Introduction: Inexpensive Solar Still

A solar still is a device that filters water.

We decided to create our own version of the solar still. The solar still is a device that filters water in the most economic way.

The solar still that we created was meant for the country Malawi. Malawi is one of the many developing countries with scarcity of clean, fresh water. Our vision was to create a device that would give the quality of a revolutionary product without the price.

The materials that you will need to build a solar still will be:


  • Plastic Wrap
  • Large Bowl
  • Container (Preferably a cup)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Rock
  • Water

Step 1: Add Water to Bowl

First, you want to get some water that you would like to filter through condensation! You can use any sort of water that is not filtered such as tap water.

Step 2: Weigh Down Cup

If your container is light, like the one above, it is recommended to weigh it down with tape around the container or tape some rocks to hold it down when water is added to the bowl. If you skip this step, the container will float around and the water won't make it into the container.

Step 3: Place the Container

After you have weighed down your container and added water, you want to put the container down in the middle. It is recommended to be in the middle because it is easier for the clean water to make it into the container.

Step 4: Cover the Bowl

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Make sure that there are no places for air to go into the bowl from the outside. Remember, you want to keep as much heat as you can inside the bowl because that will condense the water up into the plastic wrap.

Step 5: Adding the Last Item

After you have built your solar still, you just want to add the rock on top, in the middle. It is important to keep it as aligned in the middle as possible because the droplets of water are supposed to make it inside the container. If the rock is placed some place else, the clean water will land back inside the dirty water.

Step 6: Be Patient

After you have completed your solar still, the waiting has begun. You want to place the solar still where the sun hits for the most part of the day because it needs to get hot in there.