If I boil water at home, when and how do I know I've boiled the water long enough to make distilled water?

You can't make distilled water that way. Boiled water can be made safe to drink from germs by boiling (that is boiling will kill germs but it won't detoxify from metals or many other poisonous materials nor will it remove most other minerals). Boiling water CAN make temporarily hard water soft(er) by make the bicarbonates precipitate as the carbonate, but even then it must be filtered to removed the precipitate. That still leaves the other minerals in the water, including any poisonous materials.

To make distilled water from boiling, follow these steps:

1. Begin by filling a pot with tap water. It's important to use clean, filtered water to reduce impurities in the final distilled water.

2. Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high. It usually takes around 15-20 minutes for the water to come to a boil, depending on your stove's heating power.

3. Once the water reaches a rolling boil with large bubbles and steam, it still isn't considered distilled water. The boiling process helps separate impurities, but it doesn't remove everything.

4. To achieve distilled water, you'll need to collect and condense the steam created by boiling. One method is to use a heat-resistant bowl or container that fits securely on top of the pot. Make sure there's a good seal to prevent steam from escaping.

5. As the steam rises and hits the container's cooler surface, it will condense back into liquid form, which is your distilled water. The impurities from the original water will be left behind in the pot.

6. Continue to boil the water until a sufficient amount of distilled water has collected in the container. The longer you boil, the more you are likely to produce, but there is no exact time frame to determine when you have boiled the water for long enough. Rather, you should collect the distilled water for a certain period or until you achieve the desired quantity.

Alternatively, for a more precise and efficient method of distilling water, you can purchase a water distiller machine or use a distillation apparatus specifically designed for this purpose. These devices simplify the process and ensure a higher quality of distilled water by effectively removing impurities.