Free Distilled Water




About: Retired Aircraft Maintenance Manager/Technition.

This Instructable shows you how to save yourself a very small amount of money by collecting your own distilled water - but hey - this is what we do for fun.


  • I live in Arizona where it is hot most of the year.
  • From July through to September it is Monsoon Season where the humidity goes up considerably which can be seen from that AC drain outlet going drip drip drip.
  • As I hate to see anything go to waste I collect this water and use it for Car Battery top-ups and Steam Iron charging.

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Step 1: What You Need

  1. Clean Plastic Funnel
  2. Coffee Filter
  3. Plastic Bottle

Step 2: Let's Begin

  1. Locate your AC drain outlet - My AC Unit is on the roof so they put a pipe through the wall and terminates a foot or so above the concrete which almost fits the bottle height.
  2. Wipe the outlet and jam the bottle onto it.
  3. Different types and locations of outlet will test your improvisation, but don't worry about it being sealed as we will take care of any floaters later.
  4. Wait overnight and you will have enough to work with.

Step 3: Filter Out Contaminants

  1. Wet the coffee filter and pat down into the funnel.
  2. Pour the water that you collected slowly through the filter
  3. This is just to take out any bugs and bits - it won't take out any dissolved contaminants but there really shouldn't be anything to worry about in there. After all this is not for medical or nuclear use.

Step 4: Typical Uses

  1. I use for steam irons and car batteries
  2. Please let me know any other uses that you can think of.

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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    incredibly misleading title.


    4 years ago

    that is not distilled water

    its condensate water

    I live in Florida and have seen firsthand how disgusting A/C condensate lines can get and you don't want to use that water for anything

    except maybe watering your lawn
    not even plants you care about, just your lawn

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I live in Fl as well and recently did a tune up on my grandparents A/C. When I pulled the evap. coils out of the air handler, the general build up and especially algae build up was horrible!!!

    Note: The air handler is in the garage. While I've seen and been to many homes that have the air handler in a closet in the house, every home I've lived in has had the air handler in the garage. I'm sure there's probably a big difference for those who have their air handler inside the house.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Oh John - now you've burst my bubble :-(

    Maybe we have cleaner pipes here in AZ as mine looks clear and bright - my car battery loves it :-) Yum!

    Thanks anyway for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Cheers - Peter


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool idea! I know back in the day I used to clean my contacts then store them in distilled water. But I don't think I'd want to do that with this. :)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Troy - Thanks for your comment, So far yours is the only really positive comment and I appreciate it.

    Happy 4th if you are an American - otherwise have a happy weekend.

    Cheers - Peter :-)


    4 years ago

    careful with modern day irons... when you read the manual (horror, i know) you will see the manufacturer advises against pure distilled water on account of it being aggressive on the iron. please mix it with some regular tap water 50/50 ratio and you should be fine.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Hans - Yes I saw that in the manual but still can't understand why but hey they know best. Our tap water here is awful and even tastes bad.

    Thanks for reading and for your input :-)

    Cheers - Peter