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how to make distilled water for a humidifier

How to Make Distilled Water for a Humidifier?

Many manufacturers will suggest you use distilled water for a humidifier as it can help to extend lifespan and prevent potential health risks. 

While you can always buy distilled water from off market, it can save you a bunch of money if you can make it at home in the long run. So, how to make distilled water for a humidifier exactly?

I lay out five practical methods in this post and will also explain why you should use distilled water for a humidifier.

5 Ways to make distilled water for a humidifier

Not only humidifiers, dishwashers, and coffee makers also need distilled water to run. Therefore, understanding how to make distilled water can benefit a lot of your household appliances. 

water distillation

Method 1: use a water distiller

Water distillers aren’t exactly light on the pocket, so before spending your money, you want to make sure if your humidifiers or other appliances need to use distilled water for a long time. 

However, it is the most straightforward way to get the type of water you desire.

The water distiller is often composed of a distiller and a pot to catch the distilled water. They are connected by means of a stainless steel coil pipe. 

When the distiller is turned on, it will boil the tap water. The boiled tap water will turn to be steam, leaving all the impurities on the bottom of the distiller.

The steam will get into the coil pipe and be condensed to water. This water will flow to the pot beside. Over time, the tap water in the distiller will be vapored entirely, and you will get a pot of distilled water. 

Method 2:  use a glass bottle

This is a great option when you want to get drinkable water outdoor. It is also a simple method to get distilled water at home. 

You need to prepare two glass bottles with a curved neck. A curved neck can prevent distilled water from getting back. These two bottles should be connected tightly with duct tape.

Fill one bottle with tap water and put it into a pot containing water or sands. Heat the pot constantly to let the water in the bottle start to evaporate. 

If possible, put some ice packs on another glass bottle. The water vapor will go from one bottle to the other beside the pot and will condense back to the water.

When the tap water is empty, you can get another bottle of distilled water without any mineral deposit for your humidifier.

Method 3: use a floating bowl

Every homeowner could use this method. Just prepare a pot, a glass bowl, and a glass lid. You are all set.

Fill the pot halfway with water and put it on any heat source. Place a glass bowl into the pot, making sure it is floating. 

If it can’t float as you wish, you can set a cooling rack or anything similar under it. 

Now, you can start to heat the water, and when it is boiling, you need to cover the pot with a glass lid in an upside-down position and put some ice cubes on the lid to enhance the condensation effect. 

The steam will hit the glass lid and then be cooled by ice. These water droplets will drip down into the floating bowl constantly until the bowl is full.

Method 4: use extended kettle

This method is similar to a water distiller, but you don’t have to pay anything extra. 

Insert a copper coil pipe into the kettle nozzle and ensure it is airtight. Prepare another pot on the other end of the pipe. 

Fill the kettle with tap water and place it on a heat source. When the water is boiled, put some ice packs on the coil to let the steam evaporated from the water condense into water. 

The distilled water will go from the kettle to the pot, and all other contaminants will be left on the bottom of the kettle. 

Method 5: convert rainwater

convert rainwater

In lieu of tap water, you can use the free rainwater in your yard. As rainwater comes from the water on the ground through condensation and evaporation, it doesn’t contain as many minerals as tap water. 

However, it includes other impurities when it drips down from the cloud. Hence, you need to collect the rainwater with a big container and let it settle for two or three days before pouring it into the humidifier water tank. 

What is distilled water?

We have introduced five ways to make distilled water for a humidifier, but you may not know what distilled water is. 

Distilled water is a type of purified water without any chemicals, minerals, or bacteria. 

It comes from the steam from boiling water but has been condensed to the liquid state and could be the purest water in the world. 

It is different from tap water as tap water still contains a certain amount of impurities even though it is drinkable. 

Drinking distilled water is perfectly safe, but you may find it not so tasty. 

Why do you need to use distilled water in a humidifier?

Your humidifier will benefit a lot from using distilled water. There are four main benefits you should know.

1. Prevent mold growth

You can often find pink mold or black mold in a humidifier tank. This is due to the fact that the mineral buildup can facilitate the growth of bacteria. If you are using a cool mist ultrasonic humidifier, these molds will spread in the air with vapor which could pose a risk to your health.

Distilled water doesn’t contain any minerals. Accordingly, it will not form any mineral buildup, which helps to prevent mold growth. 

2. Avoid white dust

As I said, most types of water will include some minerals. A portion of these minerals may release from the humidifier and settle on the furniture and other surfaces nearby, which is called white dust.

While white dust is not harmful and can be removed, it is a chore to clean it every so often. Using distilled water can prevent humidifiers from spreading white dust, saving your time on cleaning.

3. Extend the lifespan

The humidifier is something you need to clean and maintain regularly. If not, the buildups and other impurities will gradually clog the machine, causing dysfunction. 

Using distilled water can save your time cleaning the appliance and extend its lifespan.

4. Reduce allergy symptoms

Distilled water contains hydrogen and oxygen and nothing else. There is nothing that can cause discomfort to anyone. 

Nevertheless, chemicals such as chlorine and other minerals could be dangerous for some sensitive people. Dust and mold could be common reasons for allergies. 

If you have a kid at home or any family members with mold allergies, you should stick to distilled water. It is better to be safe than sorry.

What will happen if you use tap water?

If you don’t want to buy or make distilled water for your humidifier and insist on using tap water instead, it would not be a big issue.

Tap water is drinkable, so the vapor coming from it would be safe in general. While the mineral deposit will stop the mist from coming out at some point, it will not happen in a short time or when you clean it regularly. However, the white dust is still a nuisance.

For those who haven’t time to clean the tank regularly, tap water will increase bacteria growth, which will eventually risk your health. 

So, if cleaning is not your type of thing, using distilled water is a much better choice. 


Humidifiers don’t need distilled water to work but using distilled water is better for the appliance itself and your health. 

There are five ways to make distilled water at home, and all of them don’t involve any complicated process. To get the tap water boiled and use another container to catch the steam and turn it to be liquid state, and that’s it.

The simplest way is to get a water distiller, even though it is expensive. Otherwise, you can use the kettle, pot, and jar already in your kitchen. Ice cubes are also necessary to promote the condensation process. Beyond that, you can convert rainwater which is effortless. 

It is time for you to take the plunge and make the first pot of distilled water for a humidifier on your own. 

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested more than 150 products in person, including humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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