Why oh why is it so difficult to get water filter cartridge replacements for my old Kenwood fridge jug? Twice I tried at my local Argos store to see if I could get the Kenwood items but they are never in stock. Then I tried a private shop which sells water filters but alas no Kenwood filters!!
Now you may think for a moment why does a Scotsman need a water filter when Scotland has a notorious reputation (better than England in most cases) for fresh, clean and tasty tap water?
The trouble is I do have a sensitive palate and whilst for many, Edinburgh tap water can be fresh and untainted, I prefer water which has no floating bits and doesnt appear too cloudy and this is what I get everytime I let the tap in my kitchen tap flow at the student halls. I can taste a lot of metallic substances and the smell of chlorine hits my nostrils the moment I try to stomach the tap water.
Since living in London many years ago I still have my very old but trusty Kenwood filter jug. Back then replacements were easy to get and even at my local Tesco who sell amongst others, their own brand of Multi-fit water jug filter, it seems that even these are hard to come by.
** Pricing **
And then it hit me one day whilst browsing through an Argos catalogue and indeed online that Kenwood have licensed one of their water jug designs to Cookworks, the almost exclusive brand name which Argos sell products at cheap, budget and student friendly prices. Thats when I realised that Argos also sell Cookworks water filters, three in a box for the pricely sum of just £6.99 and indeed only 52p more than Tescos own version which can also be used in Cookworks jugs.
The biggest surprise for most people however is the shocking realisation that whilst Cookworks may well be an identical Kenwood jug in all but name, Kenwood additionally make a four pack filter kit which is identical to this Cookworks product but comes in at a more expensive £9-99 through Argos. If my maths serves me correctly, three Kenwood filters would still come to £7-49 which is more expensive than this Cookworks version even though there are three in a pack. And at Argos the Cookworks pack costs £6-99.
Every little helps as Tescos would say! See the ways in which mature students like myself have to go for the cheapest filters around??
** Using & Installing **
Just like Kenwoods water filter, this Cookworks pack is exactly the same with the same filter holes at the top and even the angled design part at the bottom of the filter including the rubber ring at the top which holds and secures the filter in place in a water jug.
Like Kenwoods own filters, the Cookworks filters can be used in other jugs such as: Kenwood water filter jugs, Brita Classic water filter jugs and Boots water filter jugs which, if you think about it for a moment, underlines a feeling that Kenwood are making money from these companies who are using the same filter design!
However I inadvertently bought the wrong filter type the other day, assuming that a Brita Classic filter could fit my Kenwood water jug. Oh how wrong I was when I found that the Brita filter is thinner in depth and height than the Kenwood/Cookworks filter.
So whilst Cookworks/Kenwood filters may fit Brita Classic jugs, it doesnt naturally fit the other way around if buying a Brita Classic filter for your Kenwood jug be warned!!
Out of the white wrapper then, the directions ask the user to make sure the filter is submerged in an opened and filled with water, water jug to get rid of bubbles and then used twice, rinsing all the water out before actually consuming and using.
Years ago I ignored this advice, submerged the filter in water and then just consumed the water once it had been filled again in the jug with the result of the most acidic tasting water I had ever tried. Although directions underline to rinse out water twice, I always rinse out three times before using just to make sure before I actually consume the water. The filter is easy to install as it has a natural pick up nipple at the top which is easy to either drop into your water jug or twist around until it locks into place.
** The Taste the filter produces **
I love my water filter jug and until recently when I ran out of Kenwood branded filters, I was stuck for choice and went for this Cookworks version instead. I can find no fault with this filter and the taste is exactly the same as before when the water was filtered; no metallic aftertaste, no chlorine scent just pure water as the tap intended without impurities.
Like Kenwoods own filter the Cookworks version promises to reduce chlorine, limescale and other impurities. Although I cant vouch for the other impurities, the water is clear and free of floating bits. I also use filtered water in all of my irons and steam cleaners, which is probably why they have lasted so long.
** Duration **
One filter lasts approximately one month, and unlike several newer jugs on the market mine has a mechanical twist dial as a reminder when to change the filter, but it is a pity that despite the price and same again look, Cookworks dont put a filter indicator to show when it is losing its performance. I suppose with general and average use it is hard to pick out when exactly to change this filter, but here is how I know, if I forget that the filter is more than a month old;
If clean tap water is used (and should be the only type of water used for filtering) it only takes a matter of seconds for water to filter through the Cookworks filter. However if it has been in the jug for more than a month (and I have used the same filter for 2 months and more sometimes) sometimes I find the water takes ages to filter through. This is how I know that the filter is nearing the end of its performance. One day for example when using a filter which had been installed three months before, the water just sat in the reservoir and didnt shift through the filter.
** Downsides **
There arent really any actual downsides to this filter kit I can think of other than the most obvious fact that they can only be bought from Argos stores.
** Conclusion **
Given the elevated price of £9-99 for four filters by Kenwood this Cookworks version is identical in all but name and one less filter. Essentially although it is the same article and does the same job with the same results, it is priced cheaper than Kenwood, and for some that may well be the key to purchasing when Kenwoods own versions are constantly sold out at Argos and these Cookworks filters are a little cheaper too. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
Cat number: 8407007
** Prices are correct at the time of publication **