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How to Turn Salt Water to Drinking Water? All Methods

Published by: Paulo Baker

How to Turn Salt Water to Drinking Water

The method of taking salt out of saltwater is known as desalination. The process is usually required for people living in regions where there is no pure and safe water to drink. One may also require this when stuck in a place without salt-free and clean water to drink.

Let’s see a couple of common methods to turn salt water to drinking water…

How to Turn Salt Water to Drinking Water

Here are a few methods you can use to turn salt water to drinking water…

Method 1: Using a Pot and a Gas Stove 

  1. Take a big pot with its cover and glass. Make sure that the glass is sufficiently large for holding a decent amount of water when you will filter it. Also, the height of the glass should be small enough so that you will be able to place it inside your pot and cover it with its lid. 
  2. We recommend that you use metal or pyrex glass as both of them are safe to use. Some other kinds of glass may blow up if you expose them to heat. For instance, a plastic glass will either lose its shape or completely melt. 
  3. Start pouring the saltwater into this pot gradually. Make sure that you don’t end up overfilling it. This way, the saltwater won’t fall into your freshwater glass during boiling.
  4. Put the lid in an upside-down position on your pot. This way, the vapor will flow into the glass during condensation. The lid handle must be facing downwards to your glass and positioned right above it. 
  5. The lid must be fairly sealed. Otherwise, plenty of steam may escape, decreasing the clean water vapor supply. 
  6. Now boil this water at a low flame so that the saltwater doesn’t end up spilling out in the glass. The glass may also break if it’s kept at high heat. 
  7. Keep a check on your water during the condensation process. The droplets of water will start appearing on the surface of the pot lid. They will then move towards the handle and fall directly into your glass. This process may take up to 20-25 minutes or a little more. 
  8. Before you go on to drink this water, make sure that you first wait for a few minutes. Both the water as well as the glass must be hot. 

You will also notice a little saltwater remaining inside the pot, so make sure that you don’t end up mixing this water with the clean water. 

Just try not to get burnt or use a potholder for taking the glass out. 

Method 2: Solar Desalination

Solar desalination, or the process of using renewable energy to remove salt from water for drinking, is becoming a new solution for people in areas with limited resources.

The goal of solar desalination is to reduce the dependence on polluting energy sources and eliminate the importation of seawater, which can also include the removal of salt.

  1. Pour your saltwater into any container. Just remember to not overfill it. Leave a little room at the container’s top to prevent the saltwater from mixing with the freshwater.
  2. The container that you are using must be watertight so make sure to check that it is not leaking. Most importantly, the entire process may take up to a few hours so keep in mind to have ample sunlight. 
  3. Put a cup inside the center of this container slowly. The glass rim must be above the water level. Make sure that it doesn’t slide around. 
  4. Take plastic wrap for covering the container. This wrap should not be very loose or very tight. It must be sealed tightly and appropriately on the container’s top.
  5. In case the wrap has any leaks, water vapor from the clean water will escape. Hence, make sure you use a good company wrap so that it doesn’t end up getting torn. 
  6. Put a weight on the mid-point of this wrap. Make sure that it is right over the cup and in the middle of the bigger container. This way, the clean water will fall adequately into the cup. Keep in mind that you don’t use a very heavyweight as it may end up tearing your plastic wrap. 
  7. Now keep this container of saltwater directly under the sunlight. The water will get heated and during condensation, droplets of clean water will appear on the wrap and then fall into your cup. This process will take a few hours so you will need to sit patient. 

Once you have obtained a sufficient amount, you can go on to drink this clean water.  


Drinking Saltwater may not be a very good idea and can result in causing some negative effects on your health. These were two simple ways for taking salt out of your saltwater and making it fit for drinking.

You can use these methods and get freshwater almost effortlessly!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Is the solar method always effective?

Solar methods are a great way for purifying saltwater but they may take up a long time to do so. If you wish to filter a lot of water as quickly as possible, they may not prove to be very helpful. For instance, in survival conditions, they are not effective.

Why is it harmful to drink saltwater?

If you drink salt water the first thing in the morning, it may result in vomiting or nausea, or both. Moreover, it is most likely to cause sodium surplus in your body which can increase blood pressure.

How do I filter saltwater if I’m out there in the wilderness?

Some common methods for filtering saltwater in the wild and making it fit for drinking include using a solar still, boiling, distillation, and using water purification tablets.

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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

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