Distillation is a process of filtering and purifying water, resulting in pure, pH-balanced H-TWO-O. The process consists of:

1) Boiling/evaporating the water,
2) Collecting the water vapor,
3) Cooling it to allow it to condense back into liquid, and then
4) Collecting the liquid.

The boiling causes the pure water molecules to evaporate, leaving all impurities behind in the boiling pot. Impurities that distilling will remove include bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, salts, chemicals and particulates. In short, it is a very effective method of creating safe water to drink.


There are various ways to distill water.


1. With A Stove

You can distill water at home. You will need:

  1. A stove
  2. A large pot (5+ gallons ideally) with a convex (curving out) lid.
  3. A smaller bowl that fits into the pot

Fill the pot about half way with the water you’d like to distill. Place the pot on a stove element, and turn it to a temperature that will cause the water to boil slowly. Place your bowl in the center of the pot, so it’s floating on the water. Place the lid of the pot upside down, so it curved inwards. Place ice cubes on top of the lid.

The water will turn into steam, and collect on the lid. Because the lid is cold, the steam will condense and because the lid curves inward, will run down to the lowest point and drip into your bowl. Keep the process going until your bowl fills, or gets too close to the bottom of the pan that your collected water begins to boil.

Another adaption you can make is using glass bottles instead of a bowl to collect your water. In this instance, fill one bottle with the water you wish to distill. Connect the two bottles at the top, and place the bottle with water into the water-filled pot. The water in the bottle will evaporate, and flow into the other bottle. Place the second bottle in ice, to cool the steam down and convert it into liquid. Make sure the second bottle is at an angle where the water will collect, and not flow back into the first bottle.

2. Atmospheric Water Generators

These devices extract humidity from the air and convert it into potable water. The process is similar to how a humidifier works, except that they also supply you with clean drinking water.


3. Using Bottles

If you have two bottles available to you and warm sunny weather, you can distill water. Fill on bottle with the water you wish to distill, and then connect the two bottles at their openings. Place the bottle filled with water in the sun, and the second bottle in a cooler space. Over time, the water will evaporate from the first bottle and collect in the second. Again, make sure that the second bottle is angled so that water collects, and doesn’t flow back into the first.

4. Solar Still

A solar still collects water from an area that contains moisture, such as soil or plants. a large plastic sheet collects evaporated moisture, and channels it into a collection tub.

5. Rain Water

Mother Nature naturally distills water. When water evaporates from the earth, it leaves its impurities behind. It then condenses in the clouds and falls back to earth. Rain water is perfectly distilled, and if you collect it, it can be used for drinking. Have a large, clean container to collect rain water. When the rain stops, cover the top and let it sit for 2 days, to allow the minerals to settle. It can then be used for drinking.


Distilled water is very safe in the short term, as it has had all of its impurities removed. It is water in its purest form. Over the long term, however, there are some concerns with it. The problem is, it’s missing a lot of minerals found naturally in water sources, and it’s not clear the effect this will have on a person long term. So don’t rely on distilled water as your only water source, unless you are also taking a mineral supplement as well.


Good luck and stay prepared!

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  1. Hey Rambo Moe!

    Great tips on distilling water. I don’t know if I could ever get that ambitious. I am looking at the Berkey gravity fed water filter system. I think it used to be a really good system. Nowadays, there are many complaints about the quality of the system because of out-sourcing. But at the end of the day, there are still more positives about this product. If TSHTF, then it’s better to have than not have. Water is life.


  2. Thanks Mark, and I’ll look into the Gravity fed filter system. I’m not too familiar with it at this point.


  3. Thanks for the tips, but-

    How can it be that rainwater is distilled?
    isn’t the atmosphere polluted with all sorts of things, including the chemicals they disperse (chemtrails)?

    • Sean OToole says:

      You are right. It is called “Air Borne Particulation” it also contains all of the gasses. It is much easier on your distilling equipment though since it doesn’t contain any of the hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium.
      Water is known as the “Universal Solvent” since it dissolves almost everything.

  4. That’s a good point. In theory, rain water is perfectly distilled, as all contaminants remain below and only pure water is evaporated. However, if there are pollutants in the air (pretty much an inevitability in modern times) it’s true that when the water falls it may have become contaminated.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, rainwater usually reacts with all the pollution in the air and also collects dust while it is falling from the atmosphere. In fact, that is how acid rain works. Water reacts with carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and sulfurous fumes to make carbonic acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid. Soo, I would not drink rainwater.

