Even though distilled water is a form of purified water, and both are very similar, there are some main differences between the two. To choose a winner in the battle of distilled water vs purified water, we will need to take a deeper look at the facts about each type of water.

What Is Distilled Water?

distilled water in a plastic bottle

As surprising as it may sound, distilled water is a type of purified water. Distilled water has gone through a distillation process to get rid of impurities and enhance the water quality. During the process, the water is heated or boiled beyond the normal boiling point of the water. This is because most of the contaminants (precisely heavy metals, total dissolved solids, and inorganic minerals) have very high melting points and even higher boiling points.

The water boils at a very high temperature to create steam or vapor, which is then trapped and collected. When it cools, it condenses into distilled water. The various water contaminants, separated from the water, will be left in the heating container or bowl.

The distillation process is effective, but it has a downside; organic contaminants. Unlike the non-organic contaminants, these contaminants have low boiling water, which is lesser than the normal boiling point of water. During the heating, their organic contaminants boil and vapourize first before the actual water. This is why additional water purification systems should complement distillation to ensure maximum results.

The distillation process is very potent in getting rid of microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and giardia. It also effectively gets rid of chemical elements such as sulfate and lead.

Due to the extremely high level of water quality of distilled water, it is the preferred type of water in laboratories and medical facilities. Drinking distilled water is not a common practice, but it’s safe to drink because distilled water is contaminant-free.

It meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards of safe drinking water since it has virtually no contaminants.

Pros of Distilled Water

Distilled water is the most potent method of producing pure water. In addition, it has a reputation of being the cleanest water on earth (the main reason it is used in health and science facilities).

Distillation can work on any type of water irrespective of the source: spring water, tap water, well water, mineral water, and even seawater. The source of the water doesn’t matter in the process of distillation.

The pH of the water, the pressure of the water, the temperature, and the level of contamination don’t matter. The distillation process can purify any kind of water. The purity level of the water is 99.9%.

It is environment-friendly because a home water distiller saves you the cost of purchasing bottled water. On the other hand, the water consumption in plastic bottles results in a lot of plastic waste.

Distillation is the only purification method that traps and captures pure steam, making it highly pure water. The water quality of the distilled water is not just high, but it is also consistent. So with distilled water, there’s no reduction in drinking water quality over some time.

Distillation is a dependable process, unlike the filtration process to produce filtered water. Filtered water may experience a drop in water quality over time because filtration involves water filters that can wear or underperform due to clogging and filter replacement. Distillation doesn’t use physical filters, so the water quality is consistent, and it improves the taste of your drinking water.

Cons of Distilled Water

Distilled water is unarguably the purest water, but that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest type of water. This is because distillation also removes beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water. It removes virtually all the natural minerals and electrolytes from tap water to remove the harmful ones. Therefore, drinking distilled water means drinking water deficient in healthy minerals.

Because this process also rids the water of healthy minerals, it can pose health risks to those who drink distilled water. These risks include premature birth, bone fracture, and even cardiovascular diseases.

Like other purification systems, the distiller also rids the water of fluoride, which is excellent for dental health. Hence, those who drink distilled water are at a greater risk of having cavities.

What Is Purified Water?

filling up big plastic bottles with purified water

This type of water is commonly mistaken for filtered water, but they are not the same. Filtered water is derived from physical filtration processes (using water filters). At the same time, purified water is also derived from the same process but further purified through some purification systems or processes (reverse osmosis systems, distillation, and deionization).

Purified water has a higher water quality than spring water, tap water, and even filtered water. Like distilled water, purified water can be sourced from spring water, well water, and even tap water. The final result isn’t affected by the source of the water.

Reverse Osmosis

This water purification process uses a semi-permeable membrane to filter out minerals and bigger particles such as sediments and dirt from drinking water.

Reverse osmosis systems use a pressure pump producing external pressure to force untreated water through the RO membrane, trapping the impurities on one side and letting the purified water through to the other side.

This process differs from filtration because the water flow reverses the process of osmosis via its membrane. It is most noted for purifying or producing drinking water from seawater. However, the reverse osmosis purification system wastes a lot of water during purification.

Deionization

This process is also called demineralization. It is simply removing mineral ions from your tap water, spring water, or well water. Ions are molecules in water that have either a positive or negative electrical charge. The ions with a positive charge are called cations, while the ions with a negative charge are called anions.

Deionization involves a process known as ion exchange, which is carried out by resin beds. It consists of exchanging unwanted minerals for hydroxyl and hydrogen, creating pure water in the process. Minerals commonly found in water include calcium, magnesium, chlorine, iron, manganese, sodium, hydrogen, and so many more.

In summary, this removes certain minerals that are contaminants to purify water.

Pros of Purified Water

Using a purification system to purify water rids it of a bad taste that’s usually affiliated with organic compounds, chemical elements, and heavy metals. This leaves you with fresh drinking water.

Those who drink tap water in areas plagued with a contaminated water supply can install a purification system that will enable them to drink purified water. This way, they can avoid the health risks that come with contaminated water consumption.

Purified water is free of harmful contaminants and contains essential minerals and is very good for the skin and hair, and it aids the digestion process.

Cons of Purified Water

Purified water doesn’t contain fluoride, which puts your teeth at risk of decay.

Except for the distillation process, other water purification methods don’t remove as many contaminants as they should.

Maintaining a water purification system is a lot of work and must be done regularly to prevent the purifier from wearing down and letting contaminants seep into the treated water.

Distilled vs Purified Water: The Summary

There are some major differences that you should keep in mind when making a choice.

While distilled water is free of contaminants and minerals (both harmful and healthy), purified water had impurities removed but retains minerals that are good for the body.

Another difference between the two is the taste. Pure distilled water is not as tasty as purified water.

Distilled water is also more environment-friendly than purified water, which is used by manufacturing companies for purified bottled water.

So, as we can see, in the battle of distilled versus purified water, it all comes down to your personal choice.

About the Author

Lucas Greer

Lucas vs. Wild - Lucas is a true nature lover and survivalist. When he's not teaching science at school, he can be found in nature, hiking, climbing, camping, and rafting. He knows all the tricks and DIYs for making unclean water drinkable with simple means in an emergency. At school, his students love him for his exciting water filtration projects.

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