There is a lot of buzz around distilled water. If you are one of those people who have taken a keen interest, one question you may have is ‘Does distilled water go bad?’
You can also think about the shelf life of distilled water if you’ve just had a bottle or two for a while. You’ve come to the right place—we’ll tell you everything you need to know, including how to check the quality and tips for storing your distilled water.
Does distilled water spoil?
Distilled water, like other types of water, does not spoil or spoil. However, environmental factors such as air pollution and packaging processes can greatly affect water purity.
So, while your water won’t be spoiled, it may be contaminated, making it unsafe to drink. Even if you plan to use mineral water for purposes other than drinking, we doubt you’d want to use contaminated water.
Proper storage goes a long way in keeping distilled water in its purest form.
How long does distilled water last?
Distilled water will last indefinitely if it is stored properly and no contaminants come into contact with the water.
Bottled water usually comes with a best-before date. As long as you have stored the water properly, it is still good to use after this date has passed.
The good news is that you don’t need any special equipment or complicated methods to store water. You can easily store it in the fridge or pantry out of direct sunlight, and of course, in a clean container.
So, how long does still water really last? Well, if you want to use it in your home appliances, we’d give it about 24 months but if it’s for drinking water, it’s better for a big bottle a day or a week at most. Dispose of the opened bottle. .
Of course, is best in its purest form and you can keep it that way by observing simple but important storage procedures.
The table below gives you a quick snapshot of how long you can expect your distilled water to last.
Now, let’s talk a little about how to tell if distilled water has gone bad.
4 Tips to Tell If Distilled Water Has Spoiled
Distilled water is stripped of minerals and impurities and has a poor taste. So, just tasting the water won’t be enough to tell you if it’s spoiled.
Still, your senses are the best way to test your water quality. Use these tips to determine whether your distilled water is good to use or needs to be thrown out.
1. Green algae
Blue-green algae is a form of pollution that forms when nutrient-rich water is exposed to direct sunlight.
Distilled water may not contain nutrients or minerals, but if you leave the bottle open, contaminants can enter and create perfect conditions for algae, especially if you expose the water to direct sunlight. Store in the path of light.
If you see blue-green floating flakes or sediment in the water, it’s an algae infestation and it’s time to discard the water.
2. To be cloudy
Clear water should appear clear. Sure, you can use cloudy water in your home appliances without worrying too much.
But, if you’ve started drinking distilled water, it’s definitely not a good idea to use water that looks cloudy. Cloudiness is usually a sign that pathogens or chemicals have contaminated the water.
3. Away from the smell
A foul odor from any food or drink is never a good sign, and the same goes for distilled water. Sometimes, the water can pick up the smell of the bottle and you may mistakenly think that the water is not good to use.
For a more accurate judgement, we recommend that you pour some of the distilled water into a glass and stir. If the water smells fishy, it’s time to throw it out and replace it with fresh water.
4. Chemical taste
If the water smells, chances are good that it tastes bad too. Pure distilled water has no distinct taste. This type of water actually has a milder taste because all the minerals have been stripped away.
So, if your water has a chemical taste, it’s probably no longer pure. The water may have picked up surrounding odors and pollutants in the air. Exposure to sunlight and oxygen will break down these impurities, giving the water a strange chemical taste.
Tips for storing distilled water
Now that you know how to check the quality of your water, what does it take to properly store your water?
1. Avoid direct sunlight
It is best to keep distilled water out of direct sunlight, especially if the water is in a plastic container. Sunlight will break down the plastic and cause chemicals to leach into the water, making it unsafe to use or consume.
2. Use the right storage container.
Your choice of storage container will make a big difference when it comes to preserving the quality of distilled water.
For larger quantities, we recommend storage in high density polyethylene (HDPE) drums or tanks. Check that these containers are especially food grade to ensure your water stays pure for longer.
The advantage of HDPE tanks is that they do not rust, are impact resistant, keep the water cool, and protect the water from exposure to light.
If you only have a small amount of distilled water, it is best to store it in glass bottles. Unlike plastic bottles, glass will shatter and not release chemicals into the water.
3. Keep containers tightly closed
Whether you store water in tanks or small bottles, you should always keep the container tightly closed. It keeps out contaminants and ensures that the water remains pure for consumption.
4. Keep away from smelly materials
Distilled water, like other types of water, picks up odors. This won’t necessarily affect the purity of the water or make it unsafe to use in your appliances, but you certainly don’t want to be dealing with water that smells like gasoline or paint.
To keep your pure water tasting and smelling fresh, store it in the pantry away from strong-smelling items like paint or cleaning products.
5. Refrigerate after opening
The best place to store in is a cool, dark place. A refrigerator or pantry is a great choice. Just to be sure, refrigeration will not extend the shelf life of water but keeping water out of direct sunlight is a surefire way to keep it purer for longer.
Dangers of using contaminated distilled water
Most people use in household appliances and vehicles to prevent corrosion of metal parts.
There’s nothing wrong with drinking it, but you shouldn’t do it for long periods of time. This water lacks important minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium. Not only does the water taste mild. It also won’t provide you with the minerals your body really needs.
As with other types of water, drinking contaminated can have serious health consequences. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking large amounts of chemically contaminated water can cause skin discoloration and nervous system problems. Long-term exposure to small amounts of chemically contaminated water may increase the risk of cancer.
Drinking water that has been contaminated with pathogens can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, and fever. In severe cases, one may develop kidney failure.
If you notice any signs of ‘badness’ such as algae, cloudiness, sediment, or an off taste or smell, be on the safe side and discard the water.
Can you freeze distilled water?
You can freeze distilled water. Freezing distilled water is no different from freezing ordinary tap or purified water. Some people also wonder if freezes faster. Pure water does not freeze any faster or slower than pure tap water. How quickly water freezes depends on factors such as the presence of impurities, which slow the freezing process, freezer temperature, water temperature, and the amount of water in the container.
Freezing water is actually quite easy and is just like freezing ‘regular’ tap or bottled water. Here’s what you need to do:
- Pour distilled water into plastic bottles.
- Place the bottles flat in the freezer
- Allow the water to freeze for several hours.
To freeze, just remove it from the freezer and place it on the fridge or counter top if you need hot water.
Distilled water may differ slightly from ordinary water as it does not contain minerals and other impurities, but that is where the differences end.
Water will not spoil by itself, but if not properly packaged or stored, the water will become contaminated and unsafe to handle. Freeze, refrigerate or store distilled water in the pantry away from direct sunlight to keep your water fresher for longer.