Home / Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when to replace the filter?

As the filter reaches its max capacity the water flow will reduce to a slow trickle. At this point it is time to replace your filter! We offer a subscription program on our website that delivers replacement filters every six months, but filter life will vary based on quality of source water.

Can the filters be recycled?

All Aquagear filters are recyclable! Send us an email and we'll provide you a Return Shipping Label so that you can return all used filters to us. We'll ensure that they are recycled properly! Before shipping your water filter back to us, please allow filter to dry out for 24 hours.

How much Fluoride does Aquagear remove?

Aquagear is tested to remove up to 90% of Fluoride from municipal tap water.

What's wrong with tap water?

We like tap water because it's quick and eco-friendly, but it can be host to unwanted chemicals like fluoride and chlorine, as well as hundreds of contaminants. Some contaminants are reported, others aren't. Some are fairly benign, others are more harmful. However, they all have one thing in common: they don't belong in the water you drink. Call us old-fashioned, but when we think of water, we think of H2O, not the seven-syllable chemicals that come out of the tap.

Where is the filter manufactured?

The filter is made in the USA.

How does the filter work?

The AquaGear filter works like a magnet to draw in and trap contaminants as they pass through the straw, leaving only clean, fresh water. Aquagear® water filters are made out of activated carbon and a unique formulation of ion exchange materials that provide the greatest contaminant reduction in the industry. All Aquagear water filters are made out of the following materials here in the USA:

 Absorbant carbon derived from coconut shells that remove organic compounds and pollutants from water. As contaminated water passes through the Aquagear water filter, absorbant carbon media trap and neutralize waterborne pollutants. These toxins include disinfectants like chlorine, solvents, PCB’s, PBDE’s, and compounds that cause bad taste and odor.
A blend of proprietary media bonded in a chelative matrix to effectively remove heavy metals, industrial and agricultural pollutants, and trace pharmaceuticals. Using adsorption, absorption, chemical bonding, chelation, and depth filtration, Aquagear’s unique formulation of activated carbon and ion exchange materials turns ordinary tap water into great-tasting, filtered water.

What do AquaGear Tap Water Filters remove from water?

The AquaGear Tap Water Filter removes up to 99.99% of tap water contaminants. This includes fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, trace pharmaceuticals and other known menaces of municipal tap water. The straw's patented filtration technology meets and exceeds NSF Standards 42 and 53 for contaminant reduction. This means that it is certified to make water odorless and fresh-tasting, as well as remove a variety of health-related contaminants like VOCs and MTBEs. Better still, it does all this without removing health-essential minerals from the water.

Here is list of key contaminants that Aquagear® removes from tap water and what the EPA says about potential long-term health effects to you and your family.

Fluoride: Longterm exposure to Fluoride can cause Fluorosis.
Atrazine: Exposure to Atrazine can lead to cardiovascular damage or reproductive difficulties.
Lead: Childhood exposure to lead can hinder physical development and cause learning disabilities.
Chromium 6: The indigestion of Chromium-6 may be carcinogenic according to the EPA.
Cadmium: Exposure to cadmium can cause liver damage.
Chlorine: Chlorine combines with organic material in tap water to create harmful by-products like Trihalomethanes and Chloroform,
Mercury: Mercury from agricultural and industrial runoff can cause kidney damage over time.

What does "Test to NSF Standards" mean?

"Tested to NSF Standards" means that our filter pitcher has been tested to the standards for contaminant reduction established by the NSF organization. When we submit our filter for testing, we specify that our filters are tested to NSF Standards 42 & 53, which are strict filtration protocols that are recognizable to our customers.

The filter has been tested in independent laboratories in over 16 countries worldwide, and we publish our most recent test data on our website for everyone to see (see "Testing Certificates").

In addition, the independent labs we use to test our product are ISO 17025 certified and accredited by, among others, the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC), Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP), and County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (LACSD).

Again, please feel free to review our most recent test data under Testing Certificates on our website, and you will see that our testing results meet and exceed the requirements for NSF Standards 42 & 53.

Do Aquagear water filters remove inorganic minerals from municipal tap water?

The Aquagear Filter Pitcher leaves healthy trace minerals in your water like calcium and magnesium while removing toxic inorganics like heavy metals.

Will there be a difference in taste?

Aquagear filters remove a number of contaminants that effect taste, such as chlorine, sulfates, and copper. We have found that many of our users choose Aquagear to improve the flavor profile of their water, coffee, and tea. Some minerals in your water may cause your water to still have a slightly “hard” taste, depending on the mineral content of your local water supply. However, these minerals are actually healthy and the Aquagear filter is designed not to remove them.

Will Aquagear remove harmful microorganisms such as cysts and bacteria?

No, Aquagear water filters are not designed to remove microbiological contaminants from tap water sources. Our products are only designed to be used with microbiologically-safe drinking water.

