Reusing Water From Your Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers pull water out of the air. The water that is collected from the dehumidifier is usually poured down the drain. It seems like such a waste of water. So… can you use dehumidifier water for other things?
Dehumidifiers are one of the most useful appliances in the house to keep the air cool and dry. While it is an excellent gadget for maintaining a healthy environment, many people do not know that water from a dehumidifier can be used for multiple purposes.
A dehumidifier draws water out of the air and removes the moisture. Then it stores that water in a tank.
- Some people say that the water from these machines is good for various uses such as washing, cleaning, flushing toilets, watering the garden, etc.
- Other people say that you should NOT use the water from these machines because it can contain bacteria, mold, and mildew.
So what’s the truth? As usual, it depends. Let’s dive in and start our investigation…
Is Water From Dehumidifiers Good For Anything?
Dehumidifiers turn water vapor in the air from gas to liquid water. The liquid water drains out through the hose or collects in a container attached to the dehumidifier. Can you use the dehumidifier for anything?
Water from dehumidifiers is good for various uses such as washing, cleaning, flushing toilets, watering the garden, etc. The water can be useful in any scenario where the condensate’s microbial elements and other impurities can’t cause disease (via ingestion) or property damage.
The rest of the article will cover all the various uses of water from a dehumidifier and why you can’t use it for everything.
Why Water From Dehumidifiers Isn’t Good for Everything
We install dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity level in a home. Drier air makes indoor living in humid climates more comfortable and reduces the amount of mildew, mold, and other moisture-loving organisms in any space. The mechanical composition of dehumidifiers ensures they can turn water vapor into actual water you can use.
However, the water often contains a high level of biological contaminants, including algae, mildew, and mold. It’s especially true for dehumidifier water collecting in a rarely cleaned bucket. Water draining outside via a pipe isn’t any better either, as the pipe will also contain these biological contaminants.
The percolated water can also contain material residue from the dehumidifier’s components. It’s not uncommon for some dehumidifier water to contain traces of lead.
These factors greatly limit the use of dehumidifier water to just a few possible uses. The subsequent sections will address some of the main questions you’ve probably been mulling over.
Can You Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?
You CAN NOT drink water from a dehumidifier. The biological and chemical components of the water can cause health problems even in the smallest quantities.
You could technically argue that water from a dehumidifier is safe for drinking if the coils are clean and you collect the water directly in a clean glass. However, that’s unrealistic. Apart from how long you’d need to wait for the glass to fill up, it’s impossible to get clean coils.
The manufacturers of dehumidifiers don’t expect you to drink the water, so they don’t use food-grade materials in the construction process.
So, while you could technically avoid microbial contaminants or reduce them to the barest minimum, you’re likely to still end up with possible poisoning.
Can You Use Dehumidifier Water In A Battery?
You can use dehumidifier water in a battery if you filter out particles first. The microbial life forms in dehumidifier water are unlikely to damage your battery.
Filtering the water ensures you don’t clog up the battery with mold and algae, which can lower your battery’s lifespan. If you don’t have a very fine pore filter for the job, it’s best to stick with distilled or deionized water. They are still cheap compared to the cost of replacing a damaged battery.
Can You Use Dehumidifier Water In A Fish Tank?
You can use dehumidifier water in a fish tank, depending on a few variables. Your location, the fish species in the tank, and the age of your dehumidifier’s coils all play an important role.
While some have mentioned the presence of ammonia, others have detected copper. Similarly, the results swing wildly from “I’ve been using dehumidifier water for years” to “all my fish nearly died.”
Some people have to use products like Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner, useful for removing ammonia and chlorine from water, to make the water less toxic for the fish.
So, it’s possible to use dehumidifier water in your fish tank, but it may be a very bad idea in your specific situation. A good idea is to add the water in small quantities and see how it affects the aquatic life in your tank. Increase the quantity if necessary until you get a definite answer.
Can You Use Dehumidifier Water In The Washing Machine?
You can use dehumidifier water in the washing machine if it’s clean enough. The condensate container has to be very clean, and you also need to confirm that the watercolor won’t leave residues.
The microbes in the condensate will be taken care of by the washing soap, but if the water is visibly dirty, it will leave stains on any clothes that aren’t very dark-colored.
Can Water From A Dehumidifier Be Used In A Steam Iron?
You can use the water from a dehumidifier in a steam iron. The condensate doesn’t have calcium carbonate deposits or other similar chemical components likely to be found in tap water.
By using dehumidifier water in the steam iron instead of tap water, there’s a lower risk of depositing limescale and other such impurities onto your clothes.
Can I Dump Dehumidifier Water Down The Drain?
You can dump humidifier water down the drain. The chemical and microbial elements contained in the condensate won’t adversely affect your drain components.
You can either dump the water manually by emptying the condensate bucket when it’s full or connect a water hose to the unit’s threaded spigot. The latter option is best if you have a basement sink or floor drain. You don’t need to concern yourself with how the water is removed after setting up the hose.
If you don’t have a floor drain, you can stick with the manual option. You have to empty the bucket routinely because dehumidifiers are designed to shut off automatically once the bucket is full to avoid overflows.
So, leaving the bucket full for a long means that the dehumidifier won’t solve the problems you were looking to avoid by installing it.
Other Ways to Use Dehumidifier Water
You can also use dehumidifier water in the following ways:
- Flushing the toilets – this is a fabulous way to use your dehumidifier water and you will be amazed at how much water your toilet uses a year. By using the water from your dehumidifier to fill the cistern you will save a lot of water.
- Washing your car – using water from the dehumidifier, especially for the scrubbing with soap part of washing your car is an excellent idea. You use this water to get rid of the tough stuff and you just give it a final rinse with tap water.
- Watering plants – watering plants that you do not eat such as flowers is one of the best ways to reuse dehumidifier water. You can water any indoor or outdoor plant that is not going to be used for human consumption.
- Cleaning floors – similar to cleaning cars. You can use dehumidifier water to clean floors including garage and deck flooring.
You can reuse dehumidifier water in many ways as your contribution to a greener earth. Use cases that don’t require humans or animals to ingest the water in any way should be your best bet.
You may experiment with using the water in your fish tank, but the microbial and chemical elements in it mean it’s unsafe for most life forms.
- Fresh Air Devices: Can You Drink Water From A Dehumidifier? (Explained)
- Stanford Mag: Don’t Drink the Water (From Your Dehumidifier): Essential Answer
- Live Strong: Uses for Dehumidifier Water
- MC Gill: Is water from a dehumidifier drinkable?
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