Would you like to make you own homemade salt water distiller from the most basic materials that you can pick up for next to nothing? The human body cannot survive more than 3 days without clean drinking water, so knowing how to build a salt water distiller of you own may just save your life in a survival situation someday.
How to Build a Salt Water Distiller
Do you know what happens if you drink salt water? In short, salt water causes dehydration due to the fact that the human kidney can only make urine from water less salty than the urine itself.
We have already spoke about how to filter and purify water, now lets look at water distillation. Lets say you are stranded in the middle of nowhere, waiting for help to arrive and the only water you have access to is sea water, do you know how to make salt water drinkable? For your best chance at survival you always have to be prepared for the worst. The human body can survive 3 weeks without food, but only a few days without water. If you know how to build a salt water distiller, you will be able to extract pure H2O from the salt water.
Below you will find out how to make a salt water distiller, and what resources you need to do so.
What You Will Need | Homemade Salt Water Distiller
- 2 glass bottles
- A pair of metal trays
- Homemade rocket stove
- Sand from the beach
Step 1 – Setup the Metal Trays
Position the two metal trays in a way that the bottles will touch mouth to mouth. Cut a notch in both trays like the image above, so the glass bottles can sit a little lower in the tray. Then suspend one of the metal trays over a heat source, here a homemade rocket stove is used, and raise the other on a few rocks.
Step 2 – Fill the trays with sand
Once you have the trays secured in place, fill them about 3/4 full with sand. The sand allows the trays to work more efficiently as a heat sink. The first tray is to help cool the bottle, whilst the other tray helps heat the bottle evenly to prevent it shattering from too much heat.
Step 3 – Position the bottles
The next step to building your homemade salt water distiller is to position the bottles level, and mouth to mouth. Press the bottles firmly into the sand to give them the best thermal contact possible to allow the heat to be distributed evenly. Make sure the bottles meet as evenly as possible at the mouth to prevent any water vapour from escaping. If you have access to duct tape, you could put some around the mouthes to seal them.
Now fill one bottle with sea water, just enough that it doesn’t spill when the bottle is on its side.
Step 4 – Wet the Sand
The next step in building your own salt water distiller is to wet the sand around the bottle on the receiving end, i.e the sand that is not over the heat source. This is an addition measure we take to allow evaporative cooling to take place. You can cover the entire bottle with a wet towel, or even more wet sand if you wish, as this may speed up the cooling process.
Step 5 – Ignition
It’s now time to light your heat source. The sand on the tray will slow down the time it takes the salt water to start boiling, but once the sand is heated enough, it will stay warm for a long time. As the water boils, evaporation will travel to the other bottle, when it comes into contact with the cold surface on the sides, it will condensate, and you will have your salt free water.
Thats it, time to drink your fresh water
You can now drink your fresh water, and hopefully there is no salty taste. You can repeat the process until you have enough water to completely rehydrate yourself.
In a survival situation, you may not have access to metal trays, so you can substitute them with a pile of sand. Burry one bottle in the pile and leave the mouth sticking out the side, then proceed to light a fire on top of the mound. The heat will travel through the sand, causing the water in the bottle to boil. Burry the bottle only an inch or so under the heat source. As for glass bottles, sadly, due to humans, there is plenty of waste floating around the oceans, so if you search enough, you will stumble across a glass bottle or two.