Does Distilled Water Go Bad?

Distilled water is great to have on hand. It is safer to drink than tap water because contaminants such as bacteria and pesticides are filtered out. Bottled water can be stored and consumed later. If you have distilled water on hand, you may wonder about its shelf life.

Quick Answer:

Unopened distilled water will last for 2 years past its expiration date and still be safe.  Unopened distilled water will last two years if stored in the pantry. Opened distilled water is good for one week in the fridge. Unopened distilled water can last 2 years in the freezer.



Determining if your water is safe to drink is easy. We’ll discuss how to determine if your distilled water has gone bad, or if it has more time on the shelf.

Does Distilled Water Go Bad? How Long Does it Last?

Distilled water can last for years if undisturbed. However, bottled water can go bad if not handled properly. Here are some reasons your water may be unsafe.

Expiration Date: Because harmful chemicals from the plastic bottle can leak into the water. It is not safe to drink the bottled water after the expiration date has passed. Although the water itself does not go bad, a worn or damaged bottle will render the water unsafe for consumption. Check the expiration date. Drinking water from an expired water bottle puts you at risk of consuming toxic chemicals. BPA (Bisphenol A) is a dangerous chemical found in plastic. This and other harmful chemicals can cause asthma, dizziness, and reproductive complication if swallowed. Expired bottled water can mean exposure to these dangerous substances.

Broken Seal: Water bottles are sealed to ensure their safety. When the seal is broken the beverage is compromised. Drinking water from a bottle with a broken seal puts you at risk. It is possible someone has opened the bottle and taken a drink or they may have put something in the water. Either way is it not a good idea to consume water that has a broken seal. Safety seals help to ensure the quality of the water has not been jeopardized. Open bottles are at risk for developing micro-organisms. To avoid getting sick, discard bottles that have been opened.

Missing Label: Labels can get torn off or ripped. Unmarked bottles can confuse you when determining what is inside the bottle. It may look like distilled water but in fact, it can be something else. It is always a good idea to make sure the label is easy to ready and the bottle marked.

How Long Does Distilled Water Last?

Distilled water can last a long time, perhaps years. There are some instances when the water is not safe to drink.

Shelf Life:  Distilled water can last for years on the shelf. If stored properly distilled water does not spoil or go bad. It is important to check the condition of the bottle. Damaged bottles are a sign the water is not safe to drink. Also, check the expiration date on the bottle. If there is no expiration date present, a visual check should help you out. Water should be clear and not cloudy. Distilled water should have a refreshing taste. If the water tastes bad or is bitter, it should not be consumed. Water should be free of floating particles or discoloration.

Storage:  Distilled water should be stored in a cool dry location to optimize shelf life. When well maintained, the bottled water can last years on the shelf. It is not a good idea to store distilled water in extreme heat. Heat causes plastic chemicals to seep into the water at an increased rate. Do not store water in a hot location, instead keep water in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Low Long Does Distill Water Last Outside?

Distilled water can be stored outside in a cool location. Extreme heat can compromise water bottles so be careful when storing. Follow these guidelines to keep water safe outside.

Avoid Sunlight:   Direct sunlight can cause the water bottle to heat and release toxic chemicals into the water. These chemicals can cause you to become sick and suffer other side-effects. When storing distilled water outside find a cool location, such as under a tree, or inside a cooler to avoid exposure to sunlight.

Avoid Extreme Heat:  Just like with direct sunlight extreme heat is bad for the bottled water. High temperatures can cause seepage of harmful chemicals into the plastic bottle. On hot days, do not store water bottles outside. Instead opt for a cooler place such as a cabinet, or in a cooler. If water is in a hot location, remove it as soon as possible to avoid damage to the bottle and chemical contamination.

How Long Does Distilled Water Last in the Fridge?

Refrigerators keep distilled water cold. Refrigerated water is great to have on a hot day or after a long workout. Water can be kept in the fridge for some time, but there are a few things to remember.

Refrigerate After Opening:  Once the distilled water bottle has been opened it is more subjected to bacteria growth. Opened water bottles stored at room temperature grow bacteria at a faster rate than those stored in the refrigerator. That is because bacteria grow faster in a warm environment. The refrigerator keeps the beverage cold and slows the growth of microbes.

Keep Bottles Sealed:  If you want to keep your distilled water refrigerated for a long time, do not open. Unopened water bottles can last years in a refrigerator without a problem. The seal prevents odors from the refrigerator from seeping into the water bottle. It also helps to ensure food particles and other contaminants are not introduced to the water.

How Long Does Distilled Water Last in the Freezer?

Distilled water can be frozen and drunk later. Freezing water is a great way to preserve it. Frozen water will not go bad unless there is damage to the bottle. Here are a couple of benefits to freezing water.

Long-Lasting:  Water can be kept in the freezer for an extended period of time. If unopened, frozen distilled water can last in the freezer for years.  The cold is good for the bottle because it slows the rate of bottle deterioration.