    **Also bacteria, germs, and any biological pathogens in the air.

    • Mr. Wolf says:

      You are right. However, you can just re-distill the collected rainwater, or use some other form of purification. It is still a great way to collect water.

  6. Thank you for a great article. I learned a lot from this. I wanted to share a great mineral additive to add to distilled water. I use Himalayan salt as it has a ton of essential minerals in it and is cheap and tastes very good. The two combined make for a perfect water source :)

  7. That’s a cool idea, hadn’t thought of that.

  8. word you want is potable, not portable.

  9. truthseeker says:

    I love your comments on water. Distilled water is the best, whether natural or done at home. As for pollutants in the atmosphere, remember in this world as things change the human body also adapts to its changing environment, unless there is a very acute imbalance in one moment of time that happens too fast for our bodies to adapt to it. Remember the bible story of the flood. According to history, it was the first time man at seen rain in that way. All vegetation died, mans body had to adapt to eating only meat until the earth reproduced again in order to survive. Anyway my point is whatever contaminants are in the evaporated water that comes back down as rainwater its in a more pure state than if it hadn’t evaporated. Also, the plants help to absorb inorganic substances that our body cannot breakdown and digest. I pretty much believe in distilled water and alkaline water and juicing fruits and vegetables because fruits and veggies like our bodies contain lots of pure vitamin water. Whatever water you choose your body needs half its weight in ounces each day to perform at its maximum potential. Try not to get too paranoid about toxins, not to neglect staying pure, but we live in a contaminated world, remember, 70% of the dirt in your house and car comes from you. Your body is made from dirt, your skin sheds everyday, what do you think that is? dirt my friend, dirt.

    Respond please

  10. Rambo Moe- You rock!! I have had such a great learning experience this afternoon with your knowledge/experience and the good comments from other preppers. I’ve researched “freeze drying foods, “water preperation and distillation” “dehydrating meat” and been bouncing all over the net for added info and equipment. I no longer feel alone in my quest for survival should the proverbial SHTF. Even if that doesn’t happen with all the weather changes that are occurring worldwide who wouldn’t want to be prepared for at least a few months of being off the grid?? I was a good Girl Scout many years ago and I believe, still am. Thanks to Ramboe Moe and all the other participants. I’ll be back!!

  11. ugh. I’m more confused now than I was before.

  12. You can also add colliodal silver to the water for minerals

  13. Shawn Cameron says:

    I know this is really old but I was wondering if the pot method would work for sea water, separating the salt from the water?

  14. Why are we not telling all of the poor people without clean water this?

    • late2theParty says:

      “Why are we not telling all of the poor people without clean water this?” Because not all of them are ignorant, some are in bad situations because the availability of fuel to heat the water is either low or priced too high. Some people don’t have a pot and a bowl.

      A lot of humans are not ignorant about bad water, they just have no alternative. There are some neat large scale solar stills that people are trying to share to give others the clean water they need. I believe some are being used to desalinate sea water to fresh water.

  15. Need to clean and refill a 40 gal. Aquarium with distillers water. What is the easiest way to do it ?

  16. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks,
    However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  17. Have you ever heard of “Prill” water? What do you know
    about it? Supposedly the chemical will purify water indefinitely.

    • No, I have never heard of that. How can it do so indefinitely?

    • “Drinking large amounts of prill water could potentially prove harmful for some individuals, since magnesium hydroxide can prevent your body from absorbing folic acid…”
      You might also check into “structured water/clustered water/holy water” – there are studies & videos that show the water crystals actually change when you bless it. One site for info is

  18. CuriousOne says:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on “Adya Clarity”? Claims to contain Ionic Sulfate Minerals and reduce fluoride in water. Here’s what says about itself… I want to check whether anyone has used it and if their claims can be substantiated: “Adya Clarity™ is a Para-magnetic sulfate mineral solution that is extracted from the rarest, most mineral rich Biotite/Black Mica volcanic deposit in Japan. A proprietary acid sulfate process is used to perfectly extract the elements from the Black Mica that are made 100% bioavailable. The Mountains in Japan are a one of the known ‘PURE’ resources of Black Mica.”

