Why Water From Your Dehumidifier May Not Be Safe to Drink

A dehumidifier is a useful tool to have at hand, especially if you live in humid areas. Humid air contains many bacteria and adversely affects the quality of life. A dehumidifier can clean the water vapors from the air, rendering it fresh and clean.

During the dehumidifying process, the tank collects a lot of water from the air. It would be great if you can utilize the water somehow. It crosses the mind of many people, whether dehumidifier water is safe to drink.

While dehumidifiers can extract water from the air, it’s important to note that the resulting condensate is not safe for drinking. Dehumidifier water may contain harmful pollutants, such as lead and other metal residues, that have accumulated in the unit’s components. Unlike distilled water, which is sterilized through boiling, dehumidifier water is not treated and may contain harmful microorganisms.

Why you shouldn’t drink water from a dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers work on two principles: refrigeration and absorption.

In refrigeration, humid air passes through chilled coils or grills with the help of an electric fan. When the water hits the cold surface, it condenses, and the clean air is sent back into the room.

A drip chamber present in the dehumidifier collects the condensed water. Although the water vapors go through the condensation process, the water, at this stage, is still not clean. Mold spores and bacteria are common in humid air, and the condensation process cannot purify the water from such impurities.

The other method uses a combination of absorption and adsorption. In this type of dehumidifier, water-absorbing material covers the entirety of a large cage.

This cage revolves and absorbs most of the humidity in the air. Consequently, the air becomes much less humid than before.

The next step is a hot electrical fan that blows warm air. When air passes in front of the fan, drainage of the rest of the vapors in the atmosphere occurs. Lastly, the dehumidifier releases the now clean air back into the room.

Both dehumidification methods are thorough in their job, but they still are not successful in making it drinkable. Many people mistake dehumidification for distillation. Hence, they think it is safe to drink this water. But both processes are entirely different and serve completely other purposes; dehumidifier water is not distilled.

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How is condensation different from distillation?

You can purify water through distillation. The distillation apparatus heats the water, causing it to boil and evaporate, leaving behind impurities. The resulting water vapors move to another container, where a cold surface condenses them, turning them back into liquid water.

Distilled water is pure and safe to drink.

The difference between distillation and condensation lies in the evaporation step. A dehumidifier does not evaporate the water before condensing it, so the water from a dehumidifier is unclean and undrinkable.

How to make dehumidifier water drinkable?

Although dehumidifier water is not pure, you can treat the water to make it drinkable. Water can be purified through several methods.


Through the process of distillation, you can remove the microbes from the water and make it drinkable. You have already read about the methodology of distillation above.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis is another water purification method that uses a partially permeable surface or membrane. When water passes through this surface, all impurities and giant molecules are caught in the body, leaving the water safe for use.

You can purify water from the dehumidifier using the methods mentioned above. However, it is still not recommended to use this water for drinking.

Many factors play a role in making water pure. Perhaps the material of the drip chamber is not suitable for intake. For these reasons, you should avoid drinking this water even after treating it.

Alternative uses for dehumidifier water

water tank near a dehumidifier

If you cannot drink dehumidifier water, should you simply throw it away? Absolutely not.

You can utilize water from a dehumidifier for various purposes:

  • You can use it to fill your car radiator’s tank.
  • Dehumidifier water is also usable in the windshield wiper tank of your car.
  • A steam iron requires water to operate. You can use water from your dehumidifier to fill it.
  • Dehumidifier water can also be used to water and irrigate your plants.
  • Another way to use it is to fill the water reserve tank of your toilet.
  • You can also mix dehumidifier water with cleaning agents and ammonia to use it for washing and cleaning your house.

Key takeaways

Although dehumidifier water goes through the process of condensation, it is still not safe for drinking. Let us walk you through the essential points in the article:

  • Dehumidifier water goes through condensation, not distillation.
  • Distillation uses evaporation to make water pure and keep the minerals intact.
  • Distillation is not the same as condensation.
  • You can treat dehumidified water to make it pure.
  • Even purified water is not safe for drinking.
  • However, you can use it for various household purposes, such as irrigating plants.

In conclusion, you should not waste anything, but for your health and safety, avoid drinking dehumidifier water.

With a lifelong fascination with HVAC mechanics and a mechanical engineering degree from Berkeley, Thomas Johnson boasts years of industry expertise. He founded AirComfortLab.com to fill the void of understandable and useful online information about complex HVAC systems. As the chief editor, Thomas strives to provide accurate and engaging content to help readers make informed HVAC decisions.

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