How to Make Steam-Distilled Water Using a Pressure Cooker

Written by chelsea anderson
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How to Make Steam-Distilled Water Using a Pressure Cooker
Distilling water at home can be an economical way to purify water for drinking and other uses. (Blue water background image by Sergey Kolesnikov from

Without water, people can die in as few as three days. Water is vital to the proper function of the human body, so access to clean water is important. In certain circumstances, such as natural disasters or water main breaks, clean water may be unavailable; knowing how to distil water can be a life saver. Steam distillation is a simple way to purify water that you can do at home using a pressure cooker.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tube
  • Two additional pots

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  1. 1

    Remove the weight from the lid of the pressure cooker and attach the tube to the pressure cooker's steam outlet.

  2. 2

    Place the other two pots near the pressure cooker.

  3. 3

    Fill the pressure cooker and the second pot with unheated water and coil a significant length of the tube in the second pot. Allow the end of the tube to empty into the third, empty pot.

  4. 4

    Turn on the pressure cooker and bring the water to a low boil. Steam will flow through the steam outlet into the tube and be cooled back to water as it passes through the second pot. The water in the third pot will be distilled and free from impurities.

  5. 5

    Turn off the pressure cooker before all the water has boiled away to prevent equipment damage and to keep the steam distilled water as pure as possible.

Tips and warnings

  • Boil the tube in hot water before use to keep it from affecting the purity of your steam distilled water.
  • Have a safe, clean container on hand for the water.
  • Consider having enough water on hand for several days' worth in case of emergency.
  • Do not use any leftover water in the pressure cooker, nor water in the second pot, as these are still impure.
  • Make sure the tube is rated as safe for high temperatures.

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