Dehumidifiers are excellent at removing excess humidity from the indoor air. These units condense the moisture into the water during operation and collect it in a bucket or drained outside as it does its work. The water is clean, and you might be tempted to drink it. But, can you drink dehumidifier water? Is it safe?
No! You cannot drink dehumidifier water since it contains contaminants such as bacteria and traces of metals. What’s more, like distilled water, the water collected in a dehumidifier won’t benefit you in any way since it has no useful minerals. However, you could filter the water, boil it, or treat it chemically to make it drinkable.
If this is still unclear or if you need more elaboration, everything is included in this post. Continue reading to understand why humidifier water is undrinkable and what you can do to make it safe to drink.
Reasons Why You Cannot Drink Dehumidifier Water
Most people are very concerned about their health. They are wary of what kind of food they eat and what liquids they drink. Water has long been considered the best liquid for consumption because it is adequate in every aspect.
The body needs water to work efficiently, but not all types of water are safe to drink. One common misconception regarding drinking water is that water from a dehumidifier can be consumed without fear. Here are some surprising facts that will make you not drink raw dehumidifier water again.
Some Cold Facts about Dehumidifiers
A dehumidifier works by removing moisture from the air in an area with high humidity levels into a drainage unit or basin that holds up forty gallons of collected liquid within.
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Most of the time, the drainage unit in a dehumidifier is emptied periodically or, in some cases, when it gets full. Gathering water in this manner makes the air dryer more conducive to breathing since it prevents mold growth in moist areas.
Dehumidifiers are very effective at removing moisture from environments that have high humid levels by continuously sucking out the humidity through filters.
Usually, these units are set at forty degrees Fahrenheit but can be manually adjusted to low temperatures when required for greater efficiency. Dehumidifiers can be used in various areas such as laboratories, homes, and other places where humidity removal is required.
Reasons Why Drinking Dehumidifier Water Is Not Recommended
While it is true that dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and could therefore produce water, health experts do not recommend drinking this water because of the residue and impurities found in it.
Dehumidifier water may have bacteria present in the water to some degree since dirt and debris accumulate in drainage basins.
The only way to get rid of these impurities is by treating the collected liquid with chemicals or boiling it before drinking, but this would defeat its purpose as a non-chemical treatment for removing humidity.
It is better to drink distilled water obtained from standard water treatment processes than to drink dehumidifier water. Dehumidifier water may also contain mold, poison, and other harmful chemicals.
2) Dissolved Solids
The small machine that gathers moisture via a filtration system is not 100% efficient at removing all contaminants since some substances are too minute for the filter to catch.
This can end up producing dehumidifier water with dissolved solids that would be difficult to remove without boiling the liquid extensively over low temperatures for about one hour or more, which might affect its taste.
You can either boil dehumidifier water before drinking it or use regular tap water instead of dehumidifier water, which does not usually have dissolved solids in it
3) Other Hazards
Room air at times could have lots of contaminants such as pollen, dust, and more that might find their way into the drain pan and get drained into the water bucket as the condensate flows out. You might see the water looking clear, but some of these contaminants can be microscopic.
The bad news is, some contaminants might not be friendly to your body, and you might get sick when you drink the water. Pathogens might start growing in your or something worse.
How to Make Dehumidifier Water Drinkable?
If you’re concerned that you may be wasting good water by dumping the dehumidifier water into the sewer line or the idea of reusing the water for other purposes doesn’t fit you, you can make it drinkable. Here are some ways you can make the dehumidifier water drinkable:
1) Boiling Dehumidifier Water
The easiest way to make dehumidifier water drinkable is by boiling it. The boiling process will remove harmful chemicals and bacteria from the water, making it safe to drink after a few minutes of this treatment. You do not have to use a fancy distiller system nor buy bottled water from the shops since boiling works just as well.
All you have to do is put your dehumidifier basin under hot running tap water so that all the collected liquid inside boils away within a minute or two. You can even boil several basins at one time for more convenience if you have multiple machines around the home.
Distillation involves boiling water but extracting steam from this cooking liquid. When water evaporates, it forms a steam that is cooled to liquid form for drinking purposes.
