All the Different Uses of Distilled Water (Pretty Much EVERYTHING)
There are many industrial uses of distillation. Distillation is a process that separates a liquid from other substances using variations in boiling points. It is widely used in brewing wine, desalinating water, refining oil, and such.
Of all these, we will focus on distilled water and its many significant uses, which can range from cooking, and drinking, to soap making and canning.
You may think that it’s the water used to feed newborn infants and for laboratory experiments, but it’s so much more. You may not be area of it, but it’s one of the most important kinds of water today.
Interested? Read ahead!
We bet you have heard many people proclaim that tap water is a good source of drinking water because it has a lot of minerals in it that the human body needs. On the same note, they ask “Why use distilled water for drinking? It’s dead water because it does not have any minerals in it. I for one wouldn’t want to drink that.”
Indeed, it is true that the human body needs minerals in order to function well. But the greater question is: Are the minerals found in tap water truly the type of minerals that our body needs?
Well, minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and such coming from tap water do have exactly the same, identical names with the ones found in fruits and vegetables. However, they differ in one, vital aspect: chemical structure.
Where exactly do the minerals found in tap water come from, anyway? They come from groundwater or surface water. These waters are full of minerals because they pass over rocks, which is actually made up of minerals, and soil (which contains a lot of rocks), dissolving the minerals along the way.
Now, the reason why we weren’t born to eat rocks and soil is because of the fact that our bodies do not have the enzymes needed to process the minerals found in them.
Unlike plants, of course. Plants are the only living things on the face of planet earth that has the ability to break down these inorganic substances to organic ones that animals, including us, can process.
That, friends, is exactly the reason why we are plant eaters. Therefore, all the minerals that we need must be taken from the food that we eat instead of the water that we drink.
Don’t get us wrong, not all inorganic substances are harmful for the body. Water is an inorganic substance and yet we need it so much that without it we will die. “Isn’t it ironic?” you ask, “that we drink a lot of water, which is inorganic, but we can’t make use of inorganic minerals?”
We don’t need to break down and absorb water because its main job is simply to deliver nutrients all throughout our body. But we do need to absorb the nutrients themselves, which include the minerals we’ve been discussing.
Therefore, one of the most important uses of distilled water is: it is a very good water to drink because it does not contain inorganic minerals and other contaminants that our body will simply waste time and energy to flush out.
One of the distilled water uses is for a coolant system for automobiles. Tap water contains minerals that is corrosive to the metal components found in the engine. Since distilled water is clear of these particles, it is safe to use in cooling down engines and cleaning.
The same story can be said in recharging lead batteries found in automobiles. Distilled water is essential to maximize the lifespan of automotive batteries because it does not contain minerals that will corrode the metal components of batteries.
Upon reading laboratory manuals, many would ask “Why should distilled water be used when making chemical tests?”
Well, distilled water does not contain other components that may affect the results of the experiment. Remember that scientific studies require precise and accurate procedures that are very particular in involving only the variables that are to be studied.
This is the reason why the chemicals used in lab tests are often, if not always, in their purest form. Otherwise, the researchers will have to account for the percentage of impurities (substances that are not supposed to be involved), because it will definitely increase the percentage error, making the data unreliable.
Therefore, to make things much simpler, distilled water is used because there is nothing else in it besides H2O (water).
Additionally, the pH of distilled water is, or is very close to, neutral 7. The pH plays a very important role in laboratory tests, especially in chemical experiments, because a slight change in pH can alter the entire result.
All these make distilled water the most ideal to use in laboratory experiments, where accuracy and precision matters the most.
Distilled water is preferable when cleaning medical tools – which are used for medical procedures performed on patients – because it does not contain minerals that can cause spotting.
Moreover, distilled water is very efficient in completely removing the detergent that has been used to wash off the impurities.
Distilled water is also used in kidney machines – which are also known as artificial kidneys. This machine is used to filter the patient’s blood in order to remove unnecessary wastes and excess water that the body does not need.
Distilled water is right for this kind of job because it does not have any contaminants that might only worsen the patient’s condition.
Distilled water is perfect for making soaps because it has no chemicals that might only decrease the effectivity of the soap.
Remember that soap is used as a cleaning agent to remove the dirt and grime from your body. Therefore, it is very important to use clean and clear water to increase the soap quality.
If you’re thinking of making your own organic soaps and bath products, using distilled water makes the process easier and produces better results.
Tap water contains:
- Minerals: commonly magnesium and calcium
- Chemicals: usually chlorine and chloramine
All these are not good for your hair.
Firstly, let us discuss how minerals can affect your hair. These minerals, or ions, are positively charged. Therefore, they easily attach to the protein found inside your hair cuticle. As more and more minerals attach to the proteins in your hair, they eventually create a build-up.
You can imagine this build-up as a sort of a barrier of minerals that prevent your hair from adequately absorbing the hair care products that you apply, such as hair conditioners, hair lotions, and such.
These are the effects of mineral build-up:
- It leaves your hair dry and heavy.
- It can even clog the opening of the hair follicle, which leads to increased hair breakage and decreased hair growth.
- It can also cause a dandruff outbreak, due to flaking and lack of moisture.
Secondly, chlorine which is often used to get rid of bacteria in swimming pools and drinking water, can damage hair greatly. Do you remember how your hair feels very frizzy after moving about in the pool? Chlorine is the main culprit of that.
Chlorine is an aggressive element that can cause hair discoloration and cuticle damage. It can even cause such dryness that your hair will end up feeling stick-like in stiffness.
All too often, we notice how vegetables are discolored when submerged in tap water. This discoloration happens when the environment is either acidic or alkaline. Usually, green colored vegetables like asparagus, spinach, etc. are discolored by acids. Whereas potatoes, onions, and such are discolored by bases.
