Vitamin C For Chlorine Removal – Using Ascorbic Acid For Chlorine Absorption

Orange Vitamin C Capsule
vitamin c
(Image credit: haryigit)

Chlorine and chloramines are chemicals added to the drinking water in many cities. It’s difficult if you don’t want to spray these chemicals on your plants since that’s what comes out of your tap. What can a gardener do?

Some people are determined to get rid of the chemicals and are using Vitamin C for chlorine removal. Is it possible to start removing chlorine with Vitamin C? Read on for information about the problems with chlorine and chloramine in water and how Vitamin C can help.

Chlorine and Chloramine in Water

Everybody knows that chlorine is added to most municipal water – a way to kill off deadly water-borne diseases – and some gardeners do not find this to be a problem. Others do.

While high levels of chlorine can be toxic to plants, research establishes that the chlorine in tapwater, around 5 parts per million, doesn’t directly affect plant growth and only affects soil microbes near the soil surface.

However, organic gardeners believe that chlorinated water harms soil microbes and living soil systems, required for optimal plant support. Chloramine is a blend of chlorine and ammonia, frequently used these days in lieu of chlorine. Is it possible to get rid of chlorine and chloramine in the water you use in your garden?

Removing Chlorine with Vitamin C

You can remove both chlorine and chloramine in water with the same strategies. Carbon filtration is a very effective method, but it takes a lot of carbon and water/carbon contact to do the job. That’s why Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid) is a better solution.

Does ascorbic acid/Vitamin C actually work to remove chlorine? Research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that using ascorbic acid for chlorine is effective and works rapidly. Today, Vitamin C filters are used to dechlorinate water for procedures where the introduction of chlorinated water would be catastrophic, like medical dialysis.

And, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), using Vitamin C/ascorbic acid for chlorine is one of the utility’s standard methods for dechlorination of water mains.

There are various methods you can try for using vitamin C for chlorine removal. The SFPUC established that 1000 mg. of Vitamin C will completely dechlorinate a bathtub of tapwater without significantly depressing pH levels.

You can also buy shower and hose attachments containing Vitamin C on the internet. Effervescent Vitamin C bath tablets are also readily available. You can find very basic chlorine hose filters, better-quality chlorine filters that only require one filter replacement a year, or professionally-installed, entire landscape filters.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.