Can I drink distilled water?

White water canistersCanisters of water: Distilled water is often sold in large canisters. (Symbolic image) (Source: Nordroden/getty-images-bilder)

The myth about the danger of distilled water exists in every household. We explain the difference to tap water.

What is distilled water?

Distilled water contains neither minerals nor trace elements. It is pure H2O and is made by heating water. The rising water vapor is captured and collected. If the steam condenses, you get distilled water .

Is drinking distilled water harmful?

Many believe that distilled water has a detoxifying and revitalizing effect . However, that is not correct. The body needs the minerals and trace elements contained in water.

Is consuming distilled water therefore harmful to health? This was also believed for a long time. There was even a theoretical statement that consumption could lead to immediate death. It is said that cells in the human body can burst through a process called osmosis when they come into contact with distilled water because they are trying to compensate for a lack of minerals and therefore absorb excessive amounts of water.

So much for the theory. In practice, however, the body’s own cells rarely come into direct contact with food. During the digestive route, distilled water is mixed with other liquids that compensate for the deficiency.

Only then does contact with the cells occur, so there are hardly any problems to worry about. So if you accidentally drink distilled water , you don’t have to call an ambulance straight away.

Harmful to health does not mean life-threatening

Although drinking mineral-free water is not life-threatening, it can still be harmful to your health. The body depends on minerals. That’s why you should avoid prolonged consumption of distilled water. Otherwise, deficiency symptoms may occur. However, you should be skeptical of theories that claim that distilled water is healthy.

Make your own distilled water

You can also easily make distilled water yourself at home. For this you need:

  • a large pot with a lid
  • a bowl that fits into the pot
  • Ice cubes

How to make distilled water:

  1. Fill the pot with tap water and place the bowl in it. The bowl should float in the water, not touch the bottom.
  2. Turn the stove to medium heat until the water begins to evaporate. Then place the lid on the pot upside down. The rising water vapor condenses on the lid and drips into the bowl. If you want to do it quickly, you can place ice cubes on the lid. These will cool the lid and the larger temperature difference will speed up the process.
  3. Simply pour the distilled water from the bowl into a previously boiled bottle.

What is distilled water used for?

Distilled water is available in supermarkets and drugstores. In private households, it is needed, among other things, for air humidifiers, car windshield washer systems, the water tank of the iron and for cleaning.


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