What Is Distilled Water—and Can You Drink It?
More importantly: Should you drink it?
Ever find yourself staring at your supermarket’s extensive selection of bottled water and wondering “What the heck is distilled water?!”
You’ve come to the right place.
What Is Distilled Water?
Mark Mawson/Getty Images
Distilled water is water that has been purified using a method called distillation, in which pure H2O is separated from its contaminants. It’s made by boiling water into a vapor, then condensing the steam back into a liquid in a different container.
Can You Drink Distilled Water?
Eva Blanco / EyeEm/Getty Images
Yes, distilled water is considered safe to drink. It’s one of the purest forms of water out there, so there are very few health risks associated with it.
But here’s the real question: Should you drink distilled water?
Some people claim distilled water can detoxify your body in ways other types of purified water cannot, though there’s not a whole lot of evidence to back that theory up. Also, while distillation does get rid of contaminants, it also removes healthy minerals—like calcium and magnesium—that are present in tap water.
Another possible downside to drinking solely distilled water is that it may pull minerals from your body to maintain balance. This is of particular concern when it comes to your teeth.
If your diet is already rich in minerals, you don’t really need to worry about this potential effect. But, if you don’t take in a variety of healthy foods every day, you might want to choose a different type of drinking water.
Distilled vs. Purified vs. Spring Water
So what’s the difference between distilled and purified water? Also, what the heck is spring water?! Let’s break it down:
- Purified water has been filtered or processed to remove any naturally or unnaturally occurring contaminants or impurities—so distilled water is a type of purified water.
- Distilled water, as we know, is water that has been purified through distillation. In this process, water is turned to steam and then back into a liquid. Because it is pure H2O, distilled water has a noticeably flat and dull taste.
- Spring water comes from an underground source and has risen to the surface. This type of water goes through multiple stages of filtration, but retains the naturally occurring minerals that affect quality and taste.
Is Bottled Water Distilled?
There are many types of bottled water on the market, and they may have been treated with any number of purification or filtration methods.
The main difference between distilled water and readily available bottled water brands (like Aquafina or Dasani) is that the latter is meant for drinking. The jugs of distilled water you can buy at the store are usually meant for other purposes—more on that in a second.
Most bottled water brands you’re familiar with use spring water, as this is the best-tasting and contains natural minerals.
Some companies do distil their water, but certain minerals are almost always reintroduced before bottling.
How to Make Distilled Water
Buy it! Amazon, $119.99 (was $139.99)
It’s possible to distil water at home without any special tools, but, if we’re being honest, it’s way more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, you don’t want to mess up and accidentally drink contaminated water.
If you go through a lot of distilled water or would prefer making it yourself to buying it at the store, you can buy a machine that will make the process easy and painless. If you’re on the market for a good water distiller, this top-rated option is on sale right now.
Distilled Water Uses
Michael Haegele/Getty Images
Distilled water is the best choice if purity is the priority. For instance, distilled water may be necessary for:
- Medical procedures, such as dialysis. Have a nasal-cleansing NetiPot? Distilled water is a must.
- Machines that might be clogged by mineral build-up, like irons or humidifiers.
- Watering plants. Some studies suggest that seeds watered with distilled water grow faster and healthier.
- Aquariums. Just make sure your fish food contains necessary minerals necessary for your pet’s health.
Does Distilled Water Go Bad?
Distilled water keeps indefinitely. If you plan to drink it, it’s probably best to discard and purchase a new jug after about five years.
If you’re using the water for other purposes, though, it should be fine no matter how long you’ve had it.
Where to Buy Distilled Water
Buy it! Amazon Pantry, $0.89
You can find incredibly cheap distilled water at pretty much any grocery store on the bottled water aisle. Of course, you can always order some online—this jug from Amazon Pantry is only 89 cents.