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How to Make Distilled Water at Home: A Complete Guide

Purifying distilled water involves the process known as "distillation," which eliminates all the nasty bacteria, minerals, and other contaminants, giving you water in its purest form.

How to Make Distilled Water at Home

Distilled water is ideal for machinery, health and medical devices, watering plants, and other applications requiring clean water.

While you can buy distilled water in the market, making your own distilled water at home would still be ideal and COST-EFFECTIVE.

Homemade distilled water is fairly easy to make. And if you're worried about the science behind it — don't be! We'll give you a step-by-step guide to distilling your own water at home.

How to Make Distilled Water at Home: Step-By-Step Distillation Process

How to Make Distilled Water at Home: Step-By-Step Distillation Process
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

We don't know if these concepts still reside in your mind: liquid water, water vapor, evaporation, and condensation process. These are the concepts you'll encounter when distilling water.

Not that we're always excited by all the science stuff, but we think this will interest you as much as it did us. 

What excites us the most is that we can finally cut the cost of buying distilled water. It will be a lot cheaper, plus you can ensure a FULL STOCK since you can make it anytime at home. 

Tools Needed to Distill Water

Before anything else, you must first prepare the following materials for this project:

  • Round baking rack
  • 5-gallon stainless steel pot with lid
  • Glass bowl
  • Oven mitts
  • Ice cubes
  • Tap water

Once you've gathered all the necessary materials, you're ready to make distilled water at home. 

There are only five easy steps to perform water distillation, and we promise this guide will easily teach you the home distillation process. 

Step 1: Put the Baking Rack Inside the Pot and Pour the Water

Put the baking rack inside the 5-gallon stainless steel pot, and pour the tap water. You can add up to 2.5 gallons of water

Basically, you're pouring water into the large pot until it reaches its middle. So, if you're planning to use a smaller pot, remember this rule of thumb. 

Step 2: Place the Glass Bowl on Top of the Water

Once you've placed the baking rack inside the stainless steel pot and filled it with water, place the glass bowl on top. Essentially, the glass bowl should stay afloat on the water's surface. 

The rack will keep the bowl from touching the base. This ensures enough space for air to circulate around the sides and on top of the bowl. 

Step 3: Cover the Pot with the Lid and Fill it with Ice Cubes

Flip the lid UPSIDE DOWN and cover the pot — it should look concave if you're looking at it from the bottom. 

After which, fill the inverted lid with ice cubes or an ice pack. Ice is essential in making distilled water. They cause water vapor to quickly condense at the side of the lid facing the inside of the pot. 

When water boils, it produces steam. As steam contacts the cold lid, it will turn back into the water, and the droplets will fall into the container. 

Step 4: Boil Water

On your stovetop burner, start boiling water between medium to medium-high heat. You want the pot to be hot enough to allow the pot water to simmer but NOT completely boil (around 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit).

Keep the water simmering for 45 minutes. Check the ice time and again and REFILL it as necessary. Dump the melted ice on the sink by lifting the lid. Use oven mitts to protect your hands from the hot cookware. 

Step 5: Cool and Store

After 45 minutes of distilling water or until all the tap water has evaporated, condensed, and dropped in your bowl, it's time to turn the burner off. The water you collected is already distilled water. 

Let the distilled water cool down completely before storing it in a glass bottle or any clean container. Ensuring the cleanliness of the container ensures that you're storing clean water, which constitutes LONG-TERM storage. 

We highly suggest you store distilled water in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. 

What is Distilled Water?

What is Distilled Water?

This physical process of distillation involves changing the state of water from liquid form to water vapor through condensation. Hence, the product of this process is called distilled water

So basically, distilled water is purified water you get from condensing water vapor or steam out of impure water

What Distillation Removes from Water

This process eliminates minerals, salt, harmful bacteria, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Hence, it's also known as one of the water purification methods that remove impurities in water.

When purifying water using the distillation method, unwanted nasties are left behind while pure water vapor rises into thin air and re-condenses.

What Types of Water Can You Distill?

There are many types of water you can purify and turn into distilled water. These include:

  • Tap water
  • Water from streams
  • Well water
  • Snow
  • Rainwater
  • Sea water
  • Plants and damp soil 

Methods of Distilling Water

Aside from the distillation method we taught you in the previous sections, other ways exist to make distilled water.

