It’s no secret; the best water distiller for most in home applications and families is the Megahome Countertop Distiller. It provides a full 304 stainless steel interior and a glass collection vessel. The water and steam never touch plastic. It has a warranty and Megahome is a 20 plus-year-old company. It even comes with activated charcoal filters! Check out our full review below to learn more about distillation and in-home water distillers.
We’ve all seen distilled water in the grocery store. Most of us have also heard of the stills used by bootleggers and modern liquor distilleries. However, many of us never think of distilling our own water. And that’s a shame… because distilled water has some great uses around the house.
How it works…
What does a distiller do? First, you add water to a vessel. Then a heating element warms the water to the point that steam rises from the surface. From there the steam moves into a coil, or condenser, where it cools turning back to a liquid. The water then leaves the coil and falls into another vessel where it is collected for use. Cool right?
Since most of the things you don’t want to drink are left behind when the water turns to a gas (steam) you’re left with very, very clean water. It’s all about understanding how liquids vaporize and evaporate.
For example, think about salt water and oceans for a moment. Salt is dissolved into water rendering it undrinkable. But, when evaporation turns salt water into clouds the rain they bring along is fit for consumption. That’s because the salt was left behind… too “heavy” to evaporate along with its H2O companion. The same thing happens in an in-home water distiller. Kind of…
Evaporation vs. Distillation
So, while we used the ocean to explain how water leaves behind salt and other crud, there is a difference between what happens in nature and on your kitchen counter. So what makes them different? The process we mentioned earlier is technically evaporation.
Evaporation does not require water to reach its boiling point and therefore happens much slower than distillation. Thus the difference, for the most part, focuses on the heating element which brings the water to its boiling point.
Consumption Benefits and Potential Dangers
Bottom line… drinking distilled water is widely accepted as completely okay to drink. But, since we’re here to educate and offer multiple opinions we’ll take a moment to cover both pros… and cons. Also, please remember that “good for you” is ultimately up to you to define.
So first things first… distilled water is going to be free of things like arsenic, parasites, and bacteria. There are a lot of other contaminants that the process removes, but if you have a specific one in mind we recommend looking that up for yourself. There are just too many to list here.
Distilled water tends to have a pH slightly below 7, making it slightly more acidic (as opposed to alkaline). Is that a pro or a con? We don’t think it’s either. It’s pretty much in the middle of the road. For example, vinegar typically has a pH of 2-3. Kombucha falls in around 4-4.5. And, milk falls somewhere between 6.5 and 6.7. So when it comes to acidity… distilled water isn’t very exciting.
Some people deride distilled water because the process leaves behind minerals. And, while you do need minerals; most of the ones in your body come from the food you eat. At least that’s what we’ve found while reading and reading various studies. In fact, drinking water isn’t even listed as a source of necessary minerals in this piece from womenshealth.gov (it does mention drinking water in the iodine category, but that only applies to certain geographic regions).
It’s also important to note that the WHO conducted a study on distilled water in 1980 that pointed to a number of downsides to distilled water (lack of minerals). Also, there are a number of peer-reviewed journal articles that point to the benefits of hard water.
The other thing to consider is dental health. Fluoride is abandoned in the distillation process. Which can be good or bad depending on where you stand on Fluoride supplemented municipal drinking water.
So is distilled water unhealthy? We leave that to you to decide. But, those of us at Purifier Academy will not shy away from a glass of distilled water. If it make you nervous be sure to check out other water purification options.
Beyond drinking, our favorite uses for distilled water primarily involve steam producing appliances. For example, distilled water will keep those mineral deposits from accumulating on your favorite iron. You can also use it in a steamer to keep difficult components free of mineral build-up.
Distilled water is also used in car batteries. Although, most modern batteries are maintenance-free. But, you may want to consider distilled water next time you need to top off that radiator.
Some people also use it in their aquariums since it provides a good base from which to adjust pH and such. However, it’s too pure to maintain a balanced environment in your fish tank so supplements are required.
Distilled water in CPAP machines is also a common use. And, you’ll often find it in use in laboratories and medical facilities.
At home, you can use distilled water to cook. Near neutral pH helps vegetables maintain vibrant colors while they cook. And for potted plants distilled water might be a slightly better option compared to tap water (depending on where you live and the plant species). It’s also a great base for the home brewer. And, we even use it in our Keurig.
You can even use distilled water to distil liquor (check local and federal laws).
More about the Best Water Distiller
The Megahome Countertop Distiller is available in a variety of finishes and colors. We prefer the black and stainless version, but the white and stainless and white on white versions are also nice. However, the interior is what really impressed us. Glass and stainless steel (304 stainless… a.k.a 18/8) are probably the two best materials to use when it comes to processing water.
To reduce any taste or odor the machine might miss the Megahome employs activated carbon (6 packs included). You’ll also receive some cleaner from the manufacturer. If you keep it clean and don’t abuse it, this machine should last for years and years.
When it comes to performance this unit will craft a gallon of distilled water in about five and a half hours. That’s on par with most in-home distillers.
Other Distiller Options…
Pure Water Mini-Classic CT
We think this machine certainly looks the part. It is even made in the US. Plus is has tons of great user reviews on Amazon.com but the thing is… it’s kind of expensive for our taste. However, if you’re a heavy user of distilled water it won’t take too long to pay you back in savings over store bought water.
TC-500 Automatic Water Distiller
If you’re considering the Pure Water Mini Classic, and the price didn’t scare you off you may also want to consider this distiller. It is actually Nutriteam’s smallest purifier and matches up in performance to other units we’ve covered. However, they do make larger and more expensive versions. We say go for this model if you have a lot of disposable income and like to have commercial grade appliances.