How to Choose from the 6 Best Water Distillers for Home Countertop Use

In Purification by Jeremiah CasteloLeave a Comment

Distillation is arguably the most effective method of water purification available.

While filtration is effective at blocking parasites and bacteria, water filters aren't often small enough to block viruses.

While chlorination will kill both bacteria and viruses, some parasites have a protective shell making them resistant to chlorine.

While boiling will kill any living microorganism in the water, it won't remove any small particles or sediment.

Distillation will absolutely kill any living microorganism in the water and leave behind any debris, sediment, and heavy metals – leaving you with pure water.

While water distillers might not be as time-efficient and volume-efficient as some other means, it will guarantee pure water – free of any contaminants, even minerals.

DIY distillers can be constructed from simple materials if out in the wilderness and without a clean water source nearby. They can also be purchased and used in the kitchen or office. Selecting the best water distiller for home or office use can be overwhelming so we've done the hard work for you. We've also provided information on distillation in general to give you a better understanding of the science behind it.

In this article, we'll cover:

  • The science behind distillation – how does it work, what is the difference with other types of water?
  • What are some benefits and myths of distilled water?
  • What should I consider when purchasing a water distiller
  • What are the best water distillers for home us on the market today, why are they good, and where can I purchase one?




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What is Distilled Water?


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Distilled water is a type of purified water obtained through the process of distillation. Distillation removes impurities including minerals and chemicals, and microorganisms from water, so distilled water is free from impurities and dissolved solids. Distillation relies on evaporation to purify water; it happens naturally as part of earth's hydrologic cycle and can also be simulated within an enclosed system.

Because distilled water is absolutely free of minerals and contaminants, it serves a multitude of purposes. Humans use distilled water domestically for drinking, watering plants, filling humidifiers, steam irons, and fish tanks, to name a few. Distilled water is also used commercially in automobile cooing systems, model steam engine boilers, modern engines, and to increase the density of air for airplane jet takeoff.

The pH of distilled water immediately after distillation is neutral at 7 as it is pure. However, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and becomes slightly acidic with a pH value of 5.8. If considering distilled water for drinking, use a water distiller with a carbon filter as this will reduce acidity.



The Process of Distillation


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Distillation is one of the oldest ways to filter water and is still used today.  It effectively removes contaminants from water including bacteria, inorganic and many organic compounds. Distillation separates a liquid from other substances with the variations in boiling points. Distilling water involves boiling the water then condensing the steam to form pure distilled water.

Distillation is actually the earth's natural way of purifying water on the earth's surface. Through the hydrologic cycle, water is evaporated from oceans and lakes by the heat from the sun. As the steam rises, water is condensed in the clouds, when enough condensation has collected, water falls in the form of rain. Rain is, in fact, distilled water.

Water distillers emulate the earth's distillation process but on a much smaller scale.

Evaporation

In order to start the evaporation process, water needs to be heated. As the liquid water molecules absorb heat, they begin to move more quickly, giving them the energy to break the bonds connecting them together. When the molecules gain sufficient energy, they escape the surface of the liquid in the form of water vapor. Because the impurities, such as inorganic compounds and large non-volatile organic molecules, have higher boiling points than water, they do not evaporate with the water molecules. As water evaporates into steam, these impurities are left behind unchanged.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when the  evaporated water molecules – in the form of gas – begin to cool down and assume liquid form again. As the gas molecules lose heat, they lose energy and slow down, moving closer to the other gas molecules. The gas molecules eventually collect together to form liquid once again, minus the impurities. This "distilled" water is collected in a separate container, leaving the contaminants in its original container.

Distillation replicates the earth's hydrologic cycle. It begins with the evaporation of water from surfaces, such as surfaces of the ocean, rivers, lakes. The evaporated water forms water vapor which rises then condenses in the atmosphere to form clouds. The process of precipitation occurs after condensation which returns the purified water to the Earth’s surface in the form of rain and snow. So rain is essentially distilled water.



