Wondering About Drinking Dehumidifier Water?
Dehumidifiers are standard household machines used to remove mold and dust from the air around you. If you have one in your home, you might notice that the dehumidifier collects water over time. Curiosity is a natural thing, and it makes sense to wonder whether or not this water is drinkable.
You can’t drink water from a dehumidifier because it’s risky. Even if the water the dehumidifier collects is clean, the water that sits in the tank isn’t. If the water sits in the tank too long, the water becomes unsafe to drink as it may contain mold and bacteria that can make you sick.
Keep reading as I discuss further why you shouldn’t drink the water from a dehumidifier.
Why Can’t You Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?
There’s a good reason why you can’t drink water from a dehumidifier.
You can’t drink water from a dehumidifier because it may contain mold and bacteria that can make you sick. The mold and bacteria grow inside the tank when the water is left alone for some time.
According to Dr. Joe Schwarcz in an article by McGill, the water the dehumidifier collects is clean. It’s so clean that you can compare it to distilled water. He mentioned that the condensed water is pure because the water that evaporates into the air leaves behind its impurities and minerals.
Unfortunately, if the water stays too long in the tank, the tank can become a breeding ground for bacteria and molds, and thus, the water becomes unsafe to drink.
So, while it’s possible to drink water from a dehumidifier, you shouldn’t consider it for your own safety.
Can You Filter and Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?
By now, you should already know that you can’t drink water straight from a dehumidifier. But you might wonder if it’s possible to filter and drink the dehumidified water.
You cannot filter and drink water from a dehumidifier. Filtering the water from a dehumidifier doesn’t make it acceptable for drinking because using a filter won’t remove the mold and bacteria from the water. You may only drink from a dehumidifier if you have to, like during emergencies.
Though your Brita filter is excellent when it comes to removing chlorine from your tap water, it won’t eliminate fungus, bacteria, or viruses from the water itself. In fact, water filters often house bacteria because they offer a hospitable environment for them to grow.
Unless you’re desperate and you absolutely have to drink out of your dehumidifier for survival’s sake, you should always refrain from consuming the water inside it— even if it goes through a water filter.
Can You Drink Water From a Dehumidifier if You Boil It?
Alright, so I’ve discussed why you still can’t drink water from a dehumidifier, even if you filter the water first. But what about boiling it?
You can drink water from a dehumidifier if you boil it. Boiling the water in your dehumidifier will make the water safe to drink. That’s because boiling water kills or inactivates viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and other pathogens. Doing so is not convenient, though.
According to the New York Department of Health, heat can affect essential life processes — known as pasteurization, commonly (and mistakenly) called sterilization.
Note that boiling is not sterilization. It’s more accurately known as pasteurization. Sterilization gets rid of organisms. Meanwhile, pasteurization destroys organisms that can cause harm to humans.
In order for the process of pasteurization to work, the substance must be brought to the corresponding minimum pasteurization temperature to kill off the harmful organisms living in that substance effectively. After it’s brought to that temperature, this temperature must be maintained for a certain level of time.
So if you’re still so set on drinking the water from your dehumidifier, it’ll only be suitable for drinking if you make sure to pasteurize it first.
What Happens if You Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?
Unless you pasteurize the water first, you shouldn’t drink water from a dehumidifier for the sake of your own health.
You’re exposing yourself to mold and bacteria if you drink water from a dehumidifier. High levels of mold and bacteria exposure can have long-lasting and life-changing effects. You may experience health problems such as fatigue and digestive problems if you drink dirty water from a dehumidifier.
“Although mold toxicity is believed to be very prevalent,” says Lyme & Mold, “it’s significantly underdiagnosed because the symptoms of exposure are wide-ranging and diverse. Exposure can cause many issues within the body, such as fatigue, anxiety, digestive problems, respiratory issues, immune dysregulation, and neurological impairment.”
Treatment for mold and bacteria exposure is a long, complex, and painful process— both physically and mentally. It’s a problem that’s too prevalent in our society, and it’s not often recognized to be as dangerous as it truly is.
This is why you should avoid drinking water from a dehumidifier. Though it’s physically possible, it’s not worth it due to the long-term effects of mold and bacteria exposure.
Can Animals Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?
By now, you understand why drinking water from a dehumidifier isn’t suitable for humans. You might then wonder whether or not it’s safe for pets to drink water from a dehumidifier.
Animals cannot drink water from a dehumidifier because it is unsafe for them. The water from a dehumidifier isn’t suitable for either humans or animals because the water may be contaminated by mold and bacteria.
“The typical collection tank from a residential dehumidifier isn’t a safe source of potable water, and certainly isn’t up to the quality of commercially-distilled water,” says an expert on Stack Exchange in response to this question. “Every residential unit I’ve personally owned has carried warnings that the water isn’t potable. Even without the warning, I wouldn’t use dehumidifier water directly.”
Unless you pasteurize (boil) the water first, you shouldn’t offer the water from a dehumidifier to your pets.
I know you might be curious about the water in your dehumidifier, but ultimately, the fulfillment of your curiosity isn’t worth it.
Drinking water straight out of your dehumidifier can lead to mold and bacteria exposure, which can have long-lasting effects on your health. Even if you filter the water first, it still won’t be safe because water filters don’t eliminate fungus, bacteria, or viruses.
Though it’s possible to pasteurize (boil) the water to make it suitable for drinking, it’s not a very convenient option. You’re better off steering clear from drinking the water that collects in your dehumidifier.
- McGill: Is water from a dehumidifier drinkable?
- Stanford Magazine: Don’t Drink the Water (From Your Dehumidifier): Essential Answer
- HVAC Guides 101: Can You Drink Water From a Dehumidifier? Is It Safe?
- The Humidifier Experts: Question Answered: Can You Drink Water from a Dehumidifier
- Healthline: How a dehumidifier works
- The Goodfor Company: Everything Your Brita Filter Isn’t Doing (That You Assumed It Does)
- NY Department of Health: Boil Water Response – Information for the Public Health Professional
- Lyme & Mold: The Complex Illness Specialists: Lyme Disease, Mold/Mycotoxins, and Chronic Immune Disorders
- StackExchange: Can I use the water from my dehumidifier for my pets?
- SSWM: A Summary of Water Pasteurization Techniques
You may also be interested in… Can You Run A Fan and a Dehumidifier at the Same Time? and Where Does All the Water Come From in My Dehumidifier?