’t be good, right?

Water hose filters ensure a healthy garden with positive microbiome uptake in the soil.

DOM can make pollutants more bioavailable to the biomes in the soil. It has the unwanted potential to cause cancer-causing compounds to form during chlorination. It is not surprising if it can kill humans at a 4.0% rate. If the feared COVID-19 has a mortality rate of only .24% higher at 4.24%, then your garden biomes don't stand a chance. Some argue that soil bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes and killing them off won't make a difference. But if they die every time you water your garden, then the numbers will keep going down, reducing efficiency. Instead of already having a thriving bacterial ecosystem to kick out the bad ones, rebuilding becomes a priority.

Increase plant biomass.

With decreased toxin in the soil, root exudation becomes more efficient. Organic acids with low molecular weight can enhance enzymes that diversify the soil population. This helps the nutrient dynamics in the soil, resulting in healthier plants.

The Bad

Filtration is not a perfect process.

Water hose filters reduce most contaminants, but tiny particles can still pass through even the tiniest filter holes. That said, even with filters, the water can't be 100% contaminant-free.

Filters need regular cleaning and proper care, and regular replacements.

Thorough cleaning of filtering equipment is a must. This helps the filter carry out the filtration process as efficiently as possible. But, let's admit it, cleaning can be, well, tedious.

Choosing the Best Garden Hose Filter

Unbelievers may think that not using any of the advanced technological mumbo-jumbo, is being natural. It doesn’t have to be about water hose filters, but even the toughest skeptics can change their minds. Consider this: Back in the days, natural means contaminant-free. This time, these contaminants are bioavailable at every turn.

If your belief is wavering at this point, then it is time to understand more about water hose filters. Knowing what is in your water and what you want to use it for, is especially useful in choosing the perfect filter. It is not about whether a brand resonates with you or you ’re a sucker for high-end brands. If you want to see how reviving the ancient relationship between soil bacteria and man work, then read on.

Choosing the right type is imperative when picking the garden hose filter to buy. Depending on the location, the water contaminants may vary along with the best filter for you. If the water comes with debris, consider filters with a fine permeable membrane in its filtering aperture. But if the water output rate matters, then choose a medium that doesn’t affect the water flow too much. Consider having a water sample tested before buying if possible, but it may be a bit overboard for some.

The Best Water Hose Filters in the Market Right Now

With a wide range of options available these days, how do you choose a filter that fits your needs? You can scour the Internet to do thorough research on various models of water hose filters. You can also ask for feedback from others who use them, and get it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Or you can check the list of top-rated garden hose filters that we rounded up for you.

For this article, we reviewed five of the most popular models of water hose filters available in the market.

1. Boogie Blue Plus High Capacity Filter - The Organic Gardener's Top Choice

If you are a serious gardener, then Boogie Blue’s promise of the unmatched filtering capacity of 45,000 gallons (170.34 m³), is perfect for you. Also promised by this filter is a 99% Chlorine-free and 87% Chloramine-free water output. The dual catalytic-carbon and KDF combination of this filter ensures that heavy metals and toxins, including pesticides and herbicides, including volatile compounds, do not reach your soil. With this high capacity filter, Boogie Blue guarantees safety for the soil microbes.

What We Like:

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Boogie Brew offers a 100% Money-Back Guarantee for this American-made garden hose filter. This means they are confident that the product works. It helps raise trust ratings and offer a real bang for the buck.

Multi-filtering

Designed with more KDF and carbon filtering material than its competitors, Boogie Blue promises to remove both free and total chlorine and chloramine. It also reduces organic and inorganic contaminants in your outdoor water supply.

Long-lasting

With the recyclable KDF filter, the carbon filter of this product promises longevity. This results in increased performance and unmatched output of the filter as promised. That is 4x more filtered water - or up to 45,000 gallons (170.34 m³).

Keep in Mind:

The KDF filter needs cleaning.

Because of the KDF water filter, backwashing the filter with hot water is a must. This is to remove insoluble debris that may have lodged inside, which may affect the water flow rate in the long run.

2. Aqua Crest Garden Hose Water Filter - Long-lasting Garden Hose Filter Upgraded with 5 Micron Filter Aperture and DI Resin

This is a great choice for an all-purpose water hose filter, though it’s a little heavy at 2.25 lbs. Besides promoting the health and beauty in both the plants and the garden, the Aqua Crest garden hose water filter boasts of a fine permeable membrane that can filter sediments up to 5 microns. As opposed to the KDF-GAC filter of its competitors, it has an upgraded three-level filtering system developed for gardens. It also works for pools, tubs, spas, and pet baths. It filters impurities and prevents nozzle blockage due to calcium deposits.

