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Thread: How to Demineralize (Distill?) Water for an Iron

  1. #1
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    How to Demineralize (Distill?) Water for an Iron

    I was thinking - rather than buying distilled water for an iron (or other appliance), is there a way to remove the minerals?

    Remember - in the olden days - there was a tube filled with copper-colored filter material that was stuck into the top of a plastic water bottle (not the drinking kind). I'm thinking that the filter was essentially "distilling" the water (not exactly but perhaps close enough).

    My mother would have killed me if I'd ever filled the iron without passing the water through the filter. Just tripping down memory lane...They don't make those kinds of gizmos any more, do they?!

    Other than buying distilled water, what are our options today?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I found this online:
    http://www.philips.co.uk/c/irons/iro...-gc024_10/prd/

    Rowenta and other irons come with a warning not to use distilled water in them. Not sure why distilled water is supposed to be bad for them, although someone posted that distilled water still has salt in it (and salt is corrosive).

    I think the important thing if you have hard tap water (as we do) is to remove the calcium from the water. I have cleaned the calcium from my Rowenta (and voided the warranty) by using Iron Out and even then I had to use a pin to scrape off the white calcium flakes from the holes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Prism, that's interesting - wonder if they sell that here.

    Well, it's a Rowenta that's on its way out due to horrid leaking. Several new irons I've looked at don't specify distilled or tap. One I looked at requires distilled which is why I probably will not get it even though it has other features I really like. I did buy a Black and Decker today but until I open it, I'll still be looking.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness. After looking more carefully at the product, I now realize that the copper color was probably because the filter needed replacing. HAHA and we kept using it that way for years. Oh, that poor iron.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Oh, now, that's FUNNY!!!

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    I use water out of the dehumidifier. It can't have salt. I have been doing this for a good while and my irons seem to last longer.

  7. #7
    Super Member Angel Bear's Avatar
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    I use water from the dehumidifier also. It's plentiful and pure.
    Being a great quilter is 5% talent and 95% pushing yourself away from the internet!

  8. #8
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Wow!! What a great suggestion. We'll be running ours for the next three to four months - emptying daily.

    Thanks so much!

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    You could also get a Brita or Pur water filter. They are relatively inexpensive. They are meant for drinking water, so can't be too bad for the iron.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Demineralized water is good for stainless steel. It will corrode carbon steel because there is no minerals to form a protective shied. Much more to it but it is definitely not for consumption. It's not worth the trouble to make it.
    Got fabric?

  11. #11
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    My mother told me to use the water coming out of the dehumidifier for the iron. The same would be true of the water coming out of your air conditioner. She just kept milk jugs full of the water saved for her iron.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have used distilled water in my previous irons and found it didn't help. Now I use a sray bottle of water when I need it.
    Another Phyllis
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  13. #13
    Super Member PolkaBabe's Avatar
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    I use Spring Water in my Rowenta. It seams to me I read it in the care for papers.

  14. #14
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    You can make a still to distill your water - you can buy one (I don't know how much) but it would be cheaper to just buy distilled water - as far as dehumidifiers- I assume everyone is back east that has one - I have lived in California all my life and never had a dehumidifier - so I find that interesting. Anyway, I use distilled or spring water - I am on a well system here and have a lot of minerals in my water so I use the other options.

  15. #15
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intoquilting View Post
    I use water out of the dehumidifier. It can't have salt. I have been doing this for a good while and my irons seem to last longer.
    That is what I used to do when I lived in VA and had dreadfully hard water. We had two dehumidifiers going so there was always plenty of water available - lol!
    Betty

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Isn't AC a dehumidifier? I know AC cools the air by taking the moisture out of it. Why need AC and a dehumidifier? I live in the south where it's very humid and don't know anyone that uses a dehumidifier.
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  17. #17
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    So water chemistry 101 - distillation is a treatment method used to remove mineral impurities from the water. Most commonly this is done by boiling the water, capturing the steam (impurities are heavy and left behind) and allowing it to condense in a clean container. Some gimmick water filters on the market claimed to remove the impurities in water, leaving behind a distilled like product through the use of a specialized filter (like your mom's). The idea was that the impurities had positive and negative charges and the filter would trap those. A lot of research proved that was basic hogwash.
    The reason for distilled water in irons is because when there is a change in temperature or a change in phase, carbonates such as calcium or magnesium will no longer remain in solution but precipitate out and adhere to surfaces. This is called scale build up and it will clog your iron (the white hard crusty stuff).

    The problem though with distilled water is that water wants to take on solids (try drinking reverse osmosis or distilled water. You will find it has no 'taste' and it feels funny in your mouth. The minerals add flavor and 'texture' to the water). So when distilled water goes into your iron, it will actually corrode parts of it because it is literally taking in any impurities it can find.

    The answer? Use a dry iron and a spray bottle of water!

    I used to be a product line manager for Cuno Water Filtration (now 3M). They know a LOT about water.....

  18. #18
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Isn't AC a dehumidifier? I know AC cools the air by taking the moisture out of it. Why need AC and a dehumidifier? I live in the south where it's very humid and don't know anyone that uses a dehumidifier.
    Yes it is - but we had the dehumidifiers in the basement. VA has clay soil and when it gets wet it does not drain well so the basements were always humid. As I am deathly allergic to mold and mildew we tried to keep the basement dry.
    Betty

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