How to Distill Water With Household Items

Whether it’s from a natural source or the kitchen tap, water generally comes with a host of microorganisms, minerals, and other impurities. Most places in the world depend on some sort of filtration system to get tap water to drinking quality.
However, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all impurities with the technology available to us today. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Depending on where this water is coming from, these impurities can range from helpful bacteria that are actually essential for gut health and nutrition to toxic metals and parasites. Average filtration systems remove harmful chemicals, metals, and unpleasant tastes, but they don’t clean it 100%.
For the average user like drinking and cooking, that’s not a problem at all. But for other more specific benefits like gardening or even dentistry, water impurities can negatively impact the task at hand.

What Exactly is Distilled Water?

Simple. Distilled water is water in its purest form. It’s basically pure H2O.
As soon as chemical compounds are mentioned, it feels like you need a lab to make that kind of thing. But distilling water at home couldn’t be more accessible. In fact, it’s essentially the same thing done in labs but with less professionally sterilized equipment.

How to Distill Water at Home?

There are two ways to get rid of most of the impurities found in water: boiling and evaporation. When water is boiled, the heat kills all bacteria and other microbes that live in the water.
As for other contaminants like chemicals and metals, their boiling temperatures are much higher than water. So when you boil water, and it evaporates, it leaves minerals and metals like copper and calcium behind.
Once it condenses on the surface you set up, all you need to do is collect it in an appropriate container. Now, how you choose to collect the condensed vapor is entirely up to you. Different methods are included in the following steps.

Equipment Needed

  • Large or medium-sized cooking pot, preferably stainless steel
  • A larger size lid. It can be the same size as the pot, but that will make it more difficult to handle once it gets hot.
  • Collection pot or bowl, stainless steel, or heat-resistant glass. This pot needs to be smaller than the main pot but not so small that the water dripping in the center would miss it.
  • Clean, airtight glass jar.


  1. Fill the cooking pot with water. The exact amount doesn’t really matter as long as it’s not complete all the way. It can also be a good idea not to fill it so much that the smaller pot can sink into it.
  2. Place the smaller pot right in the middle. Having at least an inch of space between the walls of the larger pot and the small one is essential.
  3. Put it on high heat and put the large pot’s lid over it, upside down. The convex side of the cover will collect the water evaporating, which will then slide to the middle and drop into the smaller pot.
  4. Optional: put ice cubes on the lid to make the condensation work better and faster. But be warned, it can cause some unfortunate accidents while you’re removing the lid.
  5. It takes about an hour to collect one cup of distilled water. So once you’ve reached the amount you need, turn off the heat and let it cool.
  6. Once it cools down a bit, remove the inner pot and pour the now distilled water into the glass container.

How Should I Store It?

The best way to store distilled water is in sterilized glass containers. Another good alternative is high-grade stainless steel. You can also use a plastic container, but it has to be BPA-free or HDPE.
Never place the distilled water into a regular plastic container. The absence of impurities makes purified water leach harmful chemicals from its container that can pose a severe health risk.

What is Distilled Water Used for?

There are countless reasons to use distilled water. From machinery to medicine and even pet care. These are only three of the main reasons why someone might need to use distilled water:

Watering Air Plants

While they’re by no means the only plants that can benefit from distilled water, air plants are especially sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals. Using distilled water is essential for them.
Pay close attention, though. Some plants, just like us, need the minerals and microbes found in tap water. So do your research before you flip your pet plant’s main diet.

Humidifiers, Coffee Machines, and Steam Irons

Using distilled water for these machines can prolong their lives immensely and make them perform better. Steam irons with distilled water don’t leave these pesky spots they usually do. Coffee machines need descaling much less often. Humidifiers work all-around better.
Once again, these are not the only appliances that do well with distilled water. All sorts of machinery, from sleep apnea machines to car cooling systems, need distilled water to stay in tip-top shape without frequent and expensive servicing.

Aquariums and Terrariums

Whether it’s flora or fauna in that glass box, using distilled water to water your terrarium plants or for your fish tank actually means life or death for your silent friends.
The chlorine and other chemicals can be devastating for plants and fish alike. On top of that, you risk minerals building up on their insides, which means you'll have to empty it out and clean it. Not an easy or necessary task.

Can I Drink Distilled Water?

Yes and no. Drinking distilled water isn’t going to harm you in any way, but drinking only distilled water will remove crucial minerals from your diet.
If for some reason, you’d like to drink only distilled water, it needs to be part of a closely monitored and managed diet. You’ll have to make up for the minerals naturally found in water through your food.


Having distilled water on hand can be very useful, and the process of purifying it yourself can become a mindless weekly routine. It’s also better to use for most things, but it’s good to be mindful of the minerals you’re giving up by choosing distilled water.