How to Distill Water




Introduction: How to Distill Water

About: I'm a creative content creator here at instructables, which means that I have the most awesome job making just about anything and everything! My passions are interior decor, fun and innovative children's pla...

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!



    • Organic Cooking Challenge

      Organic Cooking Challenge
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest

    268 Discussions


    7 months ago

    I have purchased some distilled water, but this link shows me how I can produce my own distilled water at home. Thanks!


    2 years ago

    Getting Ice in the wild is easy if your near a Lake, Pond or River. I would just try to avoid any water treated with chlorine. In fact I would try to Avoid Chlorine in any water or food product.

    18 replies

    Chlorine evaporates quite quickly so, if you're that concerned, pour your water & let it sit for a few minutes & the chlorine will be gone. You absorb more chlorine through your skin just taking a shower, than ingesting a glass of water.

    but no matter how well you look at this picture , chlorine is poison flat out poison , If you live in the city filter out the chlorine, it's dangerous ,

    Ridiculous. Treating water with chlorine is one of the most important public health advances in history, and it has saved tens of millions of lives--people that used to die of cholera, typhus, and other water-borne epidemics that regularly devastated large cities. There is NO evidence that the amount of dissolved chlorine in treated tap water is harmful; and most of it escapes the water within a few minutes.

    There are SO MUCH mythology and quackery around drinking water it's crazy. People will believe anything. The US has the safest tap water in the world. It has to be tested several times a day at the treatment facility (something that's NOT true of bottled water, which is why tap water is usually superior). I work with water engineers, and they all drink tap water.

    Oh, and distilled water? It's simply not harmful at all to drink it. The amount of dissolved solids in normal tap water is only 20ppm or so; blood plasma is about 9000ppm, sea water about 35,000ppm. So by comparison, putting 20ppm tap water into your body's 9000ppm plasma is virtually identical with putting 0ppm distilled water into it--the osmotic difference between them is less than 0.02%, negligible. This myth has been around for decades and it's simply nonsense.

    I have bottled water delivered to my house because the tap water is undrinkable. It smells and tastes like sh!t. I live in rural upstate New York where this should not be the case, but it is. Personally I think it's because of all the pesticides used on the apple trees here that get into the ground water.

    All that aside, I will not consume fluoride. There have been extensive studies about that little poison that are hard to ignore. If you're willing to dismiss all of that data, that's just grand! I think the world should work where each person makes educated decisions based on their own research. I don't think another human being should ever be able to tell me what I should or should not put into my body. If Mr. Bellaizabella from above post thinks chlorine is poison, it should absolutely be his right to avoid consuming it.

    get youre facts straigth most bottled water contain fluoride and lots of more stuf that not supost to be in there (google it) also source water need to be collected there with all the polution and chemtrails you stil think this water as being clean

    And the chemtrails thing... If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn in which you may be interested.

    Thanks retard. I'll take that under advisement. It's not like they've admitted publicly that that's just what they've been doing. But hey, from a guy that bumps a thread almost 2 years later I guess I shouldn't have expected him to be up in current events. Floride on!

    Christ the misinformation boggles the mind. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.

    Wow--chemtrails, seriously? You are living in a different world than I am, based on Alex Jones-type paranoia rather than what's real. Here in the reality-based world, tap water in the US is GENERALLY the safest and beat in the world, of extraordinarily high quality.
    Yea there are exceptions, I said generally, but on average it's better than most bottled water (which is just filtered tap water that's been on the shelf for a few months). Chemtrails are utter bs, you are gullible and have been duped.

    The best tap water I have ever had is from NYC. Unfortunately, the Adirondacks flows into Manhattan.... (think $$$). That aside, I use distilled water for machinery - I've dealt with too many machines gone bad that are "safe" to use with tap water. I am not sure I use enough to warrant making it and use a filter for drinking water. I agree that fluoride is not good and that chlorine is heavily absorbed through the skin during a shower.

    everyone is scared of fluoride. I have a giant can of sodium fluoride that I use for making hydrofluoric acid. On the side is a huge skull and crossbones. Sad thing is that we brush our teeth with fluoride several times a day. Not to mention drink it. and the pesticides getting into the water? A large city like that if your on the city water supply then the water your drinking more than likely comes from 500 - 2000 ft not many pesticides are going to make it that far down. More than likely the water is nasty because of a break in a main somewhere and its pulling in dirt. Possibly a root has grown into the main? Might want to let them know whats going on.

    Wow I thought upstate New York would have very good quality tap water.

    Yes pesticides can make water undrinkable!

    But I can drink from my tap because my country's water is clean without having to distill the water. The only thing I use distilled water for is science experiments! But we all(should) know that the minerals in water are very good for us.

    Well of COURSE it's anyone right to drink or not to drink their tap water--I never said it wasn't. There are times when there are excellent reasons not to, as in Flint now, and apparently at your house.

    Just saying that if you decide not to because you think chlorine is harmful, you're making that decision based on lots of evidence to the contrary. Lots of people refuse to fly becaus they think it's more dangerous than driving, but they're objectively wrong. They still have every right to that decision of course.

    Lots of us though, try to make decisions based on the best existing evidence rather than uninformed opinion or anecdote. "My grandfather smoked 3 packs a day and lived to be 90" is not a valid basis to judge that smoking is safe. But I'm not going to stop you.

    that is a good look on it.

    guys, just do whatever you want. blogging about it here won't change most peoples minds.

    I have my views, you guys have yours. :)

    they need a like button. lol. Very well said.

    distilled water is for when you don't want mineral buildup or when your dealing with something electrical that CAN'T be allowed to conduct electricity. Distilled water is an insulator and tap water is a conductor

    Not wishing to be argumentative, but distilled water does in fact conduct electricity, While that electrical conductivity is substantially minimalized using pure or distilled water, it DOES in fact conduct electricity.

    No distilled water does not conduct electricity

    Then why does much of Europe use ozonation rather than chlorine? Besides, this is not the issue since many or most municipalities are using chloramine. Chloramine does not evaporate out. The old method of leaving water out for 24 hours prior to using it in the fish tank does not work. The fish die. If city water is so healthy, please explain why equestrian stables have to filter their water.