Iodine is light sensitive, which is why it is stored in a dark bottle. It comes in a 2% tincture (liquid) and crystal form. The easiest method uses tincture of iodine because iodine crystals must be kept separate from the drinking water. A similar process as that used for bleach is followed.
Be aware that some people are allergic to iodine, and in that case bleach is a better choice for purifying water. Also, iodine is most effective when the water temperature is over 680 F. If the water is colder, you can try to heat it up in the sun first.
- Remove floating materials first
- Let the water sit for up to 24 hours so dirt or other suspended material settles to the bottom
- After dirt settles, transfer cleaner water over sediment to a clean container
- Run the clean water through a filter
- Add 5 drops of iodine tincture for each quart of water to be treated and stir
- If the water is cloudy, add an additional 5 drops per quart of water
- Let the water stand for at least 30 minutes
No matter what purification process is used, water can be filtered using a variety of materials like cloth, paper towels or coffee filters. In other words, use whatever is on hand.