Distilled water has multiple uses. You can even drink it, even though you should not do that all the time. You’ll be surprised at how many interesting things you can do with it.
You can buy the distilled water or even make it on your own. In any case, you should learn a few things about it.
We will answer all the essential questions for you, so stay tuned if you want to find out what distilled water is, does distilled water go bad, and how you can use it.
What Is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is the purest form of H2O. In fact, it is the normal water without any minerals and impurities. So, how do you make distilled water?
If you know how the natural water cycle functions, you’ll have no trouble understanding the distillation process. It actually mimics the natural water cycle completely.
The first phase of the water cycle is when water evaporates and becomes a gas. In nature, the aerated water rises and forms clouds. When the clouds cool, the water condenses and rains down on us.
How To Distillate Water?
If you want to distillate water, you need to boil it until steam rises. You’ll also need a cooling device such as condenser to collect the aerated water and restore it to its liquid state.
A lot of companies produce distilled water too. They boil the water, collect the steam, and condense it back into a liquid.
Should You Drink Distilled Water?
As a result of distillation, water is freed of all the impurities, contaminants, and minerals. The water you get is 100% pure.
Even though it sounds great, and it might seem like there is nothing better than drinking this pure water, in reality, it is not the case. There is a lot of controversy regarding whether or not you should drink distilled water at all.
Let us clear one thing at the beginning: You can drink distilled water! It will not poison you or make you ill. However, it might deprive you of some valuable minerals you need, such as calcium or magnesium.
Besides, it will not taste as good as tap water. Namely, distilled water tastes rather flat and flavorless.
Still, some sources claim distilled water can help you detoxify your body. If you plan to try to improve your overall health in this way, at least keep it temporary.
The main concern is that if you drink only distilled water, your body will not get all the minerals it needs. Some even go on to claim that distilled water will leach minerals from your body too.
The truth is that distilled water is likely to pull small amounts of minerals from your body. Yet, if you maintain a healthy diet with a lot of fruit and veggies, you should still have all the minerals you need.
In some cases, especially when your tap water is tainted with harmful chemicals and pesticides, drinking distilled water is a better option.
How Can You Use Distilled Water?
Here are some ways you can use distilled water in your home:
- Drinking: Our bodies need water to function, and even though distilled water should not be your first choice, it can be an alternative to regular water.
- Medical Use: Being the purest form of water, distilled is widely used in hospitals and dentistry.
- Laboratory Experiments: Accuracy is everything when it comes to laboratory experiments. Distilled water does not contain anything that could taint results, and that is why it is used in all the labs.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines: A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines save the lives of people who suffer from sleep apnea. Most of these machines have a small water tank to add moisture to the air these patients breathe in. Using distilled water prevents bacteria or mineral deposit build-ups.
- Humidifiers: Unfiltered tap water can create mineral deposit build-up in your humidifier and shorten its lifespan; distilled water is thus a better choice.
- Car Batteries And Cooling System: The cooling system in your car requires water to function. It is best to use distilled water to avoid corrosion or build-up in the system. It is also advised to use distilled water to hydrate your car battery as that will prolong its life.
- Canning: Have you tried canning produce? It is an excellent method to preserve fruit and veggies. Distilled water can help preserve the vibrant colors and full flavor of your produce during the canning process.
- Cosmetics: If you check the labels, you’ll see that almost all cosmetic products contain distilled water.
- Aquariums: The chemicals and minerals in tap water can harm some fish. Distilled water is free from them as well as bacteria or any other contaminant.
- Ironing: Steam iron is part of almost every household. Distilled water can prevent limescale or other minerals from building up inside your iron.
How To Store Distilled Water?
Now that you know how to make distilled water, it is time to learn how to store it properly. It will be easy since the storage guidelines for distilled water are almost the same as those for the regular water.
You should keep the distilled water in an air-tight bottle or container. It should not be put in the direct sunlight, instead choose a dark, cool place.
As an extra precaution, keep the distilled water away from chemicals and solvents such as gasoline or household cleaners.
If you’re storing a large amount of distilled water for home use other than drinking, you should best invest in a high-density polyethylene container. If you plan to drink it, opt for a glass container or a plastic BPA-free food-grade bottle.
It is not a bad idea to have a couple of containers filled with distilled water tucked away in your pantry or basement. You never know, it might come handy someday!
You probably ask yourself how long you can keep it before it goes bad, or does distilled water go bad at all. The theory is that when sealed tightly, it stays safe indefinitely. We would still change it after some time. Why? Read on to find out!
How Long Does Distilled Water Last? Does Distilled Water Go Bad
As we have already mentioned, in theory, distilled water should last pretty much indefinitely, especially if it is store-bought and never opened. Of course, it needs to be adequately stored too.
It might be true when it comes to distilled or purified water meant for home appliances. If you do not intend to drink it, distilled water can be kept safely for at least a couple of years and even more when unopened. Your steam iron will not notice the difference, believe us!
No matter how long you store the distilled water, it will never somehow “spoil” or damage your appliances. There is no need to stress about that!
If you plan to drink distilled water, you should keep it refrigerated after opening the bottle or container, especially if you have distilled it on your own. That will keep it fresh for longer. How long can you keep it?
It will keep its “original” quality for about a week or so. It will still be safe to drink after that time but might smell and taste somewhat stale. Thus, it is better to discard it or use it elsewhere and make or buy a fresh batch.
Here is a simple table you can consult every time you have a similar question:
|Type of Distilled Water||How Long Can It Last?|
|Unopened bottled distilled water||5+ years|
|Opened bottled distilled water used for home appliances||1+ year|
|Opened bottled distilled water used for drinking||Up to a week|
|Home-made distilled water||Up to a week|
Of course, all the data provided is just an estimate and shows how long the distilled water will preserve its best quality. As we have said, it will stay safe to use indefinitely, especially for non-drinking purposes.
How Can You Tell If Distilled Water Has Gone Bad?
If you follow the provided guidelines and store the distilled water properly, you should experience no trouble drinking it or using it for your home appliances.
Still, as we have already warned you, if you leave a bottle of distilled water open for too long, or you keep it beyond the recommended period, the water may start to “smell” ever so slightly. It will change its taste also. It probably has to do with the container rather than with water itself, but it is all the same to you – you will probably feel the difference and not want to drink it.
If the smell changes significantly, or you see any impurities in the distilled water, it is best to discard it. The same goes for off-taste. We would not advise you to use such water for appliances either.
Even if you have never used distilled water before, you should now be able to use it and store properly – all thanks to this guide. We have gone through all the important stuff, including storage and shelf life.
Remember, though, that we do not advise drinking only distilled water. Our advice is meant for those of you using distilled water for household appliances even though drinking it from time to time won’t do you any harm.