Does Distilled Water Go Bad? The Truth About Its Shelf Life

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You’re looking through the stockpiles you’ve been prepping and see that your distilled water has expired. Then you ask yourself, “Does distilled water go bad?” After all, preparing on a budget can be frustrating when you have to cycle through or throw something away.

Water is paramount to you and your family for survival. You can survive for only a few days without it. It’s essential to have a reliable source of clean water prepped for emergencies. You can use distilled water for a clean water source.

Distilled water is created by removing impurities and minerals from regular tap water, leaving only pure water molecules. This makes it an ideal option for drinking, cooking, and other uses where purity is essential.

Like any other plastic bottle of water, distilled water has a shelf life.

We’ll answer the question, “does distilled water expire?” We’ll discuss the science behind distilled water, its shelf life, factors affecting its longevity, and the safety implications of drinking expired distilled water.

We’ll provide tips on how to store distilled water safely. We’ll also compare distilled water’s shelf life to regular tap water.

Does Distilled Water Go Bad?

Yes and no. Distilled water does not expire, meaning it does not go bad or become unsafe to drink, as food can spoil.

However, distilled water can still become contaminated or develop impurities over time, making it unsafe to drink.

The type of container it’s stored in and whether it’s been opened will impact its shelf life.

Distilled water can absorb carbon dioxide from the air. When this happens, it can form carbonic acid and make the water slightly acidic. While this doesn’t necessarily make the water unsafe to drink, it can affect its taste and quality.

Distilled water can last a very long time without going bad if stored correctly. It can become unsafe to drink if exposed to other contaminants or impurities.

The Science Behind Distilled Water and Its Shelf Life

Distilled water will last way longer than regular tap water. The reason it last longer is due to the distillation process used to make it.

Distillation involves boiling water and collecting the resulting steam in a separate container. This process removes impurities and minerals from the water, leaving only pure water molecules.

The absence of minerals and impurities in distilled water means that it’s less likely to react with other substances or develop bacteria and other microorganisms.

process of making distilled water

Distilled water is typically stored in sealed containers. The sealed containers help to prevent it from becoming contaminated water and keep it safe to drink.

However, the absence of minerals and impurities in distilled water can also make it more susceptible to absorbing substances from its environment, such as carbon dioxide from the air.

The carbon dioxide can cause the pH of the water to drop, making it slightly acidic. While this doesn’t necessarily make the water unsafe to drink, it can affect its taste and quality.

The science behind distilled water and its shelf life is complex and depends on many factors. The distillation process makes water that is purer and more contamination-resistant than regular tap water. This helps to extend its shelf life.

How Long Does Distilled Water Last?

The shelf life of distilled water can vary depending on several factors. These include storage conditions, container type, and whether the bottled water has been opened.

Distilled water can last very long without going bad if stored in a sealed plastic container. Holding it in a clean, dry, and cool place is also essential.

Distilled water can be stored for years without significantly changing its quality or safety. Normal bottled water will go rancid in a couple of years, whereas distilled water will last three times that.

However, if the purified water is exposed to contaminants or impurities, such as bacteria, algae, or mold, it can become unsafe to drink.

If distilled water is stored in a container that is not airtight, it can absorb substances from its environment that can affect its quality.

It’s important to sanitize properly used to store distilled water to prevent contamination and ensure its longevity.

Is it safe to drink distilled water?

Yes, it is safe to drink distilled water. Distilled water is pure water that has gone through a process of distillation, which involves boiling water and then collecting the resulting steam in a separate container.

This process removes impurities and minerals from the water, leaving only pure water molecules. This means that it is free from contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and minerals that may be present in regular tap water.

You want to use something other than distilled water for long-term drinking. Distilled water does not provide the essential minerals that our body needs.

It’s generally recommended to drink a variety of water sources, including tap water that has been treated with a water filter, to ensure that you’re getting a range of minerals and nutrients that your body needs.

Is It Safe to Be Drinking Distilled Water That Has Expired?

While distilled water does not expire, it can become contaminated or develop impurities over time, making it unsafe to drink.

Some potential risks of drinking contaminated distilled water or purified water that has expired can include exposure to harmful microorganisms, chemicals, or heavy metals that may have entered the water.

