The water collected in your dehumidifier is drawn from the air in your home. If your home has high levels of humidity, you are likely to collect a relatively large amount of water within 24 hours.
Similarly, if you are using a whole house dehumidifier, you are likely to collect large amounts of water when compared to someone who is using a small portable dehumidifier.
Most manufacturers recommend pouring the water collected by a dehumidifier down the drain. While pouring the water down the drain is a safe and effective approach, there are other alternatives that you can use to dispose of the water collected by your dehumidifier.
If you do not plan to reuse the water from your dehumidifier in a safe way, you can simply pour it down the drain.
So if you are interested in learning how to dispose of dehumidifier water in a manner that promotes the three R’s (reuse, reduce, recycle) of waste management, check out this article for useful recommendations.
This post covers the following topics:
- What is in the dehumidifier water?
- Can I pour dehumidifier water down the drain?
- What can you do with the water from a dehumidifier?
- What you should not use the dehumidifier water for?
- Can you drink water from a dehumidifier if you boil it?
What is in the Dehumidifier Water?
The water in your dehumidifier comes from the humidity in the air within your home. Ideally, air comprises 1% water vapor.
If you live in a place with high levels of humidity, the amount of water vapor or humidity in the air would be significantly higher than the level of humidity in other areas.
The water in your dehumidifier is a collection of water vapor drawn from the air in your room or home.
Aside from normal variations in humidity levels other factors such as living in a place prone to flooding or that recently got flooded with rain water, laundry, cooking, bathing, and other activities in your house can also contribute to a rise in the relative humidity of your home.
Dust particles and Dust Mites
Dust particles from the air in your home are likely to be found in the water in your dehumidifier. Household dust is mainly dust that finds its way into your home combined with skin flakes from dead skin.
Over time, dust can accumulates in your home and float around in the air within your home. If you feel like the air in your home is stuffy and dusty, cleaning your home thoroughly can help remove some of the dust.
Some dust particles can also end up being sucked by your dehumidifier during the dehumidification process. As such, the water in the dehumidifier is likely to contain dust particles.
Dust mites can also be found in the water in your dehumidifier. Dust mites are common during the summer season as they love hot and humid conditions.
These microscopic insect-like pests feed on skin flakes found in the dust around your home. While you cannot see them with your naked eye, they might be in your home.
If the dehumidifier is placed near a couch or on the floor, some of the dust mites might be drawn into the dehumidifier along with the humidity in the air.
High humidity levels can create a conducive environment for dust mites. As such, while using a dehumidifier is great for reducing dust mites, the dust mites can also accumulate in your dehumidifier water over time.
Mold and Other Microorganisms
Mold spores love humid conditions. If you are living in a humid home, there is a high likelihood that the high humidity levels promote the growth of mold.
While a dehumidifier is great for eliminating excess moisture in the air, some of the mold spores can be drawn into the dehumidifier during the process.
Additionally, leaving the water in your dehumidifier for a long time can also create a breeding site for mold. You should ensure that you empty your dehumidifier at least twice or thrice a week and clean the dehumidifier well.
Ideally, you should maintain the humidity levels within the recommended levels to prevent the growth and multiplication of mold.
Other unpleasant microorganisms that thrive in humid conditions and stagnant water might also be present in the water in your dehumidifier.
How to Dispose of Dehumidifier Water
Can I Pour Dehumidifier Water Down the Drain?
If you do not want to reuse the water from your dehumidifier, you should simply pour it down the drain. You can pour the water down your bathroom drain or any other drainage system that you have access to in your home.
It is not recommended to dispose of the dehumidifier water in your kitchen sink or bathtub because of the numerous microorganisms present in the water that can contaminate your surfaces and increase your risks of getting an infection.
Ensure that you clean the water tank of the dehumidifier well and disinfect it with a half-half solution of water and white vinegar to kill any microorganisms that might be in the water tank.
What Can You Do with the Water from a Dehumidifier?
When considering the different ways to reuse dehumidifier water, it is important to remember where the water comes from, the dirt, dust particles, and microorganisms that might be present in the water.
You can use the water in your dehumidifier to water your indoor or outdoor plants and reduce your household water usage.
While the water in your dehumidifier is dirty and filled with microorganisms and dust particles, it is a great option for your plants.