What We Like:

Upgraded Multi-filtering

This is a great choice for an outdoor supply water hose filter. Packed with KDF, granular activated carbon (GAC), and DI Resin, this filter from Aqua Crest is perfect for detoxifying garden water. Besides removing 98% chlorine, it also takes out bad odor, heavy metals, and sedimentary particles. It also keeps the useful nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the water.

It comes with an ultra-fine 5-micron filter aperture

Designed with an extra-fine filter sized at 5 microns, this filter bests its competitors, which have 20- and 100-micron filter. With this, Aqua Crest promises the removal of much smaller debris and no water spots.

Compatible with Mist Cooling System

Aside from the standard garden hose thread, this filter also pairs well with atomizers, one thing most filters cannot promise.

Keep in Mind:

The addition of DI Resin has its disadvantages

The presence of DI Resin in this filter works well in removing charged ions. But, it also causes the water to taste bad, making it a poor source of drinking water. It also heightens toxic metal contamination in the water, since its less stable form makes it more susceptible to attract metals.

3. Clean Water Fun Garden Hose Filter - KDF-free Catalytic Carbon Filter Perfect for Organic Gardening.

The Clean Water Fun Garden Hose Filter is a lot like the Boogie Blue filter, but this is still a well-deserved spot. With its promise to reduce organic chemicals by 99% and chloramines by 97%, this filter is a KDF-free alternative. The catalytic carbon filter is acid-washed. It adsorbs chlorine, ammonia, toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons TCE and PCE, fuel component MTBE, and a few other compounds.

What We Like:

With its catalytic ability, this filter is more effective than normal carbon filters

Clean Water Fun prides itself on its enhanced capacity to snuff out chlorine and hydrogen sulfide. It also offers catalytic advantages over traditional carbon. This garden hose filter promises none of the chlorine, chloramines, and THMs stays in the water.

Fast-acting, with less need for flushing of loose carbon typical to GAC filters

The catalytic carbon in this filter uses an efficient KDF-GAC technology filtration system. It promises clean and safe water by reducing harmful contaminants. It busts away fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, and heavy metals, among others.

Recyclable and reusable

It is recyclable and reusable. Using thermal reactivation, this filter can have extended service life and lower costs.

Keep in Mind:

Carbon filters cannot take out inorganic contaminants in the water.

The Environmental Working Group says carbon filters remove total chlorine, asbestos, and VOCs. It may also improve the taste and color of your water. But, it doesn’t remove inorganic pollutants. Arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, and perchlorate are all still likely in the water. These are dangerous to biotic communities in the soil and your plants and a downside to this filter.

4. Camco GardenPURE Carbon Water Hose Filter - Perfect Choice for Hydroponic and Aeroponic Gardening.

Much like the Boogie Blue filter, it has a KDF-GAC filtration system. It also promises to lower all levels of contaminants in the water as it flows. Specially designed for hydroponic and aeroponic gardening, it addresses the specific watering needs of these garden types. It even accommodates the pH and electrical conductivity (EC) level needs of these garden systems.

What We Like:

Perfect for hydroponic and aeroponic gardening

Both hydroponic and aeroponics systems require specific watering setup. They need very little water, but it has to be set up for efficiency. Both need managed pH, nutrients, and electrical conductivity (EC) levels for optimum growth. The special water flow rate is guaranteed with Camco's GardenPure water hose filter.

In-line design streamlines water flow

Boasting of an in-line wide-body design, this filter promises to optimize water flow. No risk of straining the permeable membrane in its filtering system included.

A reinforced carbon filter with guaranteed low lead content

This Camco filter promises to have low lead content with an NSF/ANSI 372 certification to boot. This means it has a maximum weighted lead content of 0.25 percent and is a drinking water standard level.

Keep in Mind:

Limited water output flow rate

If you are one for unrestricted water flow rate, then you may want to pick another filter for your garden hose. The Camco GardenPure filter has a recommended 1 gallon (3.79 liters) water output restriction in place.