Difference Between Distilled Water and Some Other Types of Water


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Distilled Water Vs Filtered Water


Filtered water is water that has gone through carbon filtration or some other type of filtration to physically block or chemically remove contaminants. Water filters block impurities with a barrier and depending on the micron size of the barrier, some small impurities, such as viruses, may still go through. Filtered water is highly efficient at blocking larger contaminants such as sediment, bacteria, and parasites, but inefficient at blocking smaller ones such as viruses and dissolved chemicals. Distilled water, on the other hand, leaves all contaminants behind.



Distilled Water Vs Purified Water


Purified water can be any water that contains less than 10 PPM contaminants. It is usually the result of a multi-stage purification process, like reverse osmosis, UV purification, or chlorination. These highly effective filtration processes can remove up to 99.99% of the contaminant in the water, resulting in purified water. As distilled water typically contains about 1 PPM of contaminants, it is in fact a type of purified water. However, the general difference between distilled water and water referred to as ‘purified’ is the mineral content. While they both low level of contaminants, purified water contains more minerals than distilled water.



Distilled Water Vs Spring Water


Spring water refers to water collected directly from an uncontaminated underground spring where it rises to the surface. It is rich in minerals and considered to be great for hydration, and it provides other health benefits. Spring water is usually processed and filtered to remove debris and kill bacteria, but most of the mineral content such as calcium and magnesium is left in the water while distilled water has negligible mineral content. Consequently, spring water has a fresher taste in comparison to distilled water.

Microbes are removed from filtered water, but not minerals. Spring water passes through a variety of natural filters including rocks, and it contains high amounts on minerals. Harmful microbes as well as harmless and beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium are removed from distilled water. As a result, filtered water and spring water tastes better than distilled water, which has a flat and flavorless taste.



Benefits of Distilled Water for Domestic Use


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  • It is Purified Naturally - As distillation replicates the hydrological cycle, it is a natural method of water purification. No chemicals are added to the water, so it is safe and reliable. There is no risk of affecting our body’s chemical balance.
  • No Nitrates or Nitrites - Nitrates and Nitrites may be found in tap water and ground water. Nitrogen fertilizers used to enrich soils may lead to traces of nitrates in ground water. Human and animal wastes can also contaminate ground water with nitrate. Nitrates and Nitrites are dangerous to humans, especially the children and elderly with weaker immune systems. Ingesting large quantities can lead to lethal accidents as well.
  • No Chlorine - Chlorine is a disinfectant added to drinking water to remove microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses and is used in most public water systems. However, too much chlorine in the water supply can lead to health complications and should be avoided if possible.
  • No Microorganisms - Although some microorganisms are harmless to humans, there are several microorganisms that can cause disease and infections in humans. Distilled water is free of all microorganisms.
  • No Barium - Industrial waste often leads to the contamination of groundwater with Barium, which may eventually make its way to our tap water. According to a study that discovered a link between Barium and high blood pressure in lab animals, Barium can cause heart problems.


Clarifying Some Misconceptions About Distilled Water


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  • Distilled Water Will Leach Minerals From My Body? - The truth is that distilled water does attach to minerals as it comes into contact with them. That is exactly how spring water enriches itself with minerals as rain flows downstream. So yes, distilled water can leech a small amount of minerals from your body along with other impurities in your digestive tract. But the amount of minerals that do get leeched aren't enough to be of concern if you're consuming regular nutrients. We receive more than enough nutrients from a balanced meal than should be of concern. As humans, we receive our minerals and nutrients primarily from food, not from water. So if you're eating regular meals, drinking distilled water won't harm you. However, if fasting, take a break from distilled water during the fast and resume once the fast is done.
  • Cooking with distilled water removes minerals from the meal? - Whether you cook with normal water or with distilled water, your meal’s nutritional value will be the same.
  • Drinking distilled water will weaken your teeth? - Regardless of the amount of distilled water you drink, it will not drain the fluoride in your teeth. Yes, it will remove fluoride from the water, but toothpastes generally contain enough fluoride to keep your teeth healthy.

