Does Distilled Water Go Bad?

Does distilled water go bad? As the name implies, this type of purified water goes through a distillation process that removes all the impurities in the original water. Distilled water is typically recommended for babies and small children because the water is free from contaminants and minerals that may irritate sensitive tummies.

Now, if you love drinking distilled water, you might wonder if distilled water goes bad at all. The fact is, regular water rarely ever goes bad on its own. Since distilled water has gone through a complex distillation process, it can retain its quality for longer periods. Distilled water is free from contaminants and impurities that could affect its quality, hence the longer shelf life than regular water and bottled water.

Image used under Creative Commons from Nathalie

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the physical characteristic of distilled water makes it susceptible to absorbing carbon dioxide. When left unsealed, a bottle of distilled water may become acidic due to carbon dioxide exposure.

The container you used could also affect the shelf life of distilled water. Plastic containers are chemically treated and the chemicals could seep into the liquid. This is the reason why transferring distilled water to a better container is recommended for long-term storage.

How to Store Distilled Water?

Storing Distilled Water in the Pantry

How you store your distilled water will affect its quality and taste. Generally, unopened bottles of distilled water should be kept in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and other heat sources. The darker the storage room, the better. Keep the product away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners, and dry cleaning chemicals.

If you want to retain the flavor and freshness of distilled water, we highly recommend transferring the products in glass containers. Again, plastic containers are treated with chemicals that could seep into the product, causing contamination. In some cases, the flimsy plastic material could warp, which may loosen the seal. In addition, the chances of algae growth are higher if the water is kept in a plastic bottle.

If storing the distilled water in glass jugs is out of the question, use BPA-free or food-grade containers.

Storing Distilled Water in the Refrigerator

For unsealed or opened bottles of distilled water, they are best kept in the fridge to extend their shelf life. Again, feel free to transfer the product in glass jugs to retain its original flavor and quality. Avoid prolonged exposure to carbon dioxide by sealing the lid as tightly as possible after every use.

Image used under Creative Commons from Brian Smithson

Shelf Life of Distilled Water

According to the FDA, unopened or sealed purified water will keep indefinitely in the pantry. As long as the container is not damaged in any way, distilled water will keep for a long time. In fact, the FDA does not require an expiration date on bottled water at all because the shelf life of the product is undetermined. That being said, we recommend consuming your supply as soon as possible. Even if distilled water has a long shelf life, don’t wait for months or years before you drink the product.

How to tell if Distilled Water has Gone Bad?

Mishandling, improper storage, and leaky containers are just a few of the many factors that could affect the quality of distilled water. If the product has been stored in the pantry for several months, it may be safe to drink as long as the bottles are kept sealed. However, be wary of signs of contamination and acidity. There is no easy way to tell if distilled water has gone bad or there’s cross-contamination unless the liquid is checked in a lab. Still, if you are seeing slight changes in smell or taste, discard the product.


Does distilled water go bad? Distilled water may keep indefinitely but its quality will deteriorate over time. That’s why it’s best to consume your supply as soon as possible. Always keep the container sealed after every use to minimize the risk of contamination and carbon dioxide exposure.