If you have a vegetable garden outside your home, you can also use dehumidifier water to water the garden. This will be a great water reuse strategy.
Flushing the Water Down the Toilet
Modern low-flow toilets use approximately 1.6 gallons for every flush. While the modern designs have significantly reduced the amount of water needed to be flushed each time, reusing the water you use around your home to flush can also cut down on your water usage.
Ensure that the reused water you flush down the toilet does not contain small particles of waste, as those can clog or damage your toilet.
The water collected in your dehumidifier is a great example of greywater, wastewater collected from around the house such as bath water or laundry water, and it can be reused in the toilet.
Simply place a bucket in one corner of your toilet, where no one can easily trip over it or kick it, and pour the water from your dehumidifier into the bucket.
Every time you want to flush the toilet, you can either pour the water directly down the toilet and let the force of pouring the water act as a natural flush system or pour the water into the water tank and then flush the toilet.
Note: Since the water in your dehumidifier is not clean, you can opt to pour a small amount of disinfectant into the bucket of water to kill all the microbes. This will ensure that in case of any spills when you are using the water in the toilet, you will not be exposing yourself to those harmful microbes.
It is also important to clean your hands thoroughly after handling the water and ensure that you dry any water spills on your floor to reduce the risks of falls.
You can use the water from your dehumidifier for cleaning. While the water cannot be used to clean every surface in your home, it can be used to clean the area outside your home.
You can add some bleach or disinfectant to the water to kill the microorganisms present. This will reduce your likelihood of exposing yourself to harmful microbes.
What You Should NOT Use the Dehumidifier Water For?
The materials used in manufacturing dehumidifiers are not food-grade quality because manufacturers do not expect you to consume the water.
Carcinogenic compounds can leach into the water as the water is condensed and collected in the dehumidifier.
Based on this process and the likelihood of having numerous microbes in the water, you should not use the dehumidifier water for cooking.
The question of whether you can drink water from a dehumidifier is a common concern among many dehumidifier users. Simply put, you cannot and should not use the water collected in your dehumidifier for drinking.
The main reason dehumidifier water is not recommended for drinking despite it being water vapor collected from the air around your home, is the high number of unknown and potentially harmful microorganisms in the water.
To learn more about what you should do if you or someone in your home accidentally drinks the water from your dehumidifier, check out the article linked below.
Recommended read: Why you should not drink dehumidifier water
Can you drink water from a dehumidifier if you boil it?
No. Boiling the water in a dehumidifier will not make it safe for drinking. You use the water in your vegetable garden or flush it in your toilet, but you should not drink it.
While boiling might kill some of the microorganisms in the water, the water in the dehumidifier has come in contact with other parts of the dehumidifier such as the coils that have been made using heavy metal.
Exposure to heavy metals like lead makes the water in the dehumidifier unsafe for human consumption.
It is important to note that, boiling will not break down the lead and any other heavy metals in the water.
How to Purify Dehumidifier Water
You can use a disinfectant such as bleach to purify the water from your dehumidifier. Bleach will be effective for destroying most of the microorganisms in the dehumidifier water, making the water safe for flushing in your toilet.
Note that using bleach or other disinfectants will not make the dehumidifier water safe for drinking or use in your kitchen.
Is Dehumidifier Water Good for Plants?
Dehumidifier water can be used to water your plants. The microbes in the water might also act as organic nutrients for the soil and the plants.
When watering your plants with water from the dehumidifier, ensure that you pour the water at the soil level. Avoid exposing the foliage to the water from your dehumidifier.
Additionally, hold the water tank near the soil to reduce water spills and splashes, which can expose you to unpleasant microorganisms in the water.
Is Dehumidifier Water Distilled Water?
The water in your dehumidifier is not distilled water. It is simply water vapor filled with all mannerisms of microorganisms that were in your environment.
The only process that the water goes through is condensation, which promotes the conversion of water vapor to liquid water.
Dehumidifier Water pH
The water from your dehumidifier has a neutral pH. The pH level of the water can range between 6 and 6.6. The pH of the water makes it a great option for watering plants.
I hope that this article has given you some tips on how to dispose of dehumidifier water.
Some key point to remember when disposing of the water from your dehumidifier is that you should avoid splashes or spills, do not drink the water or use it in your kitchen, and do not pour the water on the leaves of your plants rather redirect the water toward the soil surrounding the plant.