The water in your dehumidifier is mainly composed of water vapor from the air in your home. If you live in an area with high humidity levels or if there are other factors in your home contributing to high humidity levels, you might collect a large amount of greywater that can be reused around the house.
Although the water in your dehumidifier is mainly composed of water vapor collected from the air around your home, you should not drink the water because it contains leached metals from the inner parts of the dehumidifier, mold and other microorganisms, and dust particles that can affect your well-being.
Generally speaking, the water in your dehumidifier is not clean enough or safe for human consumption. As such, it should not be used for drinking or cooking.
This article will give you insights on why the water from your dehumidifier is not suitable for drinking and what you should do if a child, someone else in your home, or a pet drinks the water from your dehumidifier’s water tank.
This post addresses the following concerns:
- Can I drink the water from my dehumidifier?
- What is in the water in my dehumidifier?
- Can I give my pet the water from my dehumidifier?
- What should you do if a child drank the water in your dehumidifier?
- How to prevent children and pets from drinking dehumidifier water
- Can water from a dehumidifier be used as distilled water?
- What is water from a dehumidifier good for?
Comprehensive Answer: Can I Drink the Water from My Dehumidifier?
You should not drink the water from your dehumidifier or offer the water to another person or a pet. The water from your dehumidifier has all mannerisms of microorganisms collected from the air in your home, which makes it unsuitable for human consumption.
What is in the Water in My Dehumidifier?
The water in your dehumidifier can be perceived as greywater, which is essentially wastewater collected in your home from different sources. The water flushed down your toilet is not categorized as grey water because of its high fecal contamination factor.
If you use your dehumidifier in your toilet or an open-plan bathroom (where the toilet and the shower or bathtub are in the same room), the water in your dehumidifier might have a significant amount of fecal matter.
When you flush your toilet, tiny vaporized droplets of water that contain thousands of microbes are released into the air. The aerosol droplets stay in the air for approximately 20 seconds or more. So each time the toilet is flushed, the microbes are released into the air in your toilet or bathroom.
If you are using a dehumidifier in your bathroom, aerosol droplets can be drawn into the dehumidifier throughout the day. As such, you are likely to get a high fecal matter content in the water in your dehumidifier if you use a dehumidifier in your toilet or open-plan bathroom.
If you use a dehumidifier in your bathroom, you should dispose of the water down the drain or pour it into your toilet before flushing the toilet. This will prevent the spread of the same micro-organisms to other parts of your home.
Aside from the microorganisms present in your toilet, a dehumidifier used in a different room can also contain a different variation of microorganisms, leached metals, and dust particles. Drinking the water can increase a person’s likelihood of heavy metal toxicity, which is life-threatening.
For instance, a dehumidifier used in a basement that has high levels of humidity might have mold and microbes that thrive in areas with high moisture content.
Since the water in your dehumidifier has a high microbial activity, you should not drink or allow anyone else in your home to drink the water.
Can I give my Pet the Water from my Dehumidifier?
You should not give your pet the water that accumulates in your dehumidifier. Pets, just like human beings are prone to waterborne infections and can easily get sick if they drink contaminated water.
If your pet accidentally drinks the water in your dehumidifier, you should monitor the pet closely for signs of discomfort or sickness for about 72 hours to determine if you need to take your pet to a vet.
Pets have a lower likelihood of getting sick after drinking greywater when compared to human beings because they have higher concentrations of stomach acids that can help them fight harmful microorganisms.
The higher stomach acid concentration in dogs and other pets does not necessarily mean that they will not get sick when they constantly drink greywater, especially when they are younger. Young pets have a higher likelihood of getting sick when compared to older pets.
The likelihood of sickness could be based on factors like the kind of water that the pet normally drinks, the pet’s current health status, how long the water had been standing in the dehumidifier before the pet drank it, and the microbial activity in the water.
What Should You Do If A Child Drank the Water in Your Dehumidifier?
Drinking the water collected in your dehumidifier can increase your risks of waterborne illness because of the high microbial activity in the water. If your child or a pet drank the “greywater” from your dehumidifier, you should follow the recommendations
Monitor the child for signs of sickness. If the child starts complaining about a stomach bug, tiredness, or starts exhibiting other signs of sickness, you should consider taking them to the hospital for a check-up.
When you take the child to the hospital, ensure that you mention the “greywater” that the child drank during the assessment so that appropriate tests can be done to check for waterborne illnesses. This will shorten the assessment time and ensure that the child receives the right treatment.