5. Waterdrop RV Inline Water Filter - Affordable Filter Made From Safe, Food Grade Material

The attractive retail price makes this RV Inline water filter by Waterdrop perfect for every startup gardener. Besides being kind to the wallet, it has a food-grade filter material. It comes with a multi-layered filtering system. It promises 99.9% chlorine-free water and clears up contaminants from the water supply.

What We Like:

Safe and Certified Non-toxic

The food-grade material boasts of means this in-line water hose filter is nontoxic. There is no risk of material and chemical components leaching into the water. This also means it can come in direct contact with your plants and the food products it produces will be safe.

It comes with a 5-Layer Multi-stage Filtration System

This efficient multi-level filter has KDF, GAC, and pre-sediment, advanced filtration, and post-filtration layers. With this water hose filter, clean and safe water will reach your soil with little to no contaminants. It also promises to reduce chlorine and make even your outdoor water potable.

Affordable, budget-friendly

At $14.99 apiece, this filter costs almost half the price of the same products in the market. This puts it at the lowest price range. This all-purpose filter is worth the benefits it promises, maybe even more.

Keep in Mind:

Requires pre-use flushing and regular backwashing

Much like other filters with the KDF-GAC filter technology, this one also requires proper care. Thorough flushing before the first use is advisable to shake off the loose carbon. Regular backwashing is also good to dislodge contaminants from the KDF filter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a filter for microplastics?

According to some studies, regular tap water contains microplastics amounting to about 4.45 pieces per liter. These vary in sizes, but 95% are between 6.5 to 100 microns. Filters come with a permeable membrane that varies in hole size so debris like these can be reduced and filtered out. Some filters are as fine as 5 microns, but most brands boast of a 20-micron filter. Some others offer a 100-micron filter, though it is usually in combination with other filtering technology.

How do you know if the garden hose filter is due for replacement?

Every product, even water hose filters, has a recommended period of use. For filters, it might be either in terms of water output or time. Depending on usage, one can last from three to six months, or from 10,000 gallons (37.85 m³) to 45,000 gallons (170.34 m³) of filtered water. But, whether you use it every day or not, it is important not to keep it too long. Experts recommend replacing water hose filters before hitting the water output mark or the time mark to ensure it’s still safe. Manufacturers suggest replacement depending on usage: either when the water flow changes or if a chlorine test says so.

Some people who tried using a water hose filter suggests replacing as soon as you detect a change in smell, color, turbidity, or taste. Expert tip: Note any change in water quality. Replace regardless of whether the filter has reached the end of its life.

Why do we need to keep the filter in the refrigerator? Is it useless now because it was not refrigerated when shipped?

A used garden hose filter in the fridge keeps bacterial growth at bay. Regularly used filters do not need to be refrigerated. But, if you won’t be using it for over 48 hours, manufacturers recommend putting it in the fridge. It is best to keep it inside a Ziploc bag as well. Naturally, this doesn’t apply when the filter is first shipped and unused. During shipping, it has never been wet, so there are no bacteria to kill. Refrigeration is not needed.

Do filters remove harmful bacteria from the water?

No, garden hose filters do not have antibacterial technology. This means it cannot remove bacteria, dead or alive, from the water. However, if the garden soil is as healthy as it should be, then the microbes can do its job well and kick out the bad ones. With the filtered water working its magic, the good microorganisms in the soil stay alive. No human or filter interference or pesticides necessary.

How much reduction of minerals can I expect after running the water through a filter?

It varies, depending on the brand and the filter technology it uses. Typically, a 10 to 20 percent reduction in ppm is standard. The reduction of heavy metals causes a noticeable mineral drop. Chemical contaminants in the water are usually just flushed.

Conclusion

Sustainability is more than being green. It is important to note how times have changed. If you want to mimic nature, avoiding technological interventions like filters to a water supply is not exactly the way to go. If anything, filtering the artificial add-ons in the water may be more natural at this point.

Different treatment methods are used in different water system per place. Depending on your location, there might be different contaminants in your water. How you would use it would decide the various types of filtration media available for you.

Whatever you need it for, the water hose filters in the market offer different things. Some filters come with more than one stage of the filtration system. Others promise to remove most everything. Some offer to reduce most contaminants and preserve naturally-occurring minerals, which is healthier.

Our suggestion: Spend a moment thinking about your water. Where will you use it? What do you want to remove? If in doubt, have the water tested. Be in the know and you’ll see: buying a water hose filter for your outdoor water supply will be worth it.

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