Does Aquagear make water alkaline?

Aquagear Filters can slightly increase the pH of your source water by reducing acidic contaminants from tap water. The resulting pH will depend upon the pH of the initial source water put into the Filter Pitcher.

Where does Aquagear certify its USA-made water filters?

In the United States, water filtration products are tested by independent laboratories to verify exact capabilities and performance. All of our filters are extensively tested by US approved laboratories certified to test under the strictest EPA, ANSI & NSF standard methods and protocol. The gallon volume of filtration capacity is tested to NSF standards 42 & 53. In addition, the filters have been tested and approved by laboratories in sixteen (16) foreign countries, including UK Great Britain, South Africa, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, and New Zealand.

Can I filter salt water?

No, AquaGear water filters are not designed to filter salt water. We do not recommend using any of our products with anything but fresh water.

Can I filter fresh water from lakes, rivers, and streams?

No, the Aquagear Filter Pitcher is only designed to be used with microbiologically safe tap water sources.

If water is leaking from the water reservoir, what do I do?

Tighten the Water Filter Cartridge to the Water Reservoir to form a perfect seal. If leaking persists, please contact our customer service department at questions@goaquagear.com for further assistance!

My Filter Pitcher is filtering water very slowly. Is this normal?

All Aquagear water filters have a slower flow than most competitors because our filters remove a much larger range of contaminants than most filter pitchers. Cleaner water is worth the wait! However, if you think that your water filter is filtering too slowly, you may need to re-flush your filter cartridge again by following the flushing instructions included with your purchase. If this issue persist, please contact Aquagear Customer Service at questions@goaquagear.com!

Why are there black specks in my filter reservoir?

If you see any black specks, those are pieces of our filter media. They are completely non-toxic. In any case, they would not be able to pass through the 2 micron pores of the Aquagear filter.

How high can I fill the water pitcher?

The Filter Pitcher can be filled up to the base of the reservoir.

I misplaced my setup manual. Where can I find a digital copy?

Here is a download link for the Filter Pitcher Setup Guide:


How do I clean my Filter Pitcher?

If would like to clean you Filter Pitcher, we recommend removing your Filter Cartridge from Pitcher before getting started. Use warm, soapy water to clean the plastic carafe, reservoir, and lid. Be sure not to get any soap/cleaning agent on your Filter Cartridge.

Is there a video of the flushing process?


What is TDS? And will Aquagear remove it?


One question we sometimes get about the Aquagear filter is, “Does it remove Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS?”

A couple filters have been marketing themselves based on their ability to remove TDS. However, TDS is not a measure of water contaminants. Much of what constitutes TDS is actually healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium, which Aquagear is designed not to remove.

In fact, if water has a TDS reading of zero, that means it does not contain healthy minerals, but could still contain plenty of unhealthy contaminants.

According to the NSF Consumer Fact Sheet on TDS, which is linked below, “A TDS meter does not directly measure heavy metal contaminants such as lead or arsenic in the water. A TDS reading is not an indication as to whether a water filter is working properly to reduce these contaminants.” Most importantly, “the presence of contaminants (such as heavy metals) cannot be determined by measuring TDS.”

In fact, as the Safe Drinking Water Foundation notes, “many people buy mineral water, which has naturally elevated levels of dissolved solids.”

In addition to preserving healthy minerals, a stage of the Aquagear filter called the ion exchange process adds minerals to your water. This can increase TDS. In this process, the filter uses an ion exchange media to infuse the water with minerals while trapping contaminants like fluoride. This is a critical part of Aquagear’s superior filtration technology.

So how do you evaluate the efficacy of a filter? The gold standard is to send the filter to an independent and accredited ISO 17025 lab, which we have done. We take our product testing very seriously, and try to be as transparent as possible with our customers about the results.

You can find a PDF of the test data from our most recent testing on our website under "Testing Certificates.”

If we could use household meters to measure filter efficacy, that would be great, but when it comes to accurately measuring the removal of harmful contaminants, testing in an accredited lab is the trusted standard in the scientific community. It’s the only way to know that your filter is providing the very best water for you and your family.

If you have any other questions regarding contaminant removal or TDS, please email us at questions@goaquagear.com. Product performance is our number one priority, and we are happy to answer any questions you have.

NSF Consumer Fact Sheet: Click Here

Safe Drinking Water Foundation: Click Here

How can I test my water at home?

It would be great for everyone if there was a simple and affordable way to test your water at home. However, testing for water contaminants can only accurately be done in an independent and accredited lab using EPA and SM Methods. We have had the Aquagear Filter Pitcher extensively tested in independent ISO 17025 labs using EPA Methods 300.1, and we publish this test data on our site under “Testing Certificates”. Although testing using, for example, TDS meters (explained above) and pool chlorine test kits has its place, the gold standard in the scientific community for measuring tap water contaminants is in an accredited lab.