Distilled water shortage 2022

A sign on an empty shelf at a Garwood, N.J. grocery store warns of a national distilled water shortage. (Luke Funk/FOX 5 NY)

Distilled water is an important type of water for millions of medical devices in the United States but some users are having problems finding it.

Along with in-home uses, it is also used in dental and medical offices to help sterilize equipment.

It is made by boiling water and then collecting the steam until it cools to return to a liquid.  Distilling removes bacteria and other contaminants from the water.

Ongoing shortages of distilled water have been going on since the start of the pandemic but they are growing.  Like many other industries, supply chain issues are being blamed.

Why is there no distilled water in stores?

The distilled water section of a Shop Rite grocery store in Garwood, N.J. is empty and a sign warns of a short supply "industry-wide."  The sign limited purchases to 2 bottles but the store was still out of the product.

A check of several nearby CVS stores showed no distilled water available.

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Prices for distilled water are skyrocketing online.  A gallon of distilled water on one Amazon listing showed prices ranging from $15.40-$21.47.  It generally retails from $1-$2 a gallon.

What do you need distilled water for?

There are a variety of things that recommend using distilled water.

Among them are certain medical devices such as CPAP devices used to treat sleep apnea.  Most irons recommend using distilled water.

Many humidifiers also require distilled water.

Aquariums can use distilled water.

Some people also use them for watering plants.