If you look up your zip code in EWG’s water database, you will probably be alarmed at how many toxins come out of your tap.
Searching for a solution to remove those toxins so that your water is safe and healthy to drink? You may be wondering whether you should purify your water or distill it.
For that matter, should you buy bottled purified water or bottled distilled water?
These two terms are frequently mixed up, and for good reason— there is a direct connection between them.
Actually, a lot of the confusion comes down to the fact that “purified” is a label referring to the content of water.
Meanwhile, “distilled” is a label referring to the particular way that water was purified.
Let’s go into some more detail on water purification and distillation so that you can understand easily the relationship and the difference between these concepts.
What is Purified Water?
“Purified” is a standard for water. If a bottled water product, for example, bears the label “purified,” it must not contain impurities above 10 parts-per-million.
So