How to Distill Water in Your Own Kitchen

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In my science class, we were learning about distillation. My teacher made a comment that she wished she could show us the process of distillation, but didn't have the right equipment. I kept it in the back of my mind for a few weeks and one day, as I was reading The Boys' Book of Survival I came across a method for distilling and purifying water if you had limited supplies and were stranded on an island. Obviously, I'm going to be working in my kitchen(not a desert island).

In this instructable I'm going to share my method of distilling water.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • A fairly large pot and its lid
  • A smaller aluminum bowl that will fit in the larger pot
  • A small, heavy rock
  • Cold water and ice
  • Salt(optional)
  • Stove

Step 2: Set Up Your Equipment

Start by filling the larger pot with water. Make sure the water level is below the rim of the bowl. You can add salt if you want to show it doesn't have salt after its distilled. Place the rock inside the small bowl, and place the bowl inside the pot. Make sure the bowl is not floating in the water, but is firmly held to the bottom of the pot. If it's floating, your bowl may move to the side of the pot, and not catch any drips of distilled water. In this case you would need a heavier rock.

Step 3: Start Boiling

Place the pot on your stove's largest burner, and turn up the heat to the maximum(if possible). Once some steam starts to rise, put the lid of the pot upside down on top of the pot.

Step 4: Condense the Water Vapour

Add some cold water and maybe some ice inside the upturned lid. Constantly check if the water is getting too warm. If this is the case you can either add more ice, or turn the stove off and move the pot to another burner(it depends how much water you want to end up with). When you're done, carefully take off the lid(with oven mitts if you need to), then look inside. The water outside of the metal bowl is the same water you put in earlier, but the water inside the metal bowl is the water that you distilled! Don't remove the rock without oven mitts, it's EXTREMELY HOT! Then you can take your bowl out and pour it into a container. It's probably not a good idea to drink it(depending on how dirty your rock was, or how clean the other tools were) but you can take a taste and see if it's still salty(if you added salt at the beginning). It's not!

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    2 Discussions

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    audreyobscura

    12 days ago

    Thanks for the preparedness tips!