  19. Hi,
    I am having some trouble with your information in regards to the distillation of water and the disinfo you are putting out there in regards to this being a “bad” thing to consume on the long term. There was a report written in the 50’s that refuted the claims that distilled water was the best drinking water ever. It was found that the research paper that became the model for scaring people into thinking this.
    We are in the 21st Century now and with all the research done it shows that it IS good to consume and that the health benefits are exponential. Drinking distilled water is similar to drinking our own urine. However, not many people in the western world are really down for doing this as it is something that is rather hard to wrap ones head around this age old remedy. As our kidneys are our personal distillers. Moving forward, the act of distilling water actually only takes out the inorganic minerals and pathogens and other impurities and leaves the “organic minerals” that the body can take in without creating such maladies as calcium deposits which lead to arthritis and cataracts and other known “getting old” types of aches and pains.
    The thought that is being said is to try this: Drink one gallon of distilled water a day for 90 days. A gallon of water one would think…oh, that is quite a lot of water to ingest. One will soon find out that they actually CAN ingest that much water and if one wants to try this they will notice that their bodies can take this in and will flush the cells of all the impurities. Their skin will actually become soft and and symptoms such as arthritis, cataracts, even more in-depth symptoms will be flushed from the body. Experiments from people gave distilled water to their aging dog and within a couple of months the energy of the animal not only increased but the cataracts in the eyes disappeared. The gray and dry and dull fur on the animal become soft and shiny and returned to its natural color.
    If one wants to do research on this subject, please do. Andrew Norton Webber has many youtube videos out there speaking exactly to this and how he feels this IS the Fountain of Youth. here is a short one that speaks directly to what i am talking about here>
    i suggest one keep an open mind to this as this is a modality that costs literally pennies and the return is priceless.

    There is information out there about Adya Clarity and how it is disruptive to the body due to the ingredients in this product and how the makers basically were snake oil salesmen and tried to get the Health Community on board with the “Black Mica” and there was a devastating backlash but like most things in the news…tomorrow is another day and most people forget and the marketing still continues. Mike Adams of Natural News dot com did a thorough investigation of this product and its deadly ingredients and sure enough this was something i can happily say i never tried even though the health community that i am in was really excited about this. Raw Food World and LongevityWarehouse ended up refunding every person that bought this and vowed to do better research before making claims that this product did exactly what it said it would do. Putting humans and animals at harm for profit is not a way to do business. The maker of the product sought outside “health guru’s” to help get his product back in the limelight. Sad to say that there are some who really think that having harmful chemicals in your body due to something claiming to take out impurities is just shameful. Thanks for reading and i implore people to really do the research. As an example: today we are finding out that the propaganda toward one of the most enriching plants on the earth today being the HEMP plant which has so many uses nutritionally, industrially, medically. Has been given a bad rap and it has taken generations to peel the layer off the onion, so to say. Seeing that the big corporations that were the ones protecting their abusive interests towards depleting and polluting our planet and saying that HEMP is a drug and now with legalization of this medicinal plant is showing that this is something to look more into and see the healing benefits this has on people and the many benefits that this plant can be on all levels. ~*Peace*~

    • late2theParty says:

      I think the point on daily distilled water is the level of impurity. The problem with extremely clean water isn’t the water but the fact that it tends to remove more minerals from the body than hard water. Drinking extremely pure water in small amounts is fine, it’s drinking ONLY highly distilled water without additional minerals, that will deplete the body of necessary minerals.

      And even if it is distilled, it doesn’t mean it is perfectly clean. The point of distilling is to raise the temperature of the water to the evaporation point of water, but below any other material in it. If the material (contaminant) has a lower boiling point than water, it will be evaporated and condensed back down with the water. This is why we are often told to boil AND filter – the light hydrocarbons that have a lower evaporation point than water are then, hopefully, filtered out.

      A way to avoid the lower temp contamination would be to have several heatings, each a higher temperature then the next, slowly until you reach the boiling point of water. Up till the water boils, anything that has a lower the boiling point than water, is evaporated AND purposely not condensed. Then at boiling, the water is what evaporates and needs to be caught. Note, another thing no one mentions – evaporation leaves behind heavier crud (calcium, iron, any of the heavy metals.) If the pot is not cleaned out every so often, the crud will pile up in the pot making contamination of the distilled water more likely. Saving some of the distilled water to clean the pot out is a good idea.

      Other methods of purifying water include ultraviolet radiation, filtering and chemically treating the water (iodine or chlorine.) Ultraviolet and chemical treatment are very good at killing biological impurities but do nothing to remove heavy impurities (heavy metals, poisonous salts etc.) Filtering is good for removing these, but distillation is better. With biologically and minerally contaminated water, I plan on treating with chemicals and UV, then filtering, and finally distilling. You cover all tracks that way. Of course, some people think just one or two purifying methods are necessary but I really want to avoid dysentery and heavy metal poisoning.

      Best of luck!

  20. Sean OToole says:

    Another problem with this article is that it says that you need 6he minerals in the hard water. While you do need these minerals they are not available for your body to use. The only minerals that your body can use come from plants.

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