Why Is There A Shortage Of Distilled Water? How to Find

The growing shortage of distilled water is concerning. Distilled water has numerous uses outside of drinking, so those who rely on it regularly are worried and asking: why is there a shortage of distilled water?

The truth is multiple factors are causing the shortage of distilled water. High demand, slow production, excessive use, and a few other reasons are responsible for the shortage of distilled water.

We’ll be discussing these factors in detail.

Key Takeaways

  • Distilled water has numerous benefits like rapid hydration and perfect purity, so its demand is always high
  • Many rely on distilled water for medical purposes (i.e., dressing wounds, cleaning equipment, in CPAP machines)
  • Sudden hoarding of distilled water exhausted supply during the pandemic, making it difficult for companies to keep up with the demand
  • High demand, slow production, and difficult storage of distilled water created a shortage that still continues today
  • You can always make your own distilled water

What is Distilled Water?

What is Distilled Water?

Before we go into lengthy details about its shortage, let’s review what distilled water is.

We make distilled water by distilling regular water. Distillation is when water converts to vapors and then transforms into water droplets.

Distillation is a natural process that separates contaminants from water through evaporation and condensation.

●    Evaporation

Evaporation is the conversion of a liquid into gaseous vapors. We can evaporate something by continuously heating it at its boiling point.

The boiling point of water is 100℃,so it begins to convert into gaseous vapor at this temperature. Since every substance has a different boiling point, we can actually separate water from various contaminants and essential minerals through evaporation.

We can collect the evaporated/converted water vapors into a separate container.

●    Condensation

Condensation is the conversion of gaseous vapors back into liquid.

We can condense the evaporated water vapors by cooling them. Condensation converts these vapors into water droplets, which we can easily collect in a separate container.

The collected water droplets are distilled. Distilled water has no contaminants or essential minerals, so it is the purest.

Where Can I Find Distilled Water?

You won’t readily find distilled water just anywhere because not all supermarkets or departmental stores sell it.

However, bigger stores like Walmart and Walgreens sell distilled water. Distilled water is also almost always available in pharmacies.

You can also buy distilled water online on Amazon.

Why is Distilled Water Hard to Find?

The countless uses of distilled water make it clear why getting your hands on it is becoming hard. It’s becoming exceedingly difficult to buy distilled water, even from pharmacies. There’s even a Crystal distilled water shortage.

People are wondering if there’s going to be a distilled water shortage 2023 too. The shortage may continue considering the neverending demand and other factors.

Let’s review what’s causing this shortage:

●    High Demand

There’s a high demand for distilled water because of its numerous uses and benefits. People frequently stock distilled water, so it’s difficult to keep up with the high demand.

It’s even more difficult to get distilled water for most people because hospitals and clinics are prioritized when buying it.

●    Difficult Storage

Correct storage of distilled water ensures its purity. You can’t store distilled water openly since the environment can easily pollute it.

You can’t also use unreliable storage containers since the minerals within the materials of the container could dissolve in the water, reducing its purity.

It isn’t easy to store and transport large quantities of distilled water, so it takes a while before companies can send them out to stores.

Water companies must ensure they aren’t contaminating the distilled water, so packaging uses most of their time and energy.

This causes a delay in meeting demand, creating bigger gaps in supply.

●    Exhausted Supply by the Covid-19

Distilled water is an efficient sterilizer, so people frequently used it during Coronavirus lockdowns.

A few research suggested distilled water could effectively sanitize used masks, so people exhausted the available supply of distilled water in an attempt to ward off the coronavirus.

People only saw the benefit of distilled water against viral and bacterial contamination and rapidly pulled it off the market and pharmacy shelves, causing the available stock to finish quickly.

●    Slow Production

Water companies weren’t really expecting the surge of people who bought most of the distilled water supply during the lockdowns, so they could not immediately get back to preparing large quantities of distilled water.

While the preparation of distilled water does not require an exhausting effort, it is quite difficult to manage to keep it stored correctly and maintain its purity.

The neverending high demand and unexpectedly rapid purchase of distilled water became an obstacle for water companies and labs because they couldn’t make distilled water as quickly as the public needed it.

●    Excessive Hoarding

The main reason there’s a distilled water shortage is hoarding during the lockdown.

People didn’t really know what to do when Covid-19 struck, so they hoarded everything they could grab. From groceries to toilet paper and even distilled water, people bought anything they believed would protect them against the coronavirus.

Most people bought more than a couple of bottles of distilled water at a time, so it was difficult for stores to restock immediately.

The constant hoarding of distilled water even created obstacles in healthcare and medicine because hospitals and clinics frequently use distilled water, but there wasn’t much supply available.

What Can I Do if There is a Distilled Water Shortage?

We can’t predict whether the shortage will continue in upcoming years too, but it’s best to get a handle on the situation before we get to it.

