Only recently did I notice that shelves that should be filled with jugs of distilled water are sitting empty. Not just at one store, but in all the places you would expect to find it. I just got one of those pod-brewing coffee machines and they insist you use distilled water.

Fair enough, water should be easy to find.

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Son of a gun! Once you see entirely empty sections in a store you can't help but notice them everywhere you go.

So what is distilled water and what are its uses?

In the simplest explanation, distilled water is water that has had minerals and impurities removed.  The most common method is heating water to boiling and collecting the steam which is then free of impurities. The primary uses for distilled water are items that convert water to steam.  Distilled water prevents scale from developing from those leftover impurities.

Maybe your mom used to pour it into her steam iron.

People probably still do...I haven't ironed anything in ages. Distilled water can also be used in aquariums and low-volume humidifiers.  This leads us up to the critical use of distilled water which is way more important than my cup of coffee.

CPAP usage for people that suffer from sleep apnea.

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My girl Brenda works with someone who was recently driving all over Bismarck to find distilled water for their machine. Pretty serious business. So you can bet if someone that suffers from sleep apnea is going to seriously go into hoarding-mode if they find some on a store shelf.  But so will K-cup coffee drinkers.

So is coffee the culprit behind the disappearance of distilled water?

It's certainly a component, but the real culprit is today's public enemy number one for about every problem- supply chain issues.

Commercial manufacturers can only produce distilled water if they have bottles to fill and since the supply chain is so backed up it causes a chain reaction of frustration. I guarantee the bottled water manufacturers would love to meet the current demand for distilled water.

Suppliers could get more bottles on the shelves if they had bottles to fill.  It's a nationwide problem without much relief in sight.  So, k-cup coffee drinkers keep that in mind when you're pulling 4 jugs off the shelf at a time.  You may think you need coffee to wake up, sleep apnea sufferers need distilled water for a good night's sleep.

Here's a link describing how you distill your own water for free! Kinda defeats the quickness of k-cup coffee but is great for CPAP users.

What are the more unusual uses do you have for distilled water?


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