The simple solution to preserve the color - consequently, the taste – of these vegetables, as much as possible, is to use a type of water that is neither acidic nor alkaline.
Guess what? We have just the right kind of water for that. Presenting: distilled water. Yes, distilled water has a neutral pH of 7 that will discolor neither green vegetables nor potatoes.
Additionally, since distilled water is stripped off of any other components, it boils slightly faster than other types of water, saving energy and getting you your yummy dishes much quicker. Talk about hitting two birds in one stone!
Distilled water is the best water to use in canning fruits and vegetables. Aside from the fact that it keeps fruits and vegetables in top shape by maintaining their color and taste, it also prevents build-up and cloudiness that usually happens when any other water is used.
This is because other types of water have traces of minerals and chemicals, which over time can cause a build-up that will result to a cloudy appearance. Excessive amounts of minerals can even toughen vegetables within the can, decreasing the food quality.
Any canned good that doesn’t use distilled water tastes horrible. This is because you’re eating these compounds and metals that have soaked into the food. It’s basically like you’re eating tuna cooked in magnesium, calcium and other chemicals.
Therefore, to keep the contents in top shape, use distilled water.
Plants need minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, nitrates, and such. Plants get these minerals from the soil through their roots. However, it is harmful for plants to be exposed to excessive minerals and salts. Chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine are not good for plants either.
The thing is, all these are usually found in tap water.
The quality of tap water varies from place to place. Some tap water reservoirs have way too much chlorine than others, or maybe way too much salt, or minerals, and so on.
Surely, it will cost you a lot of time and effort to try and figure out what your tap water is made of and if the minerals found in it are just enough to make your plants grow healthily. Not to mention the fact that the quality of your tap water can change from time to time, depending on the weather and treatment.
To make situations like these much easier to handle, use a water filtration system. Or better yet, use distilled water. Distilled water does not contain any of the microscopic particles that may hinder your plant’s growth.
However, if you are making use of hydroponics – a system that grows plants on water instead of soil – then it is an entirely different story.
Distilled water does not have any minerals in it, which means that it cannot give the nutrients that plants need, since soil is out of the question. However, what makes distilled water a wonderful liquid to use in systems such as these, is the point that you can control the minerals that will be placed in it.
It’s like starting with a blank piece of paper to write on. In using water with pH 7 that does not contain anything, you can easily regulate its acidity or alkalinity and simply add the micronutrients yourself in carefully measured quantities.
If you use tap water for your hydroponic plant system, you’ll have to worry about the following:
- Measure the pH and figure out how to make it more acidic or alkaline (depending on your needs)
- Measure the amount of chlorine and/or chloramine and remove it with filtration system.
- Monitor the system for any leaks or contamination
- Adjust pressure and temperature
Using distilled water means you just have to add what you need, being able to manipulate how your plants grow. For us, setting up a distilled water system for your plants is much easier than testing tap water time and time again.
Have you experienced seeing white traces or streaks left behind when cleaning glass windows or computer monitors? These white traces are dissolved salts and minerals found in tap water.
Therefore, if you want to wipe things clean without leaving white traces behind, distilled water is the perfect solution for you.
Distilled water will not leave white traces behind because it does not have any dissolved salts and minerals in it. It is composed of nothing more than water. This is the reason why distilled water is very popular in cleaning; it saves a whole lot of time and effort!
Distilled water is widely used by brewing companies who make beer beverages. You see, every minute particle that you drop into the solution will surely affect the final taste of the beer. Even the ions and compounds that will be formed when mixing several liquids play a crucial role in achieving the desired taste.
For this reason, distilled water is very much valued with brewers because it does not contain any other particles that might affect the beer’s taste.
This might raise some eyebrows and some statements of “But any water can make ice cubes!” True, any water – rainwater, lake water, mineral water, sea water, etc. – can make ice cubes. It is a physical property of water to be able to turn solid in the form of ice.
However, only distilled water can make such crystal clear ice cubes that are harder than other water ice cubes. You see, distilled water does not contain any impurities that affects the ice cubes’ transparency.
The reason why swimming pool water is white, and lime water is light blue, is because of the fact that the former contains a lot of chlorine and the latter contains a lot of lime. In other words, the minerals found in water will definitely affect its appearance.
Also, distilled water freezes into ice much quicker because it is not mixed with other particles that lower its freezing point.
Finally, ice cubes made of distilled water is highly prized because it does not alter the taste of the beverage other than making it more watery.
Let’s say that you have tap water, which contains a little of magnesium, chlorine, zinc and others, and used these to make ice cubes meant for drinking wine. The presence of these particles can alter the taste of the said beverage, making the wine less enjoyable to drink.
Water is a very important component in making cosmetic products, which can range all the way from makeup, lotions, moisturizers, to shampoo, conditioners, and shaving creams.
Remember that water is the universal solvent, which means that it is “The” solvent that can dissolve the most number of solutes. In making cosmetic products, water is mainly used in dissolving most of the ingredients that are needed to formulate the said products.
Now, read this: Cosmetic companies always use distilled water in making their products.
Why? Because it is composed of water, and…water alone. It does not contain any unwanted particles that will mess up the delicate formulations of these merchandises.
More importantly, these products are to be used on the skin for beauty and care. Therefore, distilled water is the safest water to use because it is guaranteed to be absolutely free of anything that might cause skin irritation.
So before you tip that bottle of distilled water into your mouth, it’s important that you know more about it.
Aside from being one of the cleanest kinds of water out there, it’s also used in your beauty products, your beer, lab testing and plant systems.
Another useful thing to note for people who are avoiding free radicals and have special health concerns is the use of this type of water. If you’re avoiding certain chemicals, you can choose products and food that are prepared using only distilled water.
So remember everything you’ve read here the next time you take a drink!