How to Filter Salt Water: 5 Easy Ways

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If you ever find yourself stuck on an island or out in the bush with no fresh drinking water, understanding how to filter salt water outdoors can mean the difference between life and death. After all, even the most devoted hikers might get into trouble if they don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Most of the water you’ll find out there is salty, but with these techniques, you can reduce your risk of dehydration and make it to safety. In this article, you will learn how to filter salt water in the environment and not risk dehydration.

How To Filter Salt Water By Boiling?

Step 1: Prepare the utensils

How to Filter Salt Water step 1

Put the cooker on the stove (electric or gas stove).

Put the glass bowl in the center of the metal cooking pot and set it on the stove. Make sure the bowl isn’t too tall or the lid won’t close properly on the pot.

Make sure to fill the pot up to the halfway point with seawater. Fill it up, but not so much that it overflows into the basin. Keep pouring until the saltwater almost reaches the top of the glass, but not quite.

Step 2: Condensation initiation

How to Filter Salt Water step 2

Flip the cover upside down and place the pot on the stove after the water has reached the appropriate temperature. The vapor will condense and fall into the bowl if the lid is positioned so that it faces the bowl.


  • You can hasten things along by placing ice cubes on the top of the cover.
  • Assure there is no problem with the cover. To put it another way, if we don’t do something, a lot of water vapor will just vanish into thin air.
  • Keep the heat on low and let the saltwater boil slowly to avoid shattering or melting the pot while allowing for simple movement within the pot (if it’s made of glass or plastic).

If you use a stovetop with a high heat setting, the water could boil over, sending salty water spilling into the dish and forcing you to start over.

As a rule, you should set out a few minutes for this. Keep an eye on the seawater condensation as it forms on the top of the lid after evaporation. The water condenses at the top and slowly drips down to the bowl.

Step 3: Remove the bowl

How to Filter Salt Water step 3

After the steam has vaporized and condensed, carefully remove the bowl from the pot. Keep in mind that the bowl will be extremely hot, so make sure to shield your hand with anything before touching it. Avoid contaminating your distilled water with any leftover salt water by taking your time when removing it.

Put the bowl aside to cool off. You can now drink the distilled water or put it to any other use you like.

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination?

Step 1: Prepare the utensils

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination step 1

Gather some salt water in a container. Do not overfill it. If you don’t want salt water to go into your freshwater container, there should be adequate headroom at the top of the bowl.

If you’re going to use a bowl, make sure it won’t leak. Without a tight seal, your saltwater will evaporate before it can boil and condense into freshwater.

This process can take several hours, so plan accordingly.

Step 2: Placing a cup in the middle of the pot

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination step 2

Dot the middle with a cup or other small container. Be patient and careful. Too much saltwater could splash into your cup if you do this too quickly. Freshwater will become tainted if you do this.

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Maintain a safe distance between the water and the glass’s rim.

To keep it from moving around, you may need to use a rock as a weight.

Step 3: Wrapping plastic wrap around the bowl. 

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination step 3

Check that the wrapping is just the right amount of tightness. To prevent saltwater from leaking, make sure the bowl’s rim is completely covered with plastic wrap. Steam or freshwater vapor could escape through any holes in the plastic wrap.

If you’re going to use plastic wrap, make sure it’s a high-quality brand that won’t tear easily.

Step 4: Place weight or rock on the wrap

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination step 4

In the middle of the plastic wrap, position the rock or weight. Place the cup or container in the bowl’s center and do this. The plastic cover will buckle in the middle and fresh water will trickle down into your cup.

Don’t use a rock or weight that’s too hefty, because it can puncture the plastic.

Before proceeding, check that the cup is positioned precisely in the middle of the bowl.

Step 5: Condensation Initiation

How To Filter Salt Water by Solar Desalination step 5

Put the bowl of salt water in the sun for five minutes. Condensation will build on the plastic as the water heats up. Condensation causes freshwater droplets to fall from the plastic wrap and into the cup below.

With this method, you can steadily amass freshwater.

Step 6: Drink freshwater 

Drink freshwater 

As soon as your cup is full, you may begin sipping the clean water inside. It has been thoroughly desalinated and is perfectly safe to drink.

FAQs: How to filter salt water to drink

Is it possible to make salt water drinkable by filtration?

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Desalination is the treatment of salt water to remove the salt so that it can be used for human consumption and agricultural purposes on land. The two primary methods are: The water can be boiled, and the steam collected; the salt will remain in the pot. One alternative is to use solar energy.

Can natural processes remove salt from seawater?

Seawater is pumped to the surface where it is collected through a network of tubes and pipes before being sent to a desalination plant for purification.

Final Words 

It’s not as difficult as you may think: how to filter salt water for human use. If you’re far from civilization, these desalination methods are straightforward to implement with enough time, effort, and willpower.

A solar still is the most efficient method of cleaning salt water when camping. Here, the sun’s rays are harnessed to clean water. When using this method, you will need to dig a hole in the ground, add some vegetation for added moisture, pour in your saltwater, leave your catch cup or bowl in the center, and then cover the hole with a huge plastic.

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