Does distilled water go bad? – Quick answer – No, distilled water does not go bad, nor do its properties deteriorate over time. However, because distilled water is stored in a plastic container most of the time, the water may become contaminated if exposed to heat or not kept in a cool place.
In this post, we will share some of the facts that can cause distilled water to go bad, as well as how important it is to properly care for and store it for greater durability; we will also be talking about the shelf-life for distilled water. While the quick answer to this question is a big NO, there can be some circumstances that can cause your distilled water to go bad. Keep scrolling to learn more about if distilled water goes bad.
What Is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is defined scientifically as being made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, and its molecule is represented chemically by the formula H2O. The liquid component has gone through a distillation process to remove impurities and ions from the source water.
In other words, distilled water is purified water obtained through a distillation process that involves the boiling and evaporation of water containing impurities in a distiller, followed by the collection of the condensed water vapor that has been generated. Through the distillation process, distilled water removes 99.9% of minerals from water.
Is boiled water the same as distilled water?
No, it is critical to understand that boiling and distillation are two different methods of producing pure water. While boiling water is a more convenient way of purifying water by heating it until it boils, it is mostly used in emergencies when there is no safe water to drink. Although boiling water kills most bacteria, it does not remove dirt, minerals, or compounds from the water. To do so, the water must be “purified,” which means it must be separated from impurities. On the other hand, distilled water, separates all impurities, including minerals and microorganisms; this process can take several hours, unlike boiling water, which takes only a few minutes.
What is distilled water used for?
Distilled water is used for a variety of applications, including as a chemical reagent, a solvent, a multipurpose cleaner, and primarily in medicine; however, it can also be used to hydrate, cleanse, and moisturize our bodies and skin. Distilled water is free of chemicals, components, toxins, viruses, and bacteria and has a 5-year shelf life. Some people use it with powdered baby formula or to make clear ice cubes.
Why Does Distilled Water Have An Expiration Date?
When you buy distilled water in a store, it usually comes in a jug or plastic container, which means it has to have an expiration date in order for the product to be sold, this is required by the WHO (World Health Organization), and the expiration date is usually due to a problem with the container rather than the water itself. The components of the plastic may alter the taste of the water; however, the problem arises when the plastic bottle begins to decompose and contaminates the content of the container, which is why it has an expiration date.
Can you use unopened distilled water past the expiration date?
Yes, you can use unopened distilled water past its expiration date, because, as previously stated, there is no problem with using distilled water with an expiration date as long as the storage and care are good. The expiration date is simply a general regulatory process imposed by the WHO (World Health Organization) on products for sale; without an expiration date, they cannot be sold. The true problem is the plastic container because when it decomposes, it releases chemicals that contaminate the water, resulting in a bad odor and in some cases, even bad taste. Distilled water does not deteriorate or become harmful to health over time if the appropriate care and storage are done, but the container does.
That being said, the following factors should be considered:
- Distilled water, in a bottle (unopened), can last up to 5+ years.
- Distilled water, in a bottle (open, for appliance use) can last up to 1 year.
- Distilled water, in a bottle (open, for drinking) can last up to 4 to 7 days.
- Distilled water made at home can last up to 4 to 7 days.
How Long Does Distilled Water Last Unopened?
If you plan to use the distilled water for home appliances, it can easily last up to 3 to 5 years without being opened. Distilled water, like tap water, has an indefinite shelf life.
Does sealed distilled water go bad?
No, if you store distilled water properly and take good care of it, it will not go bad. However, even if it was sealed, it can go bad if it was exposed to direct sunlight and stored in an improper location. So, it is critical to consider all of the factors to ensure that your distilled water does not become contaminated.
How Long Does Distilled Water Last Once Open?
If the distilled water is for personal use, meaning to drink, it should be consumed within 7 days after being opened. However, depending on storage and care, it can last for a year or two for other purposes, like home appliances.
Does open distilled water go bad?
Yes, it is possible that after opening the bottle, the distilled water begins to emit a strange odor and thus does not taste good, but as explained before, this is often due to the plastic of the container rather than the water. However, if the smell of the distilled water has changed significantly, or if you discover that some impurity has gotten into the container, please discard the water. It is recommended that if the water is for drinking, it be consumed within 7 days of being opened.
