Is Water From A Dehumidifier Distilled? Is It Safe To Use?

Dehumidifiers work by sucking out moisture from the air and collecting it in a removable bucket. There’s also an option to drain it through a hose. But is water from a dehumidifier distilled? Can you actually use it at home instead of dumping it in the sink?

This is an interesting question since many households can collect buckets of water per week from their dehumidifiers. One thing that will come to mind is how to recycle the water instead of throwing it away.

In this post, we discussed how clean dehumidifier water is and where you can use it for recycling. Read on before you try to use the water you just collected.

Is dehumidifier water distilled?

is water from a dehumidifier distilled
Photo Credits – Aire Serv

The water collected by your dehumidifier is NOT distilled. In fact, this water is far from being distilled in terms of cleanliness and how it was produced.

This is the reason why you can’t use dehumidifier water the same way as distilled water. Still, there are many options on how you can recycle or make the most out of the collected moisture.

However, the two have similarities as both dehumidifier water and distilled water are derived from vapors. Still, they are not the same. Allow me to explain below.

What is distilled water?

Distilled water is produced through the process of, you guessed it, distillation. This is done by boiling water until it produces steam. Such steam will condensate once it gets in contact with a condenser coil.

After that, the steam will go back to its liquid form and will be collected into a tank or vessel. The process of boiling separates water from contaminants. It’s because water vapors can’t carry minerals and contaminants in them. Also, boiling neutralizes various pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.

The last step in distillation is cooling down the collected condensate. This will now be the distilled water we drink and purchase from stores.

Overall, distilled water is free from minerals, bacteria, viruses, and just about any contaminant imaginable. However, producing it requires specific equipment and time.

Also, distilled water shouldn’t be confused with purified water. The latter is safe for drinking but it underwent a different process to eliminate contaminants.

Aside from that, purified water still contains small amounts of minerals, but it’s healthy and can be used on CPAP machines and humidifiers.

Dehumidifier water vs. distilled water

Dehumidifier water is produced similarly to how distillation works. But instead of boiling, the air is forced into the coils to condensate moisture.

As the refrigerant cools the coils, the water vapor will condensate on it due to the varying temperatures. The condensate will be funneled into a bucket or a continuous drain hose.

This is pretty much similar to how an air conditioner works except that a dehumidifier has no cooling element.

Also, since the water isn’t boiled, there’s no guarantee that it’s free from bacteria and viruses. Aside from that, the air is forced into the dehumidifier to condensate moisture. In the process, dust and other airborne particles can be added to the mix.

Overall, there’s a chance that dehumidifier water is clean, but not as pure as distilled types. Besides, the coils used here aren’t food-grade and the water isn’t prepared in a contained environment.

In the end, distilled water and dehumidifier water are two different things. If you want distilled water, your dehumidifier isn’t the source of it.

In case you decided to use dehumidifier water like the distilled type, you should proceed at your own risk. Dehumidifier water can cause irritations, depending on how clean it is.

Where to use dehumidifier water

Although dehumidifier water isn’t distilled, you can still use it for a variety of applications. This way, the collected moisture won’t be put to waste. Here are some that you can try:

  • Flushing. You can use a bucketful of dehumidifier water to flush your toilet. You can either pour it straight into the toilet or transfer it to the tank for use later.
  • Cleaning. You can use dehumidifier water to clean windows, countertops, floors, and cars. It’s also a good idea to use the collected water to wash your kitchen towels.
  • Watering plants. The collected water from your dehumidifier can be used to water plants. Since it’s similar to distilled, you can use dehumidifier water to water your orchids.
  • Ironing clothes. Dehumidifier water is safe to use while ironing clothes. This can help solve creases, especially on wrinkly fabrics.
  • Vases. It’s safe to use dehumidifier water on vases to keep your flowers fresh. You can also use the same water to clean your vases and other decors at home.
  • Vehicle radiators. Technically, dehumidifier water is mineral-free, so you can use it on your car’s radiator. It’s better than tap water and cheaper than buying distilled water just to cool your engine. Mix this with antifreeze and you’re good to go.
  • Washing the car. Car washing uses a lot of water. In this case, the collected water in your dehumidifier can help reduce wastage. It’s mineral-free, so you don’t have to worry about white streaks as long as you use the right car cleaner.

Where NOT to use dehumidifier water

Overall, dehumidifier water can be used around the house. However, there are some applications you should never try. Here are applications where dehumidifier water isn’t advisable.

  • Never use it for drinking. Dehumidifier water isn’t safe for drinking. Although it’s mineral-free, it can still be contaminated with bacteria. After all, dehumidifiers aren’t designed to sterilize the moisture it collects. If you’re thirsty, you should get a bottle of distilled or purified water from the fridge instead. The same goes for your pets.
  • Never use it for bathing. While dehumidifier water is clean to some extent, it shouldn’t be used for bathing. It can still contain traces of dust, which can irritate the skin. Overall, dehumidifier water should be the last resort if you’re desperate for a bath and there’s no water service.
  • Never use it for washing food ware. We don’t recommend using dehumidifier water for washing items used in preparing and eating meals. Again, it’s not distilled water, so there’s still a risk of contamination.
  • Never use it on CPAP machines. CPAP machines are loaded with water to increase humidity and loosen the airways for easy breathing. However, you should only use distilled water for such a purpose. It’s not safe to inhale dehumidifier water regularly, especially if you have compromised lungs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can dogs drink dehumidifier water?

A: No, dogs and any pets should never drink dehumidifier water. This collected moisture isn’t potable and can cause stomach upset in your pet. Basically, if you won’t drink it, your pet shouldn’t either. Your dog should only drink distilled or purified water at all times.  Even if the water is clear and has no smell, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s bacteria-free.

Q: Can you boil and drink dehumidifier water?

A: Boiling alone won’t remove the dirt on dehumidifier water. You may kill several pathogens, but boiling won’t make the water safe for drinking. While distilled water is also boiled, it undergoes extra steps like collecting the condensate and cooling it down. It’s also important to debunk that boiling water alone doesn’t make it distilled.

Q: What is the difference between dehumidifier water and distilled water?

A: Dehumidifier water is far from distilled water. It’s because distilled water is free from bacteria, viruses, minerals, and other contaminants. On the other hand, dehumidifier water has all kinds of possible contaminants. It can have dust, mold spores, pollens, and more. This is the reason why you should never drink or use dehumidifier water on your skin.

Q: Can you reuse dehumidifier water?

A: You can reuse dehumidifier water by using it to water your houseplants. It can also be used on your steam iron or washing random items in your yard. Just remember that it’s not safe for drinking or any use intended to clean your skin.

Q: Is water from a dehumidifier toxic?

A: Dehumidifier water isn’t necessarily toxic, but it’s not clean enough to drink either. Still, you can use it on other things like mopping the floor, washing the tires of your car, and so on. There are many ways to recycle dehumidifier water instead of just draining it into the sink.

Q: Can I use dehumidifier water in my humidifier?

A: Remember that dehumidifier water isn’t sterile and can carry pathogens. This is why it’s not advisable to use it on your humidifier. Sure, it won’t cause mineral buildup and white dust, but dehumidifier water can have contaminants and bacteria that you can inhale. In this case, you should only use distilled or purified water for your safety.

Final words

Is water from a dehumidifier distilled? The answer is no. Still, you can use the water in various applications like cleaning, flushing the toilet, watering the plants, and more.

On the other hand, you should never drink dehumidifier water. This isn’t sterile and consuming it may trigger gastrointestinal upset.