Keep the child well hydrated to flush out the microbes that they might have ingested. Ensure that you do not give the child excess fluids or water to prevent water intoxication. About two to three glasses of water within the first six hours should do the trick.
How to Prevent Children and Pets from Drinking Dehumidifier Water
|1. Empty the dehumidifier immediately|
|2. Do not leave the water tank open|
|3. Assemble dehumidifier correctly|
|4. Put dehumidifier away from children and pets|
|5. Clean the area where the dehumidifier had been placed (wipe spills)|
|6. Dispose of dehumidifier water correctly|
Empty the Dehumidifier Immediately
If your dehumidifier is full, you should empty the water tank immediately to ensure that the water in the dehumidifier does not sit in the water tank for a long time.
A child or a pet might perceive a dehumidifier as a potential toy. If you have toddlers in your home or pets, they can easily open the dehumidifier in your absence or knock it around until the water in the dehumidifier spills.
Emptying the water in the dehumidifier immediately after the water tank is full will mean that the water is not just sitting in the water tank for a long time, which will, in turn, reduce the likelihood of children and pets drinking the water.
Do not leave the water tank open
Avoid leaving the water tank of your dehumidifier open when you want to empty the dehumidifier. If you plan to empty the dehumidifier, open the water tank and empty the water tank immediately. This will ensure that the water is not just sitting there waiting for you to empty the water tank.
Assemble the dehumidifier well
When assembling the dehumidifier, ensure that the water tank is tightly shut. If the lid of the water tank is not well secured, you risk water spills on your floors or other surfaces.
Similarly, if the water tank lid is not well secured, a child or pet can easily open the dehumidifier and end up drinking the water.
Put the dehumidifier away from children and pets
Ensure that you put the dehumidifier away from children and pets. Place the dehumidifier at a raised place like a high table or anywhere else in your room where pets and young children will not be able to access the dehumidifier easily.
Clean the area where the dehumidifier had been placed
When emptying your dehumidifier, ensure that you clean the dehumidifier and its water tank well. Additionally, you should clean the area where the dehumidifier had been placed to ensure that any water spill has been wiped.
Toddlers have a habit of licking things on tables and floors if left unattended. While their behavior is purely based on curiosity, licking spilt dehumidifier water can make them sick. So clean up the area where you place your dehumidifier well to avoid such incidents.
Dispose of the dehumidifier water correctly
You should ensure that you dispose of the “greywater” from your dehumidifier correctly. Alternative reuse options range from flushing the water down the toilet to using it in your garden. Read the article below for more insights about reusing “greywater” from your dehumidifier.
Can Water from a Dehumidifier be Used as Distilled Water?
The water from your dehumidifier cannot be used as distilled water regardless of how clean it might appear to be. As discussed above, the water in the dehumidifier is filled will all mannerisms of microbes from the air around your home.
The water in your dehumidifier is drawn from the air in your home with a fan and then condensed to allow the droplets to accumulate in the water tank.
On the other hand, distilled water is made by boiling water and then allowing the steam to condense before the water vapor is collected in a different container.
Since the water in the dehumidifier does not go through the same boiling and condensation process, it cannot be used as distilled water unless it is boiled and the water vapor is collected.
What is Water from a Dehumidifier Good for?
POssible ways of using the water in your dehumidifier include:
- Watering plants
- Flushing the water down the toilet
- Cleaning (if you add bleach or any other disinfectant)
Recommended articles: Reusing dehumidifier “greywater”
The water from your dehumidifier is not suitable for human or pet consumption. If your child or pet ends up drinking the water from your dehumidifier, you should monitor them for any signs of sickness for a few days.
Young children have a high likelihood of getting a stomach bug if the water had been sitting in the dehumidifier for a long time.
Common symptoms of stomach infections like diarrhea should be an indication that the child has a stomach bug. A quick visit to your family healthcare practitioner for the right medication to fight the infection should sort that out.
To avoid such incidents, ensure that you place the dehumidifier away from children, empty the dehumidifier water immediately after opening the water tank, and clean the dehumidifier and the area where the dehumidifier had been placed well to remove any water spill.
I hope this article has shed some light on the potential negative effects of drinking water from your dehumidifier, steps that you can take to prevent children and pets from drinking the water, and what you should do if a child accidentally drinks the greywater.