How to Store Sealed Distilled Water
If the process is done at home, the most convenient way to store distilled water is in glass bottles, but if it is bought, it is recommended to store the water in its original container. In addition, keeping your distilled water at room temperature and away from direct sunlight are important factors in keeping it in optimal condition.
How to Store Opened Distilled Water
It is best to store the distilled water in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, just as it was when it was sealed. Similarly, as previously stated, you should keep in mind that when you open a bottle of water to drink, its shelf life is approximately 4–7 days, and if it begins to smell bad and have a bad taste, it is best to throw it away. However, if it is for multipurpose use, the water can last anywhere from a couple of months to even 1-2 years if properly sealed and under the conditions stated above.
How To Tell If Distilled Water Has Gone Bad
If you notice changes in the appearance and smell of the water, it is possible that it is no longer in such good condition. However, as previously stated, plastic is the cause of these changes because the duration of distilled water is quite long. Nevertheless, certain factors, such as the smell, taste, and color of the water, should be considered if you notice any changes.
Green tint to the jug of water (algae growth)
When water remains stagnant for an extended period of time without movement, it tends to turn green; it is best to move it occasionally so that these algae do not grow or turn that green color. Furthermore, if the container is not cleaned on a regular basis or is left in direct sunlight, the warmth and moisture can promote algal growth. Algal blooms can also occur if your container is left open in warm weather. And most importantly, if you find yourself in this situation, do not drink the water. It’s best to throw it away and buy new bottles if you prefer to do it yourself at home.
Cloudy appearance when poured
Basically, if the water receives too much heat as a result of being stored in a warm environment, the bottle will become cloudy, and cloudiness in water is usually a sign that bacteria, organisms, and/or toxins have contaminated it. So, drinking cloudy water is definitely not a good idea.
The boiling point of distilled water is much higher than that of ordinary water, and its taste and odor properties are completely absent. But if you identify a bad smell, it will almost certainly result in a bad taste. If this is the case, do not drink or use this distilled water because it is possible that it has simply been contaminated with air and is no longer as pure. Heat and direct sunlight can cause these impurities to degrade, resulting in a bad smell and taste. Proper storage goes a long way toward preserving the purity of distilled water.
Does distilled water go bad in heat?
Yes, is the simple answer. When distilled water is exposed to direct sunlight, it can go bad, especially if the container is plastic. Heat causes the plastic to release chemicals that alter the purity of the water, which is why storing it in a cool place is recommended.
Can distilled water grow bacteria?
Yes, distilled water has the potential to produce bacteria, but this will depend on how carefully you handle it. To avoid contamination, keep the container tightly closed and in a cool place.
Can distilled water get moldy?
The possibility of mold in distilled water is almost zero because all mineral content is removed during the distillation process, making it pure. Mold and bacteria are more likely to be found in tap water.
Is distilled water in plastic jugs safe to drink?
Yes, it is safe. But it is strongly advised to store distilled water in glass containers if the process is done at home. However, if the original container is plastic, it is not recommended to switch to another container. Plastic releases certain chemicals that can contaminate water over time, so while distilled water does not expire, if its container is plastic, it is best to consume it before it becomes contaminated by plastic.
Does distilled water have to be refrigerated after opening?
Not necessarily, but if you prefer colder water, it is fine to refrigerate it and, most importantly, close the container tightly for longer durability.
Does distilled baby water go bad?
Yes, it can go bad if it’s not handled correctly. As we have already stated throughout this post, distilled water can last up to 5 years if properly cared for and stored, and it can last a few months, or even 1 to 2 years once opened if properly cared for. However, if the distilled water is for your baby, additional precautions must be taken for your baby’s safety and, more importantly, your baby’s health.
Can You Use Expired Distilled Water In A Humidifier?
There is no problem using the content if the expiration date has already passed in a closed container as long as the water is still in good condition, but there is a problem using it if it has already been opened and if its appearance is different or contaminated. But, without a doubt, distilled water is the best choice for your humidifier because it gives your machine life and is also healthier for you.
Conclusion: Yes, Distilled Water Can Go Bad
To summarize, distilled water can be ruined, but this is obviously dependent on how well it is cared for and, of course, how well it is stored. Your distilled water should not become contaminated and should last for years if proper precautions are taken. But, of course, there are some important factors to consider in order to keep the distilled water in good condition, so if you read through this post, you now know what is required to keep the distilled water in good condition for a longer period of time.