How to Distil Water at Home: Ultimate Beginners Guide

Reading Time: 5 minutes
  • What is distilled water?
  • Different types of water that are safe to drink
  • Benefits of tap, filtered, purified, mineral and distilled water
  • How to make distilled water at home for free

Have you ever wondered how to purify your drinking water further or needed to obtain distilled water during a camping trip? You could save yourself some money by making distilled water at home rather than purchasing bottled water from the store.

If you don’t have access to distilled water – whether that be due to your local grocer running out of stock or because you’re at home social distancing – you’re in luck as we’ve detailed steps for creating your very own unlimited supply of pure water at home.

It’s also unlikely that you’ll need to purchase anything to get started, given that all that’s required to create pure water are a few basic cooking utensils and water or ice cubes.

Examining Drinking Water

What is distilled water?

Not sure on the difference between distilled water and tap water? Perhaps you’re also unaware of the differences between other types of water, such as filtered, purified, spring and mineral water.

If that’s the case for you, fear not; we’ve outlined what you need to know about the different types of water.

Tap Water

Tap water is found everywhere, from your kitchen faucet to public toilets and dishwashers.

However, the quality of tap water varies from country to country, region to region. The water in your area may also contain more traces of minerals or chemicals used in municipal water treatment.

While some people turn their nose up at the idea of consuming tap water over safety concerns, it is safe to drink in most Western countries such as Canada, the UK, United States and Japan.

If you don’t have access to safe drinking water, mineral water and filtered water are perfectly safe alternatives.

Filtered Water

Filtered water eradicates the chlorine flavour present in a lot of water while simultaneously removing toxins and impurities.

The water filters through a combination of carbon and micron filters, which help remove the chemicals, odours and metal-like taste present in tap water.

You may already have a filtration system fitted in your home, which dispenses filtered water directly from your kitchen taps or perhaps you have a water purification jug.

The benefits of filtered water don’t stop there, as filtered water ensures that beneficial minerals such as magnesium, fluoride, calcium, and zinc are retained. It also helps promote healthy skin, weight loss, mental health function and reduces cancer risk.

Fahren Taps offers filtered water as one of our four-in-one options on our instant boiling water taps.

Purified Water

Purified water goes a step further than filtered water in that it undergoes a deep detoxification process to remove dirt, bacteria and other harmful pollutants present in drinking water.

Purified water helps to promote food digestion, better scalp and hair health, muscle function and a more robust immune system.

Mineral Water

Mineral water is pulled directly from naturally occurring springs and, as the name suggests, is packed with minerals that provide multiple health benefits.

While mineral water tends to be more expensive than other types of water, it contributes to heart health, lower blood pressure, stronger bones and teeth and constipation relief.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is boiled and converted into steam, which is then collected and converted back into liquid form.

It is another form of purified water, albeit much cheaper and easier to produce, given that you can distil water at home.

It’s a handy form of water to store too and can be used in:

  • Aquariums
  • Car Coolant
  • Humidifiers
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Medical devices such as CPAP machines

Despite the many benefits it poses, it’s generally not recommended for drinking as the distilling process removes all the essential nutrients present in water.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) doesn’t recommend it either, warning that distilled water lacks minerals that help the body maintain its homeostasis.

A glass or two won’t do any harm but don’t make it the only type of water you drink!

Can I make distilled water at home?

You can make distilled water over a stove, the grill, even a campfire. It relies on water evaporation, so as long as there is heat, you can distil water.

The method involves:

  • Boiling the liquid form of water (Or simply dispensing the water from your Fahren boiling water tap).
  • Converting it into water vapour.
  • Cooling the air.
  • Collecting the condensation.

You’ll probably find that you have access to all the equipment you need in your kitchen, which is:

  • A large pot or saucepan
  • Rounded lid for the pot or saucepan
  • A smaller cooking pan or pot
  • Water
  • Ice cubes
  • Oven mitts or a tea towel

Now you’ve got all your appliances together; it’s time to dive into the process of distillation. Follow our trouble-free instructions on how to distil water at home, including guidance on avoiding damaging any pots or pans.

A glass of clean water with osmosis filter, green leaves and cartridges on wooden table in a kitchen interior. Concept Household filtration system.

How to make distilled water at home

Although creating distilled water is time-consuming, our guide will help you get near 100% yield.

If you’re new to the science of creating distilled water, start with 8 ½ cups of water, which is equivalent to approximately 2 litres and capable of producing roughly one and a quarter cups of distilled water.

  1. Start by pouring your cups of water into a large pot, then place it over your stove. After this, place your smaller pot or saucepan inside the large pot – it should float on top of the water.

The key to creating distilled water is airflow, so ensure your smaller pot has plenty of space around its circumference and between the top of the larger pan.

  1. Turn your stove between medium and medium-high heat so that the water is not boiling but at a steady simmer.

If your water temperature is too hot, it will be harder to handle the appliances, and you won’t necessarily get a higher yield.

  1. Set the pot lid upside-down on the large pot or saucepan. As lids tend to protrude in the middle, inverting the cover will allow the water droplets to trickle down to the centre of the lid and drip into the smaller pot.
  2. Load ice cubes on top of the inverted lid, which will help speed up the condensation process due to temperature differences.
  3. Keep an eye on the pot to ensure there is always water present to prevent damaging your appliance. 

You’ll more than likely need to replenish your ice stock a few times, too – that’s where your oven mitts or tea towel comes in, as that inverted lid will be hot to touch. Pour the melted ice cubes of water into the larger pot, replace the top, and reload with ice cubes.

Once your smaller pot is full – any water that has accumulated in that vessel is now distilled!

While making distilled water is easy and sometimes fun, remember not to make a habit of drinking it as it lacks essential nutrients. However, if you’re stuck at home and need a solution for your fish tank or car coolant system, it doubles as a great solution.

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