The longevity of the bottle:  Keeping distilled water in the freezer increases the longevity of the bottle. Heat and sunlight cause damage to the water bottle and can make it unsafe to drink. Keeping the bottled water in the freezer help cut down on the growth of microbes; even when opened. Distilled water can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks. It is a good idea not to keep bottles longer than two weeks to avoid the risk of containments from the freezer seeping into the opened bottle.

If stored and maintained properly distilled water has a long shelf life. It can be refrigerated or even frozen without causing harm to the consumer. Safe handling of the water bottle ensures you can enjoy the taste of purified water without worry.

How to Tell If Distilled Water is bad? How to Know if it is Safe?

Water does not go bad. Water can be stored for an extended period without worry. Since the water bottle does deteriorate, however, there is still some cause for concern. Drinking water from a worn or expired bottle can cause safety issues. Here are some things to look for when determining if the water is safe for consumption.

Color:  Distilled water should be clear. Since water is purified, imperfections are filtered out. Nothing should be floating in the water and liquid should be see-through. If water is cloudy or has particles floating in it do not drink. Colored water is an indication of contamination.

Taste:  Water should not have an after taste. If the water tastes fishy, or foul it should not be consumed. Water can absorb the taste of food around if the seal is broken or damaged. If the water tastes bad, discard it.

Smell:  Purified water that has not been tainted will have no smell. If water has a foul smell, do not drink.

How to Store Distilled Water?

Storing water properly is important to increase its longevity. Water can be stored nearly anywhere. However, there are a few places where water should not be kept.

Garage:  Do not store purified water in the garage. Fumes from chemicals in the garage can be absorbed in the water bottle and cause the water to become unsafe. Also, garages without air conditioning can become hot and cause damage to the bottle.

Cars:  Cars can overheat in the summertime and cause damage to the water bottle. Also, loose bottles can become damaged or punctured while in the car. It is best not to leave distilled water in the car to avoid damage to the bottle.

Attic:  Attics can be a great place to store distilled water however in the summertime, the attic may become too hot and cause damage to the water bottle. If attics are properly ventilated and cooled, storage should be fine. If not, storing bottled water in the attack should be avoided.

Can you Freeze Distilled Water?

Distilled water can be frozen. Freezing water is safe and does not cause harm. Frozen water can last for a long time and as long as there is no damage to the bottle, the water is safe to drink. Here are a few things to note when popping water in the freezer.

Keep Container Sealed:  Once the distilled water has been opened it is at risk for contamination from other foods in the fridges. Germs and other bacteria can get inside the bottle once it has been opened. Keep the bottle sealed until it is ready for consumption.

Remember Expiration Date:  Frozen water does not expire, however, the bottle does. Bottles that have been frozen will last longer than those placed in heat, however, they will not last forever. It is best not to drink water that has been frozen for more than two years to avoid getting ill.

Keep Freezer Clean:  Spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid contamination of water bottles. Once the water bottle has been opened it is at risk of contaminant exposure. Even if the seal has not been broken, the plastic bottle will deteriorate over time and make the water unsafe to drink.

How to Thaw Distilled Water?

Frozen water can be thawed and consumed later. If frozen properly, water can be thawed without any problems and is safe to drink. There are a couple of ways to thaw water. Follow these tips to safely thaw water.

Place water on a countertop or in a cabinet and that at room temperature for about twenty-four hours. Water will thaw naturally at room temperature without any assistance. Check the bottle, if no ice is present water has completely thawed and is ready for use. If ice is still present allow a few more hours to thaw.

Although hot water may cause the water bottle to seep harmful toxins into the water, placing bottles in warm water to thaw should not be a problem. Placing distilled water bottles in a sink filled with warm water will cause the water to thaw faster than room temperature alone. If the bottle is sealed, there is little to no chance of contamination.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shelf Life oF Distilled Water

Should I drink distilled water if the seal has been broken?  No, safety seals are there to ensure the quality of the water. When the seal has been broken it is possible the water has been contaminated and is not safe for consumption. The seal should be intact and not disturbed.

Is it Safe to Refrigerate Distilled Water After it Has Been Opened? Yes, it is safe to refrigerate water after it has been opened. As long as the water has not been polluted with a contaminant is should be safe to refrigerate. Refrigerated water should be consumed in 3-5 days after opening because bacteria will begin to grow.

Can I Reuse My Water Bottle? Water bottles can be reused for a short amount of time. Because plastic deteriorates over time it is not recommended to reuse water bottles more than a few times. Wash the bottle out with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Discard bottle after about three uses.

Wrap Up

Distilled water is better for consumption than tap water or even water from a well. Because distilled water has been purified, it is free of harmful chemicals or bacteria. If you would like to leave a tip about distilled water or have a question. Leave a comment below.

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