Water Distillation: A Comprehensive Guide

Water distillation is a technique used to purify water that leaves behind contaminants and impurities. This detailed guide unravels the process of making distilled water and its various aspects.

Decoding Water Distillation

Water distillation involves boiling water until it turns into steam and then condensing it back into liquid form. This process effectively removes bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals, producing clean, pure water.

The Mechanics of Water Distillation

The distillation process starts with heating water in a chamber until it evaporates. The steam is then collected and condensed in a separate container. Most inorganic compounds and non-volatile molecules cannot evaporate like water, so they remain in the boiling chamber.

Understanding Distillation Units

Distillation units resemble coffee pots and consist of a boiling chamber, condensing coils, and a storage container for the purified water. The process ensures that the water collected is clean and safe, from the heating to the final filtration stage.

Effectiveness of Water Distillation

Distillation can effectively remove many contaminants, including nitrate, iron, lead, hardness, and certain microorganisms. However, some organic compounds with lower boiling points than water might re-contaminate the water during condensation. Most distillers use activated carbon filters to trap these lingering contaminants to prevent this.

Timeframe for Water Distillation

Water distillation is not an instant process. A typical countertop water distiller takes four to six hours to produce a gallon of purified water. Larger distillers or water distillation plants are recommended for those needing larger quantities of distilled water.

Exploring Water Distillation Plants

Water distillation plants are large-scale solutions ideal for commercial or manufacturing uses. These plants serve industries requiring large quantities of distilled water capable of producing hundreds of liters of purified water per hour.

The Purity of Distilled Water

It is considered one of the purest forms of water available. The distillation removes over 99.9% of dissolved minerals, freeing it from many solids, trace elements, and contaminants. This purity level makes this water a popular choice for those seeking to avoid potentially harmful chemicals in tap water.

Health Benefits of Distilled Water

Some sources suggest drinking it can help detoxify the body and improve overall health. Furthermore, distilled water is free from bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. Distilled water also provides extra purity for individuals with compromised immune systems, potentially assisting in successful surgeries.

Uses of Distilled Water Beyond Drinking

Its benefits extend beyond drinking. Its purity makes it ideal for various household uses, including steam irons, aquariums, car cooling systems, and watering plants. It is also used in industrial and commercial applications, such as manufacturing cosmetics, laboratory experiments, production of canned goods, and sterilizing medical equipment.

Also Read: Cheers to Health: Raising a Glass to Home Hydration

Cost-Effectiveness of Distilled Water

Making it at home can be more cost-effective than buying bottled water. However, it’s worth noting that it lacks the minerals and vitamins found in bottled mineral water, which may affect taste preference.


Is distilled water better for plants?

It isn’t necessarily better for plants. While it’s free from harmful contaminants, it also lacks beneficial minerals found in other types of water. Some sensitive plants prefer distilled water, while others thrive with tap or filtered water.

Can distilled water go bad?

No, it doesn’t go bad. However, once opened, it can become contaminated. It’s best to store distilled water in a cool, dark place and consume it within a few weeks after opening.

Can pets drink distilled water?

Yes, pets can drink this water. However, like humans, they also need minerals for their overall health, which distilled water lacks. It’s always best to consult your vet about your pet’s dietary needs.

Does distilled water have fluoride?

No, the process of distillation removes fluoride along with other minerals. This water might not be your best choice if you rely on your water source for fluoride.