Chill & Distill:
Making distilled water at home is easy!
Various supplies during the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak have been scarce. For some patients living with Duchenne and using CPAP or BiPAP equipment, the scarcity of distilled water is a rising concern. Don’t fret. Making distilled water at home is far from rocket science, and a lot closer to cooking. It’s easy to make as much as you need right in your own home.
Why distilled water?
Distilled water is basically pure water with no mineral additives – hydrogen and oxygen and nothing else. When using a BiPAP or CPAP, it is important to use only distilled water. Patients don’t want to risk breathing in minerals or microorganisms. If you use the wrong water, impurities like calcium, iron and magnesium can build up in the machine over time and physically break the materials down, as well.
- Purified water often contains chemicals used in the purifying process, whereas distilled water does not.
- Filtered water may also contain microbes and trace minerals which are dissolved in the water, meaning they are able to pass through the filtration medium.
The process of making distilled water removes trace minerals and microbes, by boiling water into a gaseous form and then condensing it back into a liquid. This process leaves contaminates behind, and water with a neutral pH – perfect for CPAP and BiPAP machines.
How do I make distilled water?
They do make and sell countertop machines online, but they are very expensive. At the time of this writing, and in the current stage of the pandemic, Amazon may not even ship it to you. The truth is that distilled water is very easy to make, but it’s important to make it the right way.
Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. When done properly, condensed vapor will not include most other impurities. The following process is recommended by the Red Cross, due to the high risk of microbiological contaminants.
Red Cross instructions for distilling water:
- Fill a pot halfway with water
- Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right side-up when the lid is upside down
- Make sure the cup is not dangling into the water – an air gap is important!
- Boil the water for 20 minutes
- The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled
You should also watch this video which explains and illustrates more about this specific distillation process.