Here are other methods you can try:

  • Collect water from an outside container - this is quite similar to the pot and bowl method we taught you earlier. But instead of placing the container inside the pot, you use an outside container to collect the distilled water. In this method, you can use a funnel over a boiling water container connected to the collection bottle with aquarium tubing. You must ensure that the tubing is lower than the funnel to successfully drain the distilled water into your collection bottle and secure it tightly with duct tape. This is advantageous, as it minimizes the risk of contamination which is essential if you intend to make drinking water.
  • Distilled rainwater or snow - rain and snow are also called naturally distilled water. If you remember, in the water cycle, the sea, lake, land, and river water evaporates and condenses in the atmosphere to fall as precipitation. You can collect rainwater or snow with a large container. Keep the water at rest to let the sediments fall at the bottom. If you don't live in highly polluted areas, this pure water is definitely safe to drink. But you can also include filtration procedures using a coffee filter or boiling water.
  • Home distillation kits - a home distillation kit is also a cheap way to make distilled water, compared to those whose heat source requires fuel or electricity to operate and heat water. The cost of home distillation kits starts at $100. If you intend to purify water for drinking, cheaper kits are already good enough. Expensive kits are primarily used in labs or in making distilled water in large volumes to supply an entire house.


    Alternatively, you can also install a water line into your refrigerator for ready access to clean water.

  • Distill water from plants and mud - you can also make distilled water from basically any water source. One example is by extracting water from desert plants. You only need to:
    • Dig a hole in the ground,
    • Place a container at the bottom to collect the distilled water,
    • Fill in damp plants around the container inside the hole,
    • Cover the hole with plastic and secure it with rocks or dirt to ensure that no moisture escapes,
    • Place a pebble at the center of the plastic wrap to make a small depression. When the water evaporates, the water vapor condenses on the plastic, and droplets drip from the depression into your container.

What are the Uses of Distilled Water?

There are different uses for distilled water. While others use it as drinking water, others utilize distilled water for:

  • Hydrating house plants
  • Filling humidifiers
  • Steam ironing clothes
  • Cleaning wounds
  • Sterilizing bottles
  • Home aquariums and fish tanks
  • Filling CPAP machines
  • Car maintenance

What are the Benefits of Drinking Distilled Water Over Tap Water

As mentioned, some people prefer or can only drink purified water. That's why they opt to distill water at home, as it costs less than purchasing bottled water in stores. 

Compared to tap water, distilled water doesn't contain any impurities. Distilling water removes waterborne pathogens, thus reducing the risk of diseases. 

Distilled water is even PURER than filtered water and boiled water. Hence, if you're unsure of the water source, it's better to distill water before drinking. 

Distilled Water FAQs

  • Let’s answer more questions for you!

  • How Long Does it Take to Distill Water?

    The pot and bowl method takes about 45 minutes to distill water. But, if you’re using a larger pot with twice the volume of our indicated measurement, it will likely take longer to finish. 

  • How Long Does Distilled Water Last?

    If you store distilled water properly, it will surely last INDEFINITELY. We suggest using an airtight glass container and storing it in a cool and dry place to prevent contamination and bacteria build-up. 

  • Is Distilled Water Safe to Drink?

    Yes, you can definitely drink distilled water. But it has a flat taste and has already lost beneficial minerals, like calcium and magnesium, during distillation. 

    However, if the water contains impurities with a lower boiling point, it might contaminate the vapor, as well as the distilled water. 

    With its bland taste, dissolved minerals, and possible contamination, it MAY NOT BE THE BEST OPTION for drinking, though it is potable. 

  • What is Another Way to Purify Water?

    Reverse osmosis is another purifying technique. But, unlike in distillation, it doesn’t turn water into its purest form. 

  • Make Distilled Water at Home Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    There you have it; a step-by-step guide to making distilled water, plus all the things you must know about it! Now that you know how to distill water from any water source, you no longer have to rely on store-bought distilled water

    We hope this article was able to help you. Feel free to revisit 'til you master the science behind distilled water!