Distilled water is among the purest water you can get. The process creates water that is 99.9% contaminant free. It has broad applications for humidifiers, CPAP machines, and of course, drinking. For this reason, it is useful to know how to make distilled water at home.
We’ll show the different ways you can do that, including the steps to make DIY distilled water at home, and other alternative options that are available. Save money and trips to the grocery store with these methods!
Can You Make Distilled Water At Home
Although it’s available in the grocery store, you can distill water at home with a variety of methods for free. The most common method is with a countertop water distiller machine. But, because distilling water is a natural purification process, you can distill water at home simply with items you already have in your kitchen. We will go over that DIY process in a little bit, or jump to it now.
What Is Distilled Water
The process of distilling involves heating tap water to its boiling point until it turns to vapor. The vapor condenses back to its original liquid water form where it is then collected for use. It leaves behind non-volatile organic molecules and inorganic compounds that do not evaporate with the water . Through distillation, many impurities are removed, including:
- Heavy Metals (Lead & Copper)
- Chlorine & Chloramine
- Industrial Chemicals (PFAS & Pesticides)
The end result is pure water that is 99.99% free of harmful contaminants .
Is Purified Water The Same As Distilled Water?
Purified water typically starts out as tap water or groundwater, but then undergoes a rigorous treatment process to remove contaminants. Purified water will have total dissolved solids (TDS) content of no more than 10 parts per million (PPM) and a pH level between 5–7 .
Distilled water is a distinct method of purifying water that is easier and cheaper to make at home. Because of its purity, it is frequently used in laboratories and healthcare facilities. Although it is safe to drink, distilled water is not as common to drink as other types of purified water because it has a flat taste.
Each water purification process has its pros and cons. For example, reverse osmosis is an extremely popular method and is frequently compared with distilled water.
Can You Drink Distilled Water
Drinking distilled water is completely safe, but there are some differences to consider. Healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium are removed from water in the distillation process . Therefore it is not ideal as a nutritional source and lacks any flavor.
While water is not a significant source of mineral intake, a deficiency of essential minerals in your diet can lead to negative health effects. That said, the World Health Organization found that a majority of the minerals our body requires comes from food and a balanced diet.
“Food is the principal source of both calcium and magnesium.”World Health Organization
Fortunately, there are effective ways to remineralize distilled water so you can have the best of both worlds. Using remineralization drops will add back essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus.
How To Make Your Own Distilled Water
Below are 6 easy steps to make distilled water at home. All you need is a water pot (at least 5 quarts) for boiling water, a lid that is bigger than the pot, ice cubes (~10 cubes), and a glass bowl to collect the distilled water.
- Step 1: Place pot inside your kitchen sink under the faucet. Fill the pot with approximately 5 cups of water.
- Step 2: Transfer the pot from the kitchen sink to your stove top. Turn on your stove and bring the water to a boil.
- Step 3: After the water is boiling, put the bowl inside of the pot so that it floats on the water in the pot. Take the pot lid and place it upside-down on your pot. Add the ice cubes on top of the upside-down lid.
- Step 4: Once the ice cubes have melted and the water has evaporated (about 10 minutes), we are ready to collect the water from the bowl inside the pot.
- Step 5: Carefully remove the lid from the pot and then remove the bowl from inside the pot. The bowl should be filled with distilled water (caution: the lid and bowl will be hot!)
- Step 6: The result is distilled water! Now pour the water from the bowl into whatever vessel you want to store the water. It is preferable to use a glass storage container so that any impurities from plastic does not leach into the distilled water.
Other Methods For Making Distilled Water
Technically rainwater is distilled water. Earth uses the hydrologic water cycle to purify and distribute water around the planet. Specifically, rainwater is distilled water that is evaporated from the sun.
To collect rainwater, place a large clean container outside to fill it with water. Allow the water to sit for 48 hours to let the minerals dissipate. After that time, the water is able to be stored in a clean storage jug.
Note that rain can be contaminated as it falls through the sky from air pollution and other contaminants. It is best practice to filter or treat the water to ensure it is safe for consumption.
Use A Countertop Water Distiller Machine
Using a countertop distiller is the most hands-off method of creating your own distilled water. Simply fill the reservoir with tap water and let the machine do the work. The average machine will create one gallon of pure water about every four hours.
The other advantage to using a countertop machine is that most contain a charcoal post-filter. If your water contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they may end up in the distillate due to their low boiling point. Having a carbon filter to finish the distilling process removes any remaining impurities that could end up in your water.
Uses For Distilled Water
Because distilled water is extremely pure, it has a broad range of uses at home like cooking and sterilization. Here are some examples where you might want to grab some distilled water:
- CPAP Machines: Fill the water chamber of your CPAP machine with distilled water as it is free of bacteria and wont cause corrosion within the components. Distilled water is also useful for cleaning and sanitizing your CPAP machine.
- Humidifiers: Use it in your humidifier so you are getting pure vapor in your air and it also will keep the machine clean so it lasts longer.
- Infant Formula: Mixing distilled water with baby formula ensures the best quality water, especially if your child has an immune deficiency.
- Neti Pots: Use it in your neti pot to cleanse your sinuses.
- Coffee Machines: Not only will it make your coffee machine last longer because there is no scale buildup, but some people prefer to use distilled water with coffee because of the taste.
- Car Batteries: It is ideal to fill your batteries since the water does not have minerals and wont cause corrosion.
FAQs For Distilling Water At Home
Is boiled tap water the same as distilled water?
Boiling is not the same as distilling water. Boiling water is effective at removing microorganisms like bacteria for boil advisories. However, boiling water is not the same process and does not have the same purification effectiveness as distilling water.
How long does it take for tap water to be distilled?
Distilling water is a relatively time-consuming process. It takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to produce a single gallon of purified water with a countertop water distiller.
What is the best way to store distilled water?
The best way to store distilled water is in a glass container and out of direct sunlight exposure. If you store your water in a plastic vessel, it may leach contaminants into your purified water.
Is there a distilled water shortage?
Distilled water has been more scarce lately because of record-high demand, plastic bottle shortages, and supply chain issues. Distilled water has many uses beyond drinking like laboratories, doctors, pharmaceuticals, cleaning, and more.
Freshnss uses only the highest-quality sources to support the facts used in our articles including: government organizations, independent studies, peer-reviewed journals, and lab testing results. Read our editorial review guidelines here to learn more about how we verify and fact-check our writing to keep our content reliable, accurate, and trustworthy.
- Distillation Process, Encyclopedia Of Analytical Science
- Distillation For Home Water Treatment, University Of Purdue
- Fermentation and Biochemical Engineering Handbook, Mark Keyashian
- Water Health Series: Filtration Facts, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)