  • Distillation is an expensive process? - Distilled water is cheaper than buying bottled water. Although distillation requires electricity, the amount of electricity used to distill water is insignificant – a gallon of water will only need 30 – 40 pennies worth of electricity.

What Medical Professionals Say About Distilled Water


  • “Distilled water is safe to drink and should have no adverse effects on your health.  Distillation merely removes most of the dissolved materials, which are found in all natural waters.” —Raymond H. Bishop, Jr. M.D. Major General, Commander – Medical Corps. Department of the Army, U.S. Army Health Services Command
    • “I knew that distilled water was pure. I thought that if I drank plenty of it, I could get rid of some of the salts that were covering my sciatic nerves. I tried drinking it and it worked like a charm. I have kept up my drinking of distilled water and I attribute my almost perfect health largely to it.”
      —Dr. Alexander Graham Bell
    • “Even tap water invariably contains a variety of poisons such as chlorine, chloramine, asbestos, pesticides, fluoride, copper, mercury, and lead. The best way to remove all these contaminants is by distilling.” —David C. Kennedy, D.D.S. ‘How To Save Your Teeth: Toxic-Free Preventative Dentistry’

    • “Distilled water is the greatest solvent on earth. (It is) the only water that can be taken into the body without damage to the tissues. What we as scientists and the public have never realized is that minerals collected in the body from water are all inorganic minerals, which cannot be assimilated (digested) by the body. The only minerals that the body can utilize are the organic minerals (from fruits and vegetables). All other types of minerals are foreign substances to the body and must be disposed of or eliminated. Today, many progressive doctors prescribe distilled water to their patients. All kidney machines operate on distilled water.”  – Allen E. Banik, M.D. Author, “The Choice is Clear”


    Types of Water Distillers


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    Household Water Distillers

    These are usually the most basic types of water distillers. A common type is a single-effect distiller that you can easily set up on your kitchen counter. They are relatively easier to use and maintain. To use, you have to pour a measured quantity of water into the system, then the water is automatically distilled, collected and filtered into the reservoir ready for use. There are two types of household water distiller – manual and automatic distillers.

    Plumbing Distillers

    These water distiller units can be installed into your home plumbing system. In contrast to household water distillers, plumbing distillers distill water as you need it making it a cost-effective way to get distilled water. They require maintenance, which includes draining off the sediments that get accumulated at the bottom of the boiling chamber.

    Commercial Distillers

    Commercial distillers are much larger and complex. They have the capacity to produce from 75 to millions of gallons of distilled water per day. To accommodate the large capacity, they contain multiple boiling chambers, allowing more water to be distilled at a time.



    What to Consider When Choosing a Water Distiller


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    Material

    The type of material used to make the distiller is an important factor to consider. Although the distillation process results in water free from impurities and contaminants, the material used to make the distiller could leach chemicals in to the water during heat, rendering the distillation process useless.

    Stainless steel or glass are typically preferred as they do not leach chemicals into the water under heat during the distillation process. You will have to make sure that they are labeled as food-grade materials, which ensures that they are up to the cleanliness standards after the manufacturing process. Stainless steel and glass ae also easy to clean.

    Although plastic is cheaper, it is less preferred. If you opt for plastic, make sure to look for BPA-free plastic distillers as plastics made with BPA will leach the same chemicals you were trying to remove from your water into the distilled water. It is recommended though to steer clear of plastic distillers. Distillation involves extreme temperatures, so contact of water with plastic materials can compromise on quality and taste as well.

    Flow rate

    Another important factor to consider is the flow rate. The flow rate describes how many hours it takes to produce a gallon. Distillation is a relatively slow process. An average water distiller produces 4 to 6 gallons per day, an average flow rate of 1 gallon per 5 hours.

    Physicians recommend drinking about one gallon per day. So, for a family of 4 members, a distiller with a flow rate of at least 1 gallon per 6 hours will be preferred.

