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Does Distilled Water Go Bad? Types of Water & Survival

Last Updated: July 12, 2023

As a prepper, you know that having clean water is essential for survival. But what happens when you have distilled water stored away for emergencies? Does it go bad over time?

The good news is that distilled water, when properly stored, can last indefinitely. Unlike tap water, which contains impurities and minerals that can break down over time, distilled water is pure and free from any contaminants. This makes it less susceptible to bacterial growth and other forms of degradation.

Distilled water is created by boiling water and collecting the steam, which is then condensed back into a liquid. This process removes any impurities, including bacteria, viruses, and minerals, making it safe to drink and use in various household and medical applications.

Because distilled water is so pure, it is commonly used in laboratory experiments and medical procedures, where even the slightest impurities can cause problems. It is also often used in household appliances like irons and humidifiers, which can become clogged with mineral deposits when tap water is used.

However, like any other type of water, distilled water can become contaminated if it is exposed to air or other elements. For example, if the container holding the distilled water is not properly sealed, bacteria and other microorganisms can enter and begin to grow. Similarly, if the water is stored in direct sunlight or in a warm environment, it can encourage the growth of bacteria and algae.

To ensure that your distilled water remains safe for consumption, it is essential to store it properly. Store distilled water in a clean, dry, and dark place, away from any sources of heat or light. It is also important to use a container that is airtight and made of a material that does not leach any harmful chemicals into the water.

In summary, distilled water does not go bad as long as it is stored correctly. It is an excellent option for preppers who want to ensure they have access to clean water during an emergency. With proper storage, distilled water can last indefinitely, making it a reliable resource for survival situations.

Table: Shelf life and storage conditions of distilled water

Storage ConditionsShelf Life
Unopened containerIndefinite
Opened container1-2 weeks*
Exposed to air or sunlight24-48 hours
Stored in a cool, dry placeIndefinite

Note: The shelf life of opened distilled water may vary depending on the level of contamination and the storage conditions.

Here’s a table comparing different types of water and their potential uses in a survival or homestead scenario:

Type of WaterPotential UsesShelf LifeStorage Conditions
Distilled WaterDrinking, cooking, medical use, cleaning woundsIndefiniteSealed container in a cool, dry place
Tap WaterDrinking, cooking, cleaningVaries by source and treatment, generally 6 months to 2 yearsSealed container in a cool, dry place
Bottled WaterDrinking, cooking, emergency use1-2 yearsSealed container in a cool, dry place
Sparkling WaterDrinking, cooking, cleaning1-2 yearsSealed container in a cool, dry place
Rain WaterIrrigating crops, cleaningVaries by storage and treatment, generally up to 1 yearSealed container in a cool, dry place
Well WaterDrinking, cooking, cleaningVaries by location and treatment, generally 6 months to 2 yearsSealed container in a cool, dry place
Stream or River WaterBoiling for drinking, cleaningN/ABoil for at least 1 minute before use
Pond or Lake WaterBoiling for drinking, cleaningN/ABoil for at least 1 minute before use
Spring WaterDrinking, cooking, cleaningIndefiniteSealed container in a cool, dry place
GreywaterIrrigating plants, cleaningN/AUse immediately or within a few days

Note: The shelf life and storage conditions listed here are general guidelines and may vary depending on various factors such as temperature, light exposure, and contamination. Always use your best judgment and consult with a water treatment professional if you have concerns about the safety of your water.

References:

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