Can You Drink Water From A Dehumidifier


Water from your dehumidifier is not safe to drink. When you look at the dehumidification process, you might assume that the water is safe to drink. But drinking water needs to be pure. Our advice is, dehumidifier water is not potable. You are better off sticking to tap water. Let’s have a look at why dehumidifier water is not safe.

Is It Safe To Drink Dehumidifier Water
Is It Safe To Drink Dehumidifier Water

Is It Safe To Drink Dehumidifier Water?

Reasons why it isn’t safe?

Water is essential but it should be safe to drink. To be safe, it must be pure. Bacteria often live inside the dehumidifier and microbes build up over time. Organisms end up entering the water as it passes through the unit.

The water tank holds stagnant water. If you do not clean your water tank, mildew and fungus can develop in it. Mold makes the water inside the tank unsafe. 

The dehumidifier may also have heavy metals in it. Metals like lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic may be in the metal coils that are inside your dehumidifier. Even if you distill the water, you can’t make it good enough to drink.

What happens if you drink dehumidifier water?

If you drink water from your dehumidifier you run the risk of getting sick. Drinking water with mold can cause health issues like nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and rashes. [1] Mold can cause allergies, respiratory problems, and infections.

Heavy metals and lead from the coils can end up in the dehumidifier water. Metals in water can cause serious health issues. For example, you drink water with lead in it. The lead gets into the blood and causes high blood lead levels. Lead is bad for the brain and kidneys. Heavy metals in the blood also affect how the body produces red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body.

How To Make It Drinkable Or Usable
How To Make It Drinkable Or Usable

How To Make It Drinkable Or Usable?

Even though we are not advising you to drink dehumidifier water, there are ways you can make it safer. This does not guarantee that it will be good enough to drink. You can boil the water. You can purify the water using distillation. And, you can run the water through reverse osmosis.

Boiling Dehumidifier Water

Boiling dehumidifier water will probably kill most of the microorganisms in it. Keep in mind that you will need to boil the water for a long time, upto 30 minutes. The boiling water will also need to be hot enough, 140-160 degrees F. [2]

Distilling Dehumidifier Water

Once you have collected your water from the dehumidifier you distill it. The water heats up until it becomes vapor. This is like how the “steam” falls off a pot of boiling water on the stove. As the water vaporizes any pollution in the water remains solid or liquid.

As the water cycle goes, water vapor collects in a drip pan. As the water vapor cools it goes back down to liquid form, and you have fresh water. The water is now separated from the sediment, contaminating liquids, minerals, bacteria, fungi. These are particles you wouldn’t want to bring into your body. This is what makes distilled water clean drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis For Dehumidifier Water

Reverse osmosis is a technique for removing the majority of pollutants from water. Reverse osmosis works by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane under pressure. 

Reverse osmosis will remove mold. However, dirty reverse osmosis filters encourage mold and fungus growth. Minerals and mildew can ruin reserve osmosis unit [3]

Can Pets Drink Dehumidifier Water
Can Pets Drink Dehumidifier Water

Can Pets Drink Dehumidifier Water?

Pets should not drink water from a dehumidifier. This is even more true if the dehumidifier has chemicals in it.

The filter stops debris and dust from getting into the dehumidifier’s water tank. A dehumidifier will have a lot of debris and dust in its filter if you don’t use it for a long time. This dirt in the water can hurt an animal’s respiratory system if they drink it. It doesn’t matter if your pet is a cat or a dog it is not safe for them to drink water from your dehumidifier.

Using dehumidifier water in your fish tank is not recommended. Fish live in water and are very sensitive to mildew, rust, and other microorganisms. Dehumidifier condensate may also have chloride ions in it. Dehumidifiers also build up dust and minerals on their coils over time. The water from a dehumidifier may have a lot of these minerals in it. Chemicals in the dehumidifier water along with the pH of dehumidifier water may kill your fish.

Where Can We Use The Dehumidifier Water
Where Can We Use The Dehumidifier Water

Where Can We Use The Dehumidifier Water?

We have explained how drinking dehumidifier water with condensates in it is unsafe. You might still be able to use dehumidifier water. Especially if water conservation is important to you.

Cleaning With Dehumidifier Water

Instead of using tap water to clean windows or mop the floor, use water from your dehumidifier. You may also make an antibacterial cleaning solution by adding bleach or vinegar to this.

Dehumidifier water can be used to clean windows, outdoor furniture, driveways, and even cars (no bleach required!). 

Dehumidifier water can also be useful for laundry. The laundry process uses soap and the dryer uses heat to clean away impurities.

Ironing With Dehumidifier Water

If you use a steam iron often, you’ll use some water. And if you’ve ever used one, you’re aware that using tap water creates mineral deposits in your pricey iron.

You can use dehumidifier water in your iron but beware of condensates in the water causing mineral buildup.

Flushing The Toilet With Dehumidifier Water

Another way to use dehumidifier water is to flush your toilet with it. Raise the back of your toilet lid and dump the condensate water inside. 

Water Plants With Dehumidifier Water

You can water your plants with water from your dehumidifier as long as they are not edible plants. Bear in mind that there are no minerals from dehumidifier water like calcium and magnesium. Minerals which your plants need to thrive. 

Use both the dehumidifier and regular tap water to water plants. Watering your inedible or ornamental plants with condensate water should be ok. Still, dehumidifier water may have a long-term negative impact on plant health.

Is Dehumidifier Water Distilled
Is Dehumidifier Water Distilled

Is Dehumidifier Water Distilled?

What is distilled water?

Distilled water is a more specialized form of filtered water. This water is much simpler and less expensive to make at home. It meets the classification criteria of 10ppm. This is (parts per million of total dissolved solids, aka contaminants).  It is much like filtered water.

Distillation is a straightforward procedure. Bring tap water to a boil until it turns to vapor. Some mineral residue remains behind as the vapor condenses back to liquid water. Distilled water is the result of collecting the cooled water vapor.

Why is dehumidifier water not distilled water?

Distilled water goes through a condensation process. But the catch system may be dirty or contaminated with pollutants and trace metals. Water in a catch basin water isn’t as pure as distilled water in a glass or stainless steel container. Dehumidifier water is not potable or drinkable. Distilled water is pure water, and you can drink it.

Keep in mind that the dehumidifier will condense water from the air. While still capturing everything else in the air.  So everything in the air, such as ammonia vapor will be in the condensate.

Final Thoughts

It is very normal to think that dehumidifier water is safe to drink. The process it goes through is like distillation. But, as we have seen, it is not a perfect process. It is better to be safe than sorry. Water from your dehumidifier is not safe to drink. We recommend you stick to tap water!

Dehumidifiers are very helpful devices to have in your home. They reduce high humidity levels in the home. They also help protect your health and furniture from excess moisture indoors. 

Our recommendation, look for a self draining dehumidifier [link] or a dehumidifier with a pump and hose [link]. A self draining dehumidifier and a dehumidifier with a pump and hose save you time because they need less monitoring. Manually emptying a bucket or tank is a chore. 

Take a look at our dehumidifier size chart [link]. Also consider a larger energy efficient dehumidifier [link] as they actually cost less to run than small models [link].