Inspecting your distilled water for any signs of contamination or impurities is crucial. These can include changes in color, taste, or odor, as well as the presence of sediment, mold-green algae, or other particles in the water.

Additionally, if you’re storing distilled water for emergency use, it’s a good idea to periodically rotate your stock to ensure you always have access to safe, clean water.

Overall, while the risk of drinking expired distilled water is relatively low, it’s essential to pay attention to its storage conditions and any changes in its quality to ensure that it remains safe to drink.

How To Store Distilled Water Safely and Effectively

It’s essential to store it properly. Here are some tips for keeping distilled water safe:

Store distilled water in a clean, airtight container that is made of glass or food-grade plastic. Avoid using containers made of materials that can leach chemicals or impurities into the water.

Store distilled water in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and chemicals. Exposure to extreme temperatures or sunlight can affect the quality of the water and promote bacterial growth.

water storage containers

Sanitize containers before filling them with distilled water. To do this, wash the container with hot, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. Next, you’ll want to fill the container with a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water. Let it soak for a few minutes before rinsing it again.

If you’re storing distilled water for emergency use, consider labeling the containers with the date they were filled and periodically replacing them with fresh water.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your distilled water remains safe and effective over time, providing you with a reliable source of clean water in emergencies.

Distilled Water vs. Regular Water: Does One Have a Longer Shelf Life?

Compared to regular tap water, distilled water generally has a longer shelf life due to the distillation process. As mentioned, distillation involves boiling water and collecting the resulting steam in a separate container.

This process removes impurities and minerals from the water, leaving only pure water molecules. The absence of minerals and contaminants in distilled water means that it’s less likely to react with other substances or develop bacteria and other microorganisms, which can extend its shelf life.

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In contrast, regular tap water contains minerals and impurities that can promote bacterial growth and other forms of contamination, leading to a shorter shelf life. Additionally, ordinary tap water can contain chemicals, such as chlorine and fluoride, that may affect the taste and quality of the water over time.

That being said, the shelf life of regular tap water can still vary depending on factors such as storage conditions and the presence of contaminants. While it may not last as long as distilled water, regular tap water can still be safe to drink if appropriately stored and replaced regularly.

While distilled water generally has a longer shelf life than regular tap water, both types of water can become contaminated or develop impurities over time, making them unsafe to drink.

Following proper storage and sanitation techniques is essential to ensure you always have access to safe, clean water.

What is distilled water used for?

Distilled water has a wide range of uses due to its purity and lack of impurities. Here are some standard services of distilled water:

Medical purposes:

Distilled water is used in various medical procedures. Medical staff uses it with dialysis and surgery. They also use it for cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment.

Laboratory applications:

Distilled water is used in laboratories for conducting experiments and tests, as it is free from contaminants and can provide more accurate results. At my work, we make our own distilled water for our laboratory.

Distillation Unit
Distillation unit for making distilled water for our lab testing at work.

Household appliances:

Distilled water is commonly used in household appliances such as steam irons, humidifiers, and car batteries, as it does not contain minerals that can cause buildup and damage over time.

Automotive industry:

Distilled water is used in the automotive industry as a coolant for engines, as it does not contain minerals that can cause corrosion and damage to the engine.

Cleaning:

Distilled water can be used for cleaning various surfaces, such as windows and mirrors, as it does not leave behind mineral residue or streaks.

Brewing and cooking:

Distilled water is used for brewing and cooking. The lack of contaminants and minerals won’t affect the taste and quality of the final product.

Overall, distilled water is a versatile and helpful resource commonly used in various industries and applications due to its purity and lack of impurities.

Final Thoughts on Does Distilled Water Go Bad?

In conclusion, distilled water does not expire as food can spoil, but it can still become contaminated or develop impurities over time, making it unsafe to drink.

Several factors determine the shelf life of distilled water, including storage conditions, container type, and whether the water has been opened or not.

To ensure that distilled water remains safe and effective over time, store it properly, as stated earlier.

Additionally, it’s important to sanitize containers before filling them with distilled water; it will keep your distilled water fresh enough.

You and your family will have a reliable source of clean drinking water in emergencies if you follow the tips we discussed.

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