    Warranty

    As with many other products, warranty is also an important factor to consider. Water distillers may have different warranties for the machine and electrical components or one warranty for the entire unit. The standard warranty offer is 1 year for the entire unit, but it may differ accordingly.

    Total Holding Capacity

    The flow rate of water distillers is coupled with the capacity. The capacity and flow rate of often used interchangeably. However, the total holding capacity is different. The total holding capacity is the amount of water that can be stored after distillation. Manual water distillers usually use a plastic or glass jar with a total holding capacity of 1 gallon, whereas automatic water distillers can usually store around 3 to 25 gallons of water in a stainless-steel reservoir.

    Post-filtration

    Some water distillers consist of activated carbon post filters to filter the water after the distillation process. Carbon post filters reduce any residual tastes or odors that might have been pushed over during the distillation process. They are most effective when placed after the distillation process before the water enters the reservoir. Carbon post filters also removes any volatile organic compounds that can be evaporated along with water, ensuring highly purified water as some impurities may have lower boiling points than water.



    How to Use and Maintain Home Distillers


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    When the water evaporates, some contaminants remain behind in the steam chamber. These contaminants will build over time, affecting the faucet and the boiling chamber eventually. To avoid the buildup, you will have to clean your water distiller periodically. These are two simple steps you should take to clean.

    Clean the lid

    If you have a removable lid, remove and soak it in a sink full of water. Mix the water with 1/4 cup of vinegar or lime/lemon juice before soaking the lid. If the lid cannot be removed, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar or lime/lemon juice in a bowl, then clean the lid using the solution with a clean cloth or a scrub brush.

    After cleaning the lid, rinse the steamer to remove all traces of the solution then dry with a cloth.

    Clean the boiling chamber

    You will need a solution on 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar or lemon juice to clean the boiling chamber. Make enough solution to fill the chamber above the line of mineral deposits by at least 2 inches. After filling the chamber with the solution, leave it overnight. Rinse the chamber with fresh water then let it dry.

    Remember to avoid using commercial detergents to clean the water steamer as traces of the detergent may remain after you rinse it. Your water can absorb these traces of detergent and can possibly lead to an accidental intoxication. If the distiller has an activated carbon filter, it should be changed every 3 months or every 150 to 200 gallons of distilled water as bacteria can populate activated carbon filters.

    What are the Best Water Distillers for Home Use?




    • Distills 1 Gallon every 5.5 hours
    • UL Listed and Approved
    • 1 Year Warranty
    • Activated Carbon Filtration
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Automatic Shut-off

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    The Countertop Water Distiller by Megahome wins the award for best water distiller. It is the only distiller on the market with a UL approval. UL (Underwrites Laboratory) is trusted independent global technology safety company that rigorously tests products to determine if they comply with strict safety standards.

    This well-constructed water distiller is made from 304-grade stainless steel, making it resistant to water corrosion. It distills water at a moderate speed – 1 Gallon per 5.5 hours. With an efficient cooling system and activated carbon filter, this distiller will provide clean, drinkable water in 4L glass carafe. It features an automatic shut-off as a safety featuring for overnight distilling. With a one-year warranty, this distiller offers much in terms of quality and security.




    • Distills 4 Gallon per day
    • 1 Year Warranty
    • Activated Carbon Filtration
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Porcelain Nozzle
    • 565 Watt Heating Element
    • Easy-lift Handle

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    H20 Labs' Water Distiller is a very popular and highly rated countertop distiller for home use. It's been rigorously tested and evaluated for ease of operation and maintenance, dependability, design, functionality, warranty, technical and customer support, and customer satisfaction.

    Made from 304 stainless steel, this durable distiller has a 565 Watt heating element to boil the water. While other distillers boast of higher wattage for faster distillation, H20 Labs states that larger heating elements can boil water too quickly –causing it to mix with VOCs and other contaminates which reduce the purity of the water. Featuring an easy-lift BPA-free glass carafe and a porcelain nozzle, this distiller distills water at a steady rate of 4 Gallons per day. Activated carbon filters further treat the water for impurities and taste. H20 Labs offers a 1 Year Warranty for their distiller.




