Santevia MINA Slim Alkaline Water Pitcher: Does It Work?
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Are you trying to find a water filter pitcher that not only reduces contaminants, but adds beneficial minerals to the water, too?
If so, you'll want to consider the MINA Slim alkaline water filter pitcher from Santevia.
[In a hurry? To check the current price and availability at Amazon, click here.]
Since 2008, Santevia has been making it easy for people to make alkaline water from ordinary tap water. The MINA Slim is their newest offering, a slimmer version of the MINA Classic.
What is alkaline water? How does the MINA Slim work? Does it really make alkaline water? What are the pros and cons? Where can I get one?
You'll find the answers to these questions and more in this review. And, you can read about the testing I did to see how well the filter performs. Then you can make an informed decision about whether or not to buy one.
You can skip to a specific question in the Quick Navigation below, or keep scrolling down to read the whole article.
What is alkaline water and why would you want to drink it?
You might remember from your high school science that the pH scale runs from 0 to 14. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Anything below 7.0 is acid, and anything higher is alkaline. So, alkaline water is water with a pH number higher than 7.0.
Natural untreated water ranges from 6.5 to 9.0, depending on environmental factors.
Santevia claims that their filter will raise water's pH to between 8.5 and 9.5. The only way to know if this is true is to test the pH before and after filtering. I did just that, and the results are further down the page.
Now, why would anyone want to make their water more alkaline?
Well, some say that drinking alkaline water will neutralize acid in the bloodstream. Along with that, it can supposedly increase your energy level, detoxify your body, and help alleviate symptoms of some conditions like GERD (gastroespohageal reflux disease).
Whether any of this is true is up for debate.
A quick Internet search will bring up plenty of anecdotal evidence, but there doesn't seem to be much solid scientific research to back up the claims of alkaline water proponents.
The Mayo Clinic says that plain water is better for most people.
One study, though, which you can read at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) website concludes:
Unlike conventional drinking water, pH 8.8 alkaline water instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it permanently inactive. In addition, it has good acid-buffering capacity. Thus, the consumption of alkaline water may have therapeutic benefits for patients with reflux disease.
This and a few other small scale studies suggest that there might be some benefit to drinking alkaline water, but there's no overwhelming consensus that this is true.
That doesn't mean we should dismiss the anecdotal evidence, though. Many people report that alkaline water has helped them.
So maybe you're interested in alkaline water, and you'd like an inexpensive way to get it. That's where the Santevia Alkaline Pitcher comes in.
Instead of buying expensive bottled alkaline water, you can make your own at home using this pitcher - at a fraction of the cost.
What are the key features of the Santevia MINA Slim Alkaline Pitcher?
Attractive and Solid Design
The pitcher is made of BPA and BPS free shatterproof Tritan plastic. When you pick it up, it just feels sturdy. This is no flimsy piece of junk!
It looks great on your counter, and the slim design allows it to fit on the door of your fridge.
How much does it hold?
It'll hold 9 cups of filtered water.
Another nice design feature is the flip-up opening on the lid. Just depress it with your thumb to fill the pitcher without having to take off the lid.
6 Stage Filtration
- 1Pre-filter - This stainless steel mesh keeps bits of sediment from getting in and clogging up the filter.
- 2Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) - NSF certified GAC reduces chlorine, organic chemicals, and some heavy metals. Also takes out bad taste and odors.
- 3Ion-Exchange Resin - NSF certified ion-exchange resin removes dissolved inorganic contaminants and other metals.
- 4Energy Ceramic Balls - According to Santevia, these "release far infra-red rays to energize and reduce water molecule clusters for better absorption" (Whether or not this is legit, I have no idea. I couldn't find any supporting evidence for this.)
- 5Negative Potential Balls - These are supposed to turn ordinary water into antioxidant water.
- 6Natural Mineral Ceramic Balls - These balls add calcium and magnesium to the water, thereby raising the pH.
Filter Life Indicator
You don't have to rely on your memory to know when to replace the filter. A built-in indicator on the lid tells you when it's time.
Push the little button and it'll light up - green for good, yellow for replace soon, and red for replace now.
Every time you replace the filter, you'll need to reset the indicator.
What contaminants does the Santevia pitcher remove?
Santevia claims that the MINA Slim removes 99% of chlorine and lead. They also say that it removes some other unspecified contaminants.
I asked them if there was any third party testing done on the filter. Here's the answer I received in an email:
Our 3rd party testing is currently under an NDA. Due to this limitation, we can advise that our independent lab test resulted in up to 99% lead reduction but we are unable to share the results. Our head office lab team tested the product for chlorine reduction, and the results indicate up to 99% reduction.
So, there are no lab test results that we can look at.
The filter was tested to NSF 53 for lead reduction and NSF 42 for reduction of chlorine and improved taste and odor. That's not the same as being NSF certified, but that's not an issue in my mind. (See my take on testing and certification here.)
There's no good reason to doubt the company's claims, but I hope they will get third party testing done and publish the results.
Does the Santevia filter remove fluoride?
No, the pitcher filter does not remove fluoride.
But, Santevia makes a countertop system that does filter out fluoride along with other contaminants. Plus it adds minerals just like the pitcher does. (Check it out at Amazon.)
For more information, please see my review of the Santevia Alkaline Gravity Water Filter System.
Does the Santevia pitcher really make water more alkaline?
To find out if the Santevia filter does what it's supposed to do, I conducted a little experiment in my kitchen.
