Distilled water is the safest option to use on your humidifier. It’s mineral-free and won’t release dangerous white dust. However, the cost of buying distilled water from the store can pile up, especially if you’re using your humidifier regularly. With this, knowing how to make distilled water for humidifier will help you save some bucks. You won’t run out of clean water either!
The distilled water you purchase from stores is produced using industrial-grade equipment. Despite that, you can perform the process of distillation in your own kitchen using available household items.
In this post, we discussed a quick guide on making distilled water and other things you need to remember before doing so.
What is distilled water?
Distilled water is considered the safest and cleanest water. It’s ideal for drinking, humidifier use, and washing baby bottles.
Moreover, distilled water is produced through the process of distillation. Basically, you take tap water and boil it until steam is produced.
The steam produced from boiling water is actually water vapors. These water vapors are free from minerals and contaminants. It’s because minerals and similar contaminants don’t vaporize with water due to their much higher boiling point.
Even before the minerals reach their boiling point, all the water has been vaporized as steam. Overall, only pure water will be vaporized and all the contaminants are left behind.
As the water boils, the steam will condensate. This will be collected into a container and cooled. After that, you now have clean distilled water ready for use.
Take note that distilled water is largely different from purified water. The latter underwent multiple stages of filtration, including reverse osmosis. No boiling is involved and there will still be minerals left, which are safe and even healthy to consume.
How to make distilled water for humidifier
While distilled water is often sold in stores, you can actually make it at home. Here are some of the methods you can try:
Method 1: Use a water distiller
The easiest way to make distilled water at home is to invest in a water distiller kit. This device is equipped with a heating element, boiler, and condenser. Designs vary per manufacturer, but these are the basic components used across distillation kit models.
Basically, you add tap water into the boiler, which is usually a horizontal glass container at the bottom of the kit. After that, you will turn the device on and the heating element will boil the water.
As the water boils, the steam will evaporate into the condenser, which is a coil-like structure made of glass. It can also be made of stainless steel or copper.
Once the steam gets in contact with the condenser, it reverts to its water form. This will be collected and funneled into a container. Remember that you should never use a plastic container when collecting the condensate as the material may react and contaminate the distilled water. For your safety, always go for glass.
Usually, less than an hour of distillation will give you enough water to start using your humidifier.
Overall, this is the easiest method, but you’ll have to purchase the distillation kit. This will usually cost at least a hundred bucks.
Method 2: Use the glass bowl method
If you don’t have the budget to purchase a distillation kit, you can improvise with a few kitchen items. For the glass bowl method, you need a deep stainless steel or aluminum pot with a lid, a glass bowl, and ice.
Here’s what you need to do:
- First, fill the pot with water halfway.
- Next, place a clean, dry glass bowl inside. You can use a steam rack underneath to prevent the water from getting inside the bowl as it boils.
- Make sure that the bowl’s lid is at least two inches away from the water. This way, the undistilled water won’t get inside the bowl.
- After that, cover the pot with its lid upside down. That way, the concave side of the lid is outside.
- Once the water is boiling, place ice on top of the lid.
- The purpose of this is to boost condensation. As the hot vapors touch the cold lid, the water will condensate and fall into the glass bowl inside.
- The water collected in the glass bowl is distilled and can be used in your humidifier.
- Let the water in the bowl cool down before pouring it into your humidifier.
Method 3: Use the glass bottle method
Another alternative you can use is the glass bottle method. For this, you need two clean long-necked bottles, a heating element (stove), and something to prop the bottles horizontally.
Here’s how it works:
- Fill one of the bottles with a small amount of water. Make sure that the water won’t spill if you move the bottle horizontally.
- Next, you need to place the two bottles horizontally, mouth to mouth. You can use beer bottles, preferably transparent ones.
- After that, you need to suspend both bottles in the air. One should be on top of a heat source.
- For this, you can use rocks or grill rocks. Make sure that the bottles are leveled and their mouths are sealed together.
- Once you have the bottles positioned, you can turn the stove on or any heating element you’re using.
- As the water in the bottle boils, it will produce steam, which will transfer to the second empty bottle.
- The water that will be collected inside the empty bottle is distilled.
- In just 30 to 60 minutes, you will have a substantial amount of distilled water to use in your humidifier.
Do you need more guidance? In this video, NightHawkInLight shows us the step-by-step process of making distilled water through the glass bottle method:
How to store your homemade distilled water
To make sure that your DIY distilled water will be clean, you should it well. This way, you’ll have enough supply in the coming days to use on your humidifier.
Make sure that you store it in a glass container. I don’t recommend reusing plastic bottles as microplastics and the chemicals in them may leach into the water. Always use a container that’s safe for long-term storage.
Also, you should put the container in the fridge to reduce the risk of contamination.
Reminder: rainwater is distilled, but…
Some humidifier owners are curious whether they can use rainwater instead. Sure, rainwater is distilled in terms of how it’s produced, but it’s not necessarily clean according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rainwater is produced as water from lakes, rivers, oceans, and so on evaporates. This will condensate later on and fall into the ground as rain. This is pretty much how the process of distillation works.
However, as rain falls, the airborne dust, pathogens, and particulates can contaminate the water even before it reaches your collection container.
While you can use it cleaning items, watering your plants, or flushing the toilet, it’s not safe for humidifiers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is bottled water okay for a humidifier?
A: Bottled water can either be distilled, purified, spring, alkaline, and more. This is why not all bottled water products are suitable for humidifiers. You should only use distilled water since it’s mineral-free and won’t cause white dust. Although purified water is also safe, it contains low levels of healthy minerals. Just make sure that you clean your humidifier frequently to avoid buildup.
Q: Is the water in a dehumidifier distilled?
A: Dehumidifier isn’t distilled. It contains impurities, so you should never drink or use it for any food-related applications. Instead, you can recycle your dehumidifier water by using it to water the plants, clean your car, or flush your toilet.
Q: How long does it take to distill water?
A: Distillation is a fairly fast process. However, the entire duration depends on the amount of water you want to distill. On average, it will take around 5 to 6 hours to come up with one gallon of distilled water. Nevertheless, bottled water brands can make this process faster by using industrial-grade equipment and massive facilities.
Q: Why is distilled water more expensive?
A: Distilled water is more expensive because it takes more power, time, and equipment to produce. This explains why a gallon of distilled water is more expensive compared to the purified water produced through reverse osmosis. Still, you can save some money by making distilled water at home.
Q: How long is distilled water good?
A: Distilled water should be consumed as soon as possible after the bottle is opened. If the container is placed in the fridge after opening, the water will be good for a few months. However, if you store it in the pantry, it’s only good for three days. Overall, unopened bottles of distilled water are safe to drink within two years of storage.
Knowing how to make distilled water for humidifiers can help you save money. You can also try different methods to see which one you find the most convenient.
But aside from using distilled water on your humidifier, you should also clean the device weekly. This is to ensure that the clean water won’t be contaminated with molds and pathogens.
Home Air Quality is founded by Bernard K to provide information on Indoor Air Quality in Homes and enlighten people about what they need to know about creating and maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.
We believe that “Quality air brings a healthy life.”