How to make distilled water

distilled water, what is it and uses and advantages

In this article I will explain how to distill water with various methods. We will also see what distilled water is, its uses and the difference with other types of water.

What is

To understand well the process of water distillation we have to understand what distilled water is.

Distilled water It is water from which the impurities and the ions and salts it contains have been removed.

How to distill water

All the methods are based on the distillation of water, that is to say, in its evaporation and subsequent condensation.

Distillation is a separation process, but it is a physical separation, NOT a chemical reaction.

Using a pot

This form is the most homemade of all. Anyone can make it with what they have in the kitchen. I have tried it and I think it's killing flies with cannon shots.

Needed:

  • a pot with a lid
  • a container that fits inside to collect the distilled water
  • a kitchen to heat the water
  • ice (optional but speeds up and optimizes it a lot)

We put the water in the pot, with the container inside, and the lid upside down. We will put it on the fire. The water evaporates and condenses at the end and falls into the white container.

how to make distilled water

To improve the process we put some ice cubes to help the condensation.

home method of water distillation

It would improve the process if the end of the cap were metal instead of plastic and we would also further ensure the purity of the water which I find dubious in this way.

If you want a better quality product, try to buy or build an alembic like the one we see in the next section or a laboratory still.

This is the result

distilled water

The test that I have done has been to have the pot on the fire for 10 minutes and with that we have obtained 24 mL.

homemade distilled water

The truth is that I do not see it as an interesting process. Neither because of the purity of the distilled water, which is very easy for it to become contaminated, nor because of the method that I see as inefficient and also expensive if we have to heat it with gas or a glass ceramic.

With an alembic

alembic to get perfumes and that can be used to distill water
De BigSus - Image created by me., CC BY 2.5,

An alembic is a utensil that is used specifically for distillation. It sure sounds familiar to you from making perfumes or liquors.

There is a wide variety of stills, some industrial, others laboratory, but it is a very easy instrument to replicate at home.

Solar distillation

We could create a solar alembic, so that the sun evaporates the water through a black pipe, as is done in showers or with the help of a Solar Furnace.

Another way to use the sun is with the method we saw to desalinate sea water which in the end is like the first one we mentioned about the pot but using the sun to evaporate water.

Collect water from the air conditioner

This is a resource that is not usually talked about but to which many of us have access. The water that drips and you collect from the air conditioning is distilled water that comes from the condensation of the air in the room.

So in summer you can dedicate yourself to collecting this water. A very fast and cheap way to take advantage of what until now you considered a waste.

Condensing boiler water

In the same way, now in many houses there are condensing boilers for natural gas. These boilers also expel distilled water that we could use.

You will be interested in the SODIS water disinfection method

What is it for. Applications

And what do we want this water for? Well, it has many uses.

  • To be used on the iron, as it does not contain lime or other substances that spoil household appliances. Also in humidifiers, vaporizers, etc.
  • The same to use it in the car
  • Cleaning of windows, glasses, etc.
  • If we are going to do chemical experiments or calibrations
  • For crafts like liquid soaps, etc.
  • Some use it to water plants because they do not have lime or chlorine. If you do, make sure the plants are well fertilized so that all the nutrients will come from the earth.
  • In beer making.

As a curiosity, since it does not have any type of salt or pollutant, distilled water conducts electricity much worse.

You can drink distilled water

Yes. It can be drunk although it has no benefit over normal drinking water. What we can rule out is that it has serious consequences. That is, nothing is going to happen to drink a glass or two of distilled water, although you may feel bad if you abuse it.

Source Research and science

Neither do the cells explode, nor does the acid pH harm us, nor anything like that. Regarding acidity, think that distilled water is less acidic than beer or coffee.

ph of distilled water

The ph of distilled water is about 5,8. It is slightly acidic because air CO2 dissolves in water until it is in dynamic equilibrium with that of the atmosphere.

If we compare it with another type of water we will see its acidity.

Formula

The chemical formula of distilled water is the same as that of the water we all know H2O. Two Hydrogen atoms joined to one of Oxygen.

Then it can have other substances dissolved, such as salts or minerals, but its chemical formula is indicated.

Types of waters

  • Sweet water. It is the one obtained from natural sources and which will later be converted into drinking water.
  • Distilled water.
  • Potable water. It is the one that is considered the most suitable for human consumption. It is obtained by purifying salts, chlorinating water and even with ozone treatments.
  • Hard or chalky water. It is the one that has a large amount of dissolved salts, especially magnesium and calcium.
  • Deionized or demineralized water. It is the one from which the salts and minerals have been extracted. sodium, calcium, fluorides, carbonates, etc.

Where to buy

If you need distilled water and want to buy it. They sell it anywhere. Supermarkets (Mercadona, Lidl, Carrefour, etc.), in drugstores, stores of everything to 100, online at Amazon and thousands of other websites. Even at gas stations.

Surely you will not have a problem finding it.

1 comment on «How to make distilled water»

  1. Hello Nacho,

    Interesting article like all the ones I have read in Ikkaro for years.

    On the part of pH, and the clarification that distilled water is slightly acidic, perhaps it would not hurt to demystify that the pH is considered neutral when it has a value of 7, and not 5,5 (I do not know if to blame it Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, or Paco el de la Guitarra 🤷‍♂️) as is commonly believed. And that everything below 7 is acidic and above is basic. (Maybe with a little link to the Wikipedia article? - https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH )

    I'm sorry for taking the license to make this suggestion, but even my brain as a chemistry fan made me jump when I read 'pH 5,8' + 'slightly acidic' and for a moment I thought “This guy has sneaked in ", When the one who was sneaking in was my" automatic pilot "🙃

    Let's continue with this great repertoire of curiosities with which you entertain your readers! Greetings!

    Reply

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