    • Distills 1 Liter every hour
    • 4L Shockproof Glass Container
    • Activated Carbon Filtration
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Automatic Shut-off
    • 750 Watt Heating Element
    • FDA Approved and Listed
    • 1 Year Warranty

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    The ROVSUN Countertop Distiller is approved and listed by the FDA as safe and efficient home water distiller. Rigorously tested and well-manufactured, this highly efficient distiller produces clean water at a rate of 1 Liter every hour on a 750 Watt heating element. Crafted from 304-grade stainless steel, the sleek design compliments any home or office setting.

    The ROVSUN has a 4 Liter, shockproof glass container to collect the distilled water. It features activated charcoal filtering, an aluminum cooling fan, and an automatic shutoff safety feature. ROVSUN offers a 1 Year Warranty for their distiller.




    • Distills 4 Gallons every 12 hours
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Automatic Shut-off
    • 800 Watt Heating Element
    • Made in the USA
    • 15 Year Warranty

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    The Pure Water Mini-Classic Counter Top Distiller is a very popular distiller among water distillation enthusiasts and has been on the market for years. Manufactured in the USA, this stainless steel distiller features an aluminum cooling fan, automatic shutoff, and a BPA-free glass collection container. With an 800 Watt heating element, it can distill water at 4 gallons every 12 hours. With a 15 year warranty, Pure Water features a no-risk investment for a highly trusted and well manufactured machine.




    • Distills 6 Gallons every day
    • 4L Shockproof Glass Container
    • Activated Carbon Filtration
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Automatic Shut-off
    • 750 Watt Heating Element

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    The Mophorn Pure Water Distiller features a clean white outer design with a 304-grade, stainless steel inner boiling chamber. At 750 Watts, it distills water a t a rate of 6 Gallons per day, or 1 Liter every hour. There's an automatic shutoff feature for safety and an aluminum fan for cooling. It has activated carbon filtration and a 4L, BPA-free plastic collection container.




    • Distills 1 Gallon every 4 hours
    • 304 Grade Stainless Steel
    • Automatic Shut-off
    • 800 Watt Heating Element

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    The Waterwise 3200 Water Distiller boasts a clean white exterior with a stainless steel boiling chamber. With an 800 Watt heating element, this distiller can produce pure water at 1 gallon every 4 hours. Featuring automatic shutoff every 1 gallon cycle, this distiller can distill water safely overnight.



    Conclusion


    Having the means to effectively distill water at home will guarantee access to pure, clean water whenever you need it. As a reminder, distilled water is free of all minerals and should be remineralized if intended to drink for long term. Water distillers should be cleaned regularly for maximum performance.


    Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the best water distillers for home us. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. If you've found this article to be useful and are interested in learning more, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

    References

    Advanced Water Inc. (2017, November 8). How Does Water Distillation Work? - Advanced Water Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.advancedwaterinc.com/water-distillation-work/

    Alexander, K. (2007). The facts and myths on distilled water. Retrieved from http://www.refreshpurewater.com.au/distilledwater.pdf

    Distilled Water Association. (2013, September 6). Distilled Water: Commercial Uses and Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.distilledwaterassociation.org/2013/09/06/distilled-water-commercial-uses-and-benefits/

    Fresh Water Systems. (n.d.). Water Distiller Comparison Chart - FreshWaterSystems.com. Retrieved from https://www.freshwatersystems.com/support/DistillerComparison.html

    Medical News Today. (n.d.). Can you drink distilled water safely? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317698.php

    Sciencing. (2018, March 13). What Is the pH of Distilled Water? Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/ph-distilled-water-4623914.html

    Water Smart Systems. (n.d.). Distilled Water vs Soft Water vs Filtered Water Click Here. Retrieved from http://watersmartsystems.com/blogs/distilled-water-vs-soft-water.htm

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