What is Distilled Water Used For?

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.

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What is Purified Water?

Before a bottle of water can be marketed and sold as “purified water,” its overall level of purification must meet a certain standard or threshold. In other words, its impurity levels must be reduced to a certain level. Water and its contents are measured in parts-per-million, and the purification standard is 10 parts per million. So, in order to be called 'purified', the impurities in the water need to be at or less than 10 parts per million, which is a very small amount. Many consumers get confused about the differences between purified, distilled, and filtered water as it relates to water that can be purchased in a bottle, so it is important to understand the distinctions. All drinking water is subjected to some form of filtration before distribution, plain tap water included. Tap water is generally filtered with charcoal based filtration systems, and then has chlorine added to it to kill of  any bacteria, pathogens and other stuff you don't want in your water. Then flouride is usually added to protect tooth enamel. Purified water is treated to remove additional substances like pathogens and chemicals. The process of distillation is just one example of an extra step taken for purification.

All commercially available purified water meets significantly higher and stricter EPA purity standards than those applied to standard drinking water, tap water included. Consumers should be aware that because of these strict purification standards, purified water may come from almost any source including tap water, existing tap water aquifers and infrastructure, as well as natural springs. Put plainly, water that is 'purified' has gone through an additional process to remove contaminates and particulates (like pathogens and chemicals) that mechanical filtration may have missed, so it doesn't really matter the source.

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