I used a pH reagent liquid (pictured below) to test the pH of four different samples:
- unfiltered tap water from my kitchen faucet
- tap water filtered by Santevia
- bottled distilled water
- bottled distilled water filtered by Santevia
As often happens, the colors in the photo are a bit off. On the bottle label, 7.0 is actually teal, 8.0 is blue, and 9.0 is lilac. Sorry about that!
The reagent turned the plain unfiltered tap water blue, meaning had a pH of 8. That agrees with the results from the professional water test I had done on my well water earlier this year.
After filtering the tap water, the reagent again showed a pH of 8. So, there was no significant difference between unfiltered and filtered tap water.
A shortcoming of the reagent is that there is no gradation between the numbers on the pH scale. So it's possible that the pH went up a tiny bit - say from 8.1 to 8.4 - but you can't tell that using this test. It definitely didn't change color, though, so it did not raise the pH to 9.0 or above.
Also keep in mind that my water was already alkaline. That's probably because it has a lot of minerals in it, as most wells do.
Next, I tested the bottled distilled water. The reagent turned it yellow, meaning it had a pH of 5.0 - slightly acidic.
(In case you're wondering, distilled water, at the moment it's distilled, is neutral at 7.0. But, as soon as it hits the air, it starts to absorb carbon dioxide, forming carbonic acid. That's why distilled water is generally acidic.)
So then I put some distilled water through the Santevia pitcher and tested it. This time it turned blue, just like the plain and filtered tap water. That means the filter raised the pH from 5.0 to 8.0, turning the acidic water into alkaline water
Here you can see the samples after the reagent drops were added.
So what does all this mean?
I think it's safe to say that the Santevia filter can raise the pH of water.
If your water is already alkaline, you might not see much of a difference. But if it's acidic, putting it through this filter is going to make it at least a little bit more alkaline.
Everybody's water is different, so the results can vary.
As far as taste goes, neither my husband nor I could taste any difference between the filtered and unfiltered water. That goes for the distilled as well as tap water. But taste is subjective, and you might have a different reaction.
Also, our well water is already clean and tastes great, so filtering it did not improve the taste. Next time I go on a trip, I'll take the Santevia along so I can test it on some nasty hotel water.
(You might be interested in reading my post about the best ways to filter water while traveling.)
How long does it take to filter the water?
Short answer: about 10 minutes for a full pitcher.
Santevia says, "The water takes an average of about 150 seconds to flow from the top tank to the bottom tank." (source)
That's a bit hard to interpret. The real question is, "How long do I have to wait for a pitcher of filtered water?"
To find out, I timed it myself.
First, I filled the reservoir to the top and let that filter through. It took 3.5 minutes and gave me about 4.5 cups of water.
Then I refilled the reservoir to finish filling the pitcher. The second half was a good bit slower, but that's how all filter pitchers behave.
It took a total of about 10 minutes for the entire 9 cups of water to filter through.
That's not bad at all.
You can start using the water after all the water leaves the reservoir. So that means it takes less than 5 minutes to make yourself a glass of refreshing alkaline water.
How long does the filter last?
Each filter is good for 80 gallons or 60 days.
So, you're going to have to replace it every two months, and the cost can add up quickly.
Replacement filters are sold individually or in multipacks. You'll usually save a little money by buying them in multiples.
Replacing the filter is super simple. Just pull out the old one and insert the new one.
But don't just toss that old filter in the trash! It's 100% recyclable.
What comes in the box?
How do you set it up?
Before you use the MINA Slim for the first time, there are a few things you need to do.
First, wash the pitcher and lid.
Next, hold the filter under the tap and flush it with water for one minute. At the same time, give it a good shaking. You want all those little beads to get a good rinse.
Now you can insert the filter into the reservoir. Be sure to press down firmly to get a good seal.
Last, fill the reservoir with water, let it filter through, then discard the water. Do this twice, and you're good to go.
Oh, and don't forget to set the indicator so it can remind you when it's time to change the filter.
What are the pros and cons for the Santevia MINA slim?
This list of the good and not so good comes from my own experience and other online consumer reviews.
What People Like
- Makes water taste good
- Fast filtering
- Adds minerals
- Filter life indicator
- Compact size
- Sturdy build
- Recyclable filter
Don't Like So Much
- Short filter life
- Must wait for all water to filter through before pouring
- GAC not as effective as carbon block filter
- Handle can get water in it
Where are Santevia pitchers made?
Santevia is a Canadian company, and the MINA Slim is made in Canada.
Does it come with a warranty?
Yes, it does - 90 days on the pitcher and 30 days on the filter.
However, the Santevia warranty only applies if you purchase it directly from Santevia.com.
If you buy it from another retailer, then that retailer's return policy applies.
Verdict: If you want to make your own alkaline water, get a Santevia pitcher!
For anyone wanting to transform their tap water into alkaline water, the Santevia MINA Slim is a good choice.
Besides adding minerals, you also have the benefit of reducing contaminants like chlorine and lead.
The high quality materials and attractive design are big pluses. It's affordable for most people, and it's definitely going to save you money over buying bottled alkaline water.
If that sounds like what you're looking for, you can head over to Amazon to check the current price and availability.
How about you? Do you drink alkaline water? If so, why? Have you ever used an alkaline water filter? Let us hear about it in the comments!
For more pitcher style water filter recommendations, please see my review of this year's best water filter pitchers.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free Santevia MINA slim alkaline pitcher in return for my honest review. I have not - nor will I - receive monetary compensation from Santevia for this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the manufacturer and/or its affiliates, in any way.