Introduction: How to Distill Water
If you fear that your tap water may not be ideal for drinking, or if you are in the great outdoors and running low on clean drinking water, this is the instructable for you! Learn how to distill water in your own kitchen with just a pot and some ice. No Laboratory or fancy equipment required. This method can also be easily adapted if you are in the wilderness.
Distilled water is not only great in preventing mineral build-up in machinery, but it also converts any water source, be it river water, lake water, salt water, or waste water (i.e urine) into clean drinking water. Distillation will remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, heavy metals, radionuclides, organics, inorganics, and particulates, leaving all chemicals, toxins and waste behind and creating pure, clean water.
Distillation is literally the method seen in nature, whereby: the sun heats the water on the earth's surface, the water is turned into a vapor (evaporation) and rises, leaving contaminants behind, to form clouds. As the upper atmosphere drops in temperature the vapors cool and convert back to water to form water droplets. Then once the droplets fall as rain (precipitation) the cycle starts over again.
Different types of methods can be used to distill water. Essentially, distillation entails boiling the water to produce vapor, leaving behind any and all contaminants, which luckily, have a higher boiling point than H20. Once the water entirely vaporizes, that vapor is put into a clean container where it condenses back into pure water. So merely boiling the water will not distill it, it will only potentially remove few toxins.
It is debatable whether drinking large amounts of distilled water is ideal for the human body. Some claim that because the distillation process strips the water of everything besides pure H2O, the natural occurring, potentially beneficial minerals are being extracted as well. However, some research has found that the potentially beneficial minerals present in water are unlikely to be able to be absorbed by the human body.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
A deep pot with a lid that is concave if turned upside side (i.e is domed if place on pot properly) This will be used to hold the ice.
Ice. Amount varies depending on outside temperature and how much water is being boiled. However, if you do not have access to ice, that is fine too. The condensation process will just take longer, but you can still have distilled water.
A glass bowl that floats. Depending how deep the bowl sinks naturally, you will need to keep checking to make sure the distilled end product does not cause it to sink. You'll figure this out as you begin seeing water forming in the glass bowl.
Step 2: Filling Pot and Heating
Fill your pot with much more water than you want distilled. Place on medium to hi heat
Step 3: Receiver Flask and Lid
Place your glass bowl (receiver flask) into your pot, making sure it floats well enough to allow for some water to be poured into it without sinking.
Place your lid onto your pot upside down
Step 4: Ice
Once your lid is on, place ice onto it. How much ice you use depends on how big the lid is, but as it melts, you can throw it out and put fresh ice onto it.
The ice is designed to cool the distillate to speed and improve condensation, which happens in the receiver flask. Accordingly, you could distill water without ice, but it may take longer to create condensation.
Step 5: Condensation Forming
If you lift the lid off your pot slightly, you will see small droplets of water forming and falling off the inside of your lid onto the glass bowl. It may be hard to tell from the 2nd photo, but the droplets have turned into quite the small pool in the glass bowl. It's amazing to see the process as it is a mini ecosystem of its own.
Step 6: Removing and Storing
Once you think that your glass bowl will not be able to sustain any more water weight without sinking, remove it from the pot carefully and store in a clean glass container.
Enjoy your new life skill and your freshly brewed distill water!