A man and girl looking for distilled water on empty shelves
Source: Getty

Distilled Water Shortage Isn't Nationwide in 2022 — Where to Find It

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Apr. 7 2022, Updated 12:51 p.m. ET

Distilled water can be used for many things, including drinking. However, because it lacks certain micronutrients, it isn't recommended for everyday consumption. Distilled water is often viewed as being the purest form of water you can drink since it “is steam from boiling water that’s been cooled and returned to its liquid state,” according to WebMD. Is there a distilled water shortage in 2022?

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Instead of drinking distilled water, many people use it with a neti pot or mix it with infant formula. Also, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people used distilled water to disinfect their KN95 and N95 masks amid rising mask prices. There have been intermittent reports of a shortage of distilled water for almost five years now and the situation got worse when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

There has been a supply chain crisis in the U.S.

There has almost been a supply chain crisis in the U.S. The basic reasoning behind the shortages is almost similar. While the demand bounced back, the supply didn't keep pace due to multiple factors including the lockdowns and labor shortage. There's also the driver shortage, which means that products are taking longer than usual to reach consumers.

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According to the Consumer Brands Association, the out-of-stock rate for CPG (consumer packaged goods) products was 10 percent in January, which is above the historical average. However, the situation has improved from what we saw towards the end of 2021.

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There's still a distilled water shortage in 2022.

Is there a distilled water shortage?
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The demand for distilled water has risen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A study conducted by a team of Harvard/Beth Israel doctors found that distilled water can actually be used to clean your KN95 or N95 mask, which only added to the already strong demand. While the mask mandates have since been lifted, distilled water is still in short supply at some locations.

The shortage of packaging material and plastic bottles is only complicating the distilled water shortage.

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Distilled water is in short supply at Walmart and Kroger.

If you are having trouble finding distilled water at a grocery store, you are not alone and many buyers have faced similar issues. If you try to shop for distilled water on Walmart's website you would find that it isn't available in many locations. Similarly, even some of the Kroger locations are out-of-stock on distilled water.

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You can buy distilled water on Amazon.

While grocery stores might be out-of-stock, you can still easily buy distilled water on Amazon. There doesn't appear to be a nationwide shortage of distilled water and it's still available on many e-commerce platforms.

How to make distilled water at home.

While distilled water is in short supply at some locations, there isn't a reason to panic. You can make distilled water at home. According to WebMD, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • Fill a large pot with water halfway.
  • Tie a cup to the lid of the pot so that it hangs right side up. The cup should hang high enough so that it doesn't touch the water.
  • Any water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled water.

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