With distillation, you only need to boil the liquid and wait for the water vapor to pass into a glass or stainless steel container containing cooler inside confines inside an enclosed space to turn back into liquid form.
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The condensed liquid can be taken out of this system once enough distilled water has been accumulated in the basin below. You can repeat this process several times for more distilled water output if desired.
3) Reverse Osmosis Dehumidifier Water
Households often use reverse osmosis systems for removing impurities from tap water. It works by boiling the tap water before pumping it under pressure through a semipermeable membrane with tiny small holes to trap impurities.
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The clean water then passes through the membrane before getting sent to a holding tank or storage reservoir for later use. Reverse osmosis machines can also be used on dehumidifier water, typically collected in basins located right beside an electrical outlet where the machine is plugged in all day long with power on while it sucks out moisture from the air.
This technology extracts impurities down to about one part per million or even less than that. There will be no dissolved solids left behind in your container of distilled water if you use it on dehumidifier water repeatedly until all of its original contents have been vacuumed out completely. This makes the process more efficient than using boiling or distillation since you have to do it for a longer time.
In the case of dehumidifier water, reverse osmosis is especially useful if the machine does not appear to be draining its basins properly and constantly leaks some odor into the air around it.
Leakage might affect the taste and give off unhealthy gas emissions that can cause illness in people who drink such water regularly.
Just make sure that your dehumidifier has been emptied as often as possible before turning on any reverse osmosis system attached to its drainage basin so that you do not contaminate your distilled water by mixing it with other impurities from earlier collections inside those basins.
4) Mixing Dehumidifier Water with Other Source Water
You can combine dehumidifier water with purified tap water in the ratio of 1:1 or even 1:2 if you want to dilute it further.
Do not add more tap water much beyond that proportion, or else the number of impurities from the tap water will start to outweigh those from your dehumidifier machine.
Another way would be adding small amounts of filtered drinking water into your container for distilled water every time you open it up to take a drink or pour some out for later use.
You can also consider using containers made from stainless steel, porcelain, glass, and other types of material that do not contaminate their contents when in contact with impurities.
If you do this routinely, your distilled water will always be of high quality no matter how long it has been sitting there inside its container, untouched for days or weeks at a time.
You can also purchase some cover to lay over the top of the container so that dust and other airborne particles cannot get in through any openings around its edges.
Before sealing up the top completely, poke several tiny holes into it with a pin or needle. And whenever condensation forms on the sides of your container, some water vapor gets pushed out through those little holes rather than allowing bacteria and mold spores to increase inside your distilled water storage area later down the road.
5) Use a filtration system
Dehumidifier water can also be processed through a filtration system before you store it away in your container so that it turns out cleaner and safer to drink.
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The easiest way applies activated charcoal within the filter media since this material is porous and has a high surface area for trapping impurities on its surface as water passes through it.
You can attach such a unit onto your faucet or use any filters that best suit your needs after collecting some dehumidifier water from its drainage basin using clean containers beforehand.
This works especially well if you need filtered drinking water right away since the process only takes one minute for each batch by letting gravity do all the work.
6) Add Minerals
Since the dehumidifier water is similar to distilled water, it’s stripped of all useful minerals. What’s more, different filtration systems will remove the little minerals left in the dehumidifier water during processing.
So, you can add some back into it later on before drinking or cooking with it to offset any leaching that might have occurred. For instance, dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt into one gallon of your distilled water and stir well until the mixture is completely dissolved throughout.
Then warm up this solution over low heat if need be so that you do not burn yourself when touching it with bare hands or accidentally spilling its contents onto unprotected skin.
Can you get sick when you drink dehumidifier water?
Since dehumidifier water is not intended for human digestion or use as drinking water, it may contain all sorts of impurities that might make you sick if you accidentally ingest it, such as bacteria and mold spores.
How do you clean a dehumidifier water bucket?
You can use bleach to clean a dehumidifier water bucket so long as the unit is plastic and does not contain any lead. Bleaching agents will come in handy if you need to remove organic material such as mold and mildew from its interior surfaces instead.