How long does distilled water last? (+3 steps)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does distilled water last?”, and how to tell If the distilled water is bad?

How long does distilled water last?

On average, 3-5 years is the shelf life of the unopened bottles of distilled water. If stored correctly, water will be good for months past this estimated date. Read the label to get a more close estimate of the shelf-life. 

After opening, It’s best to drink the water within 5-7 days. If you will be used the opened container of water for home or garage appliances, the water will be good to use for 9-12 months. 

Bottled distilled water (unopened)5+ years 
Bottled distilled water (opened, for appliance use)1+ years 
Bottled distilled water (opened, for drinking)4-7 days 
Home-distilled water4-7 days 

Can distilled water go bad?

We know that distilled water is not made for drinking purposes. It is commonly used for household appliances and for filling electrolytes in a battery. In case you are wondering, distilled water is safe for consumption but you cannot completely rely on it.

Distilled Water Doesn’t Expire.

How to tell if distilled water is bad?

It’s not visually possible to tell If the distilled water is bad or not. If It has been stored open for days then It is highly likely to have become contaminated with dust and other impurities but It stays completely fine to be used for home appliances and other related tasks. As compared to tap or bottled water, It is still very clean.

An open container of water stored for an extended period of time supports the growth of algae. if you can visually tell that algae are present in the water, either in the form of sediment or If It is floating over the water surface, discard the water as It is of no good use.

Sometimes, water stored openly for a long time starts to give off an off smell. To detect this smell, pour some water into a glass and smell It. If there is something off about the smell, discard the water.

How to store distilled water?

If you plan on storing the distilled water for an extended period of time, chose a glass or HDPE container for preserving its freshness. Keep the container in a cool place away from direct heat from sunlight or stove.

The problem with plastic containers is that they might leech certain unwanted chemicals into the water over a period of time. 

Therefore, most of the industries go with HDPE containers for keeping the distilled water pure. If you aim to keep the water around for a short duration, a plastic container is not a bad idea for storage. 

To keep the distilled water as pure as possible, always seal the container after use. Secondly, keeping the water container in a dark area will prevent the growth of algae. Thirdly, as discussed above, the cool storage area is important to keep the microbes at bay.

The risks of consuming contaminated distilled water 

Distilled water is made to be used for household appliances and in automobiles. It helps in protecting the metal parts of these appliances against corrosion. It is not recommended to rely on distilled water solely to meet the water demand of your body. 

This is essential minerals like potassium, calcium, and sodium are absent in distilled water. Moreover, distilled water has a bland taste. 

According to the EPA, drinking contaminated distilled water can lead to nerve damage and skin discoloration. Lower doses of chemically contained water increase the risk of cancer over a period of time. 

Consuming distilled water contaminated with pathogens can cause diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, fever, and even kidney failure in some serious cases. If you see any sedimentation and cloudiness in the distilled water, It should better be discarded.

Can you freeze distilled water?

Yes, you can freeze distilled water. It is the same as freezing pure or tap water. The rate of freezing depends on the presence and the number of impurities present. 

Therefore, the freezing point of distilled water is no different than pure water. Follow the steps below If you want to freeze distilled water or tap or bottled water.

  • First of all, the water needs to be transferred to good quality plastic bottles or containers.
  • Then lay down the plastic bottles into the freezer.
  • Now leave It undisturbed and let the freezer do its job.


In this article, we answered the question “How long does distilled water last?”, and how to tell If the distilled water is bad?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.