There’s not much you can do to counter the shortage, but there are always a few things you can keep in mind:

●    Don’t Hoard

The hoarding of distilled water majorly contributed to its shortage. Many still hoard distilled water because they want to be prepared for emergencies.

Although such hoarding is understandable, you shouldn’t be doing it. Hoarding only leads to quicker shortages, so it’s best to only get as much as you need to make it easier for other customers too.

●    Do Your Research

The majority of the people who hoarded distilled water did so because they believed rumors or unauthentic information about its use.

Many sources claimed distilled water could protect you against the coronavirus, so many people hoarded distilled water. While it does provide some benefit, there wasn’t much research to prove distilled water effectively fought the virus, so such sources were later debunked.

Don’t buy distilled water just because you heard it has a particular benefit; always do thorough research and compare it with authentic sources before buying distilled water.

●    Communicate with the Supplier

You can communicate with the supplier (pharmacy or departmental store) to give you a heads-up about the availability of distilled water if you’re getting it for medical purposes.

People who need distilled water for CPAP machines or because they get too sick from drinking regular water should communicate with the supplier to ensure they don’t have to meet with an empty shelf when needed.

However, it would be best to skip buying distilled water if you only use it for possible benefits, not medical reasons.

Unnecessarily buying distilled water leads to shortages, creating problems for people who need it.

●    Make Distilled Water at Home

You could always make distilled water at home if there’s a shortage, but you frequently need it.

Benefits of Distilled Water

One of the few causes of the shortage of distilled water is the high demand.

Many prefer drinking distilled water instead of tap water. Additionally, there are also a few benefits to using distilled water outside of households.

Let’s look at the benefits of distilled water to understand why there’s such high demand:

●    Benefits of Drinking Distilled Water

Why Is There A Shortage Of Distilled Water? How to Find

There are a couple of benefits of drinking distilled water that will explain why is there a shortage of distilled water:

➔   Rapid Hydration

Distilled water is hypotonic, which means it contains fewer salts than we have in our bodies. Our body rapidly absorbs hypotonic solutions, leading to instant hydration.

Distilled water contains no salt at all, so it replenishes and hydrates our body even more, quicker than some hypotonic solutions.

➔   Tastelessness

Water doesn’t have a taste is a myth. Water typically carries the flavor of the chemicals that treated and filtered it.

For instance, tap water tastes bitter or hard because it contains many minerals and chemicals. Water purified through chlorine has a metallic taste.

Not many like the chemical taste of water.

Distilled water has no particular chemicals used for purification and doesn’t even contain salts. Distilled water’s lack of nutrients and contaminants makes it taste like nothing.

While you might think tastelessness isn’t a particularly good thing, it benefits those who have sensitive taste buds or hate weird-tasting water.

➔   Purity

Distilled water contains no minerals, salts, chemicals, or contaminants, so it is the purest water.

People prefer to drink distilled water because it contains no harmful bacteria or viruses that could lead to waterborne diseases.

➔   Safer Option than Tap Water

You might not be able to get pure water even after running it through filters since water can get dirty from rusty pipes or dirty storage tanks.

Some don’t even have access to clean tap water.

Distilled water is a safer option for those who don’t have access to clean water otherwise. Although distilled water offers no nutritional benefit, its purity gives it an upper hand against regular water sources.

●    Medical Uses of Distilled Water

The uses of distilled water aren’t limited to drinking; there are a couple of practical benefits of distilled water in medical and related fields:

➔   Sterilizing and Sanitizing Medical Equipment

Many use distilled water to clean and sterilize medical equipment because it contains no contaminants or minerals that could negatively react against the equipment.

Distilled water is commonly used at dentists’, in hospitals, clinics, and even care facilities.

➔   Usage in CPAP Humidifier

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine provides rhythmic air to prevent irregular or suddenly stopping heartbeat during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea can use a CPAP humidifier for easy breathing while sleeping.

Not all CPAP machines contain a humidifier, so water is not compulsory.

However, distilled water is the best choice for CPAP humidifiers that require water since it is contaminant and bacteria-free.

➔   Cleaning and Dressing Wounds

Medical professionals use distilled water to clean wounds. Distilled water reduces the risk of cross-contamination, so many surgeons recommend dressing wounds with it too.

Conclusion : Why Is There A Shortage Of Distilled Water?

Why is there a shortage of distilled water? Unnecessary hoarding of distilled water exhausted the available supply during the pandemic. Water companies couldn’t keep up with the pace and high demand, slowing production and leading to a distilled water shortage even after the pandemic.

Distilled water shortage continues because people still excessively buy it when they don’t need it.

Many rely on distilled water to sterilize equipment and CPAP machines, so buying it without a reasonable cause contributes to its shortage.

You must not hoard distilled water to prevent future shortages. You can always make distilled water at home if you rely on it frequently and when there’s a shortage.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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