Save Money By Distilling Your Own Water

by heather

Many people have never even heard of steam distilled water. Until I got sick last summer, though, I hadn’t either. But, distilling your own water is a great way to save money if you have concerns about the quality of your water supply.

Read on to learn why I started distilling my own water, how I’m doing it, and how much money I’m saving each month…

The Backstory

Last summer, I had to go to the local emergency room for kidney stones. I hadn’t had one in over ten years, so at first I wasn’t sure what this sudden, horrendous pain was. So, to the emergency room we went.

The doctors there quickly identified the cause and, once I was pumped full of pain medication, they told me that kidney stones cases in this area were off the charts compared to most hospitals. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but a few days later (once I was feeling like myself again), it hit me: why did so many people in this part of Michigan get kidney stones?

And, we had only been living in this area for four months when this happened. Whatever was causing people’s kidney stones was affecting me already.

Some further investigation revealed the likely source: the water. I’m on city water, and it has extraordinarily high amounts of calcium. And, too much calcium in your system can form kidney stones, which is what happened to me.

Now, my little trip to the emergency room that day ended up costing a mind-boggling $5,000. And no, that’s not a typo. Fortunately, my health insurance covered most of it, but I still had to pay around $1,500. I was not happy.

Purifying Doesn’t Work

I drink a lot of water (usually a gallon a day), so I quickly realized that I had to stop drinking the local water. The problem was that I had already been using a Brita filter. It didn’t have the ability to take calcium, and other minerals, out of the water. I wasn’t sure what to do.

I began buying steam distilled bottled water from Wal-Mart in order to avoid any more costly trips to the emergency room. Why steam distilled? Because it’s the cleanest, purist water there is. Steam distilled water is the kind that all other water is measured against.

Don’t worry: I’m getting to the part about saving money.

How Much We Were Spending

Between my husband and I, we ended up going through 36 gallons per month, on average. Wal-Mart’s price on one gallon of steam-distilled water is around .80 cents, so we were spending $28.80 per month just on water. Plus, we were wasting tons of plastic. All of those one-gallon jugs had to be recycled, and I hated consuming that much plastic each month.

And then there was the time and gas to get over there, as well as the occasional (well, frequent) impulse buys that usually found their way into the cart. And, we can’t discount the general stress and frustration from dealing with Wal-Mart on a bi-weekly basis. I hated going there.

This was a costly solution to our water dilemma.

Why At Home Steam Distilling Saves Money

This went on for over a year. And then suddenly, serendipity struck: this fall, I discovered that you could steam distill water at home.

It was a EUREKA! moment for sure!

I immediately went to to find one .

The distiller shown is the one I bought. I’ve been using it about six weeks now, and I’m in love.

So, here’s the price breakdown to show you how much money we’re saving:

The distiller I bought was $155, plus I bought one extra water bottle for storage for an additional $16.95, which bring my investment to $171.95. (The distiller comes with one plastic jug, as shown in the picture).

Now, it takes 5 hours to steam distill 1 gallon of water, which (according to our calculations) uses 2.9 kw of electricity. We pay 9 cents per kw, so this means that we’re using 26 cents of electricity to make one gallon of water.

This means that, based on our consumption of 36 gallons per month, we’ll make our money back in 8 months. After that, each gallon of water will only cost us 26 cents.

And, we no longer have to drive to Wal-Mart, and load up box after box of heavy water in the car. It’s like a miracle.

Other Benefits of At Home Steam Distilling

Another great benefit of having a steam distiller is that they’re great for emergencies. Steam distillers can distill any type of water.

This means if that a natural disaster occurs and city services are interrupted you can pour muddy water, or water tainted with sewage or other chemicals, into the flask and in five hours have perfectly pure water to drink.

Now, they must have electricity to work, of course, but if you have a generator then a steam distiller will give you all the water you need to survive until things get back to normal.

The only maintenance on a steam distiller is that you have to clean the flask. I do it after each gallon, but you don’t have to. What’s cool is that once the water is all steamed into the holding jug, the stuff that’s left in the flask is the “leftover muck”. You know, the stuff you used to be drinking.

For me, my “muck” is white (because of all the calcium). It’s not hard to clean; I just use a rag and scrub it out. Every month or so you have to do a deeper cleaning because parts of the muck hardens on the flask, but the distiller comes with cleaners to get that off.

So, the final verdict is: steam distilling rocks. If you have any concerns about your water quality this is the way to go. It is definitely cheaper than buying bottled water, it’s better for the environment, and I actually have fun processing my own water at home.

And, it sure beats dealing with Wal-Mart.

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Dan March 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm

One thing to think about is the amount of electricity the still uses. Considering that your source is municipal water supply with just an overabundance of calcium, there’s an alternative to distillation to leach some of the calcium out.

Try carbon dioxide. CO2 has a natural affinity for the basic calcium compounds in your water. It will chemically bind them, creating a precipitate.

To test if this method will work, chill some tap water, then get a straw and blow into it for about a minute. If the water gets cloudy, you know that your breath is precipitating calcium carbonate and other minerals.

You may not have enough CO2 in your body to do the trick unless you just ran a mile. If you get a tank of the stuff, it will cleanse it of calcium and also make it sparkle. Remember that the colder the better since gases dissolve well in cold water and solids do not.

This may help you during the summer, when distillation causes a lot of waste heat.


Seb May 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

Drinking distilled water can be extremely bad for your health in the long run. When you distill water you are actually creating a hypo-tonic that will “leech” minerals from it’s surroundings. This can be beneficial for short-term purposes such as detox (to cleanse heavy metals and other toxins from your body) but eventually calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and other important minerals will be absorbed from your bones and other bodily cells which can create deficiencies that can be devastating. Please do your own research into these effects, it is very important that you do so. Thanks for the article.

Amy October 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

You should NOT be drinking distilled water!!

Tom March 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Distilled water in no way robs the body of minerals. I want to know the science behind that statement Seb. Where is your proof? Your statement is weak, needs backup. If anything, the pure water, H2O, is not full of any minerals other than H2O. That’s why it’s water. The other minerals are from the place at which water picked up on its way down the river or streams. If anything, when drinking pure water, will pick up the left over bad minerals that your body rejects and helps to flush them out. We get our minerals from food or vitamins. Try getting minerals from drinking water and you would die from drowning your liver.

ZandarKoad March 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Yeah, I can’t believe there are some people who think distilled water is somehow dangerous… There’s a little thing called “food” which provides an unlimited supply of all the minerals your body could ever want. Try mixing it with your water (preferably in your stomach). You’ll have tremendous amounts of minerals flowing throughout your body if you eat the right foods.

Nathan August 6, 2013 at 12:09 am
Neil June 2, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Appreciate the link Nathan but I have problems agreeing with the conclusions in it. If distilled water is bad for you then tap water must be good for you, right? Which means that all the minerals and other junk that was picked up from the old, corroded pipes going from the local water plant to your home must be really good for you. Sorry, but that argument makes NO sense to me. As for the ph of water that is easily tested with limus paper. If the water tested shows a neutral ph then there is no problem. Don’t understand why water treated by reverse osmosis would have a different ph than distilled water. That makes no sense to me either. Both methods are used for obtaining pure water. Distilling seems to me to be the most natural and the best method of doing that. After all, that is what Mother Nature has used for millions of years.

Kay August 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

I’ve been drinking only distilled water for the past 3 yrs. I am honest when I say that the DW has reversed numerous health issues for me.(severe arthritis for 1, my joints feel like new again) I know all folks aren’t the same, but I would at all cost, avoid regular tap or even filtered water. I do ads Pink Himalayan salt to each gallon and I try to take the right supplements/vitamins, daily. I studied a lot before my decision but I’m so happy with my switch to distilled water. I use it as my main choice for cooking also. I can’t wait to purchase my first distillery system as mentioned by many, depending on your uses, buying it can get very expensive. Like I said, I don’t regret it and will continue to use distilled water to drink, etc…

Kay August 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

Also wanted to add, I check my bodies ph regularly. It’s always fine & I attribute that to a good diet and “Organic Cider Vinegar with the mother”..It compliments the already abundant benefits that are clearly from my distilled water choice.

Royce September 13, 2017 at 10:54 pm

If you add a pinch of himalayan rock sea salt to your distilled water, you add the minerals and salts needed back into the distilled water without all the toxic garbage. This solves the problem

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