What is Distilled Water Used For?

steam vapor

Distilled water is highly purified water that has had minerals and other unwanted impurities removed from it. There are many reasons why certain minerals would need to be removed from water, and they are mostly related to the intended use of water. Purified drinking water is for safe consumption by humans for hydration purposes, and minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium are minerals the human body needs. Taking minerals out of water, or distilling it, is for other purposed like cleaning, steaming and other water-using machines. However, for the purposes of drinking water, drinking distilled water habitually is not ideal because the human body needs certain minerals like magnesium and calcium, and water is the best way to get it. On the other hand, water that has had minerals removed from it is ideal for use in household appliances like irons and humidifiers because of mineral deposits that can build up. Industrial uses in laboratories require distilled water for scientific reasons in its use in chemical reactions, which requires a very high grade of distilled water create in specialized processes.

How is Water Distilled?

The process of water distillation involves heating and boiling water, converting the liquid into steam vapor. This steam byproduct is then captured and condensed back into liquid water. This process will remove 99.9% of the unwanted impurities that existed in the water prior, and will leave behind the bacteria, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, mercury, lead, nitrates, viruses and other pathogens, rust, salt, sulfates, pesticides and other harmful contaminants. Industrial strength boilers are used in the mass production of distilled water for bottling and distribution to consumers.

What is Distilled Water Used For?

Because most of the minerals have been remove from distilled water, it ideal for use in machines and appliances that require cleans moving parts, free of calcium or other mineral deposits and build up. For the the average consumer, this means coffee machines, clothing irons, CPAP machines, humidifiers, nasal rinse and other applications. At the industrial scale, hospitals and laboratories require high grade distilled water for many scientific purposes, including laboratory experiment and as a cleaning supply.

Is Distilled Water Safe for Drinking?

In general, in a pinch, it is safe to drink a glass of distilled water. But we know that the human body required certain minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, so drinking distilled water normally, instead of regular purified water, is not recommended. Despite its high quality, whether or not distilled water is safe to drink as a replacement for regular drinking water is not easy to determine. The effects on the human body of drinking distilled water remains an under-researched and frequently debated topic. Essential minerals are removed from the water, leading some experts and dieticians to worry about whether it's dangerous to drink over time.

To learn more about how drinking water high in essential minerals tastes, click here.

Photo by Pat Whelen on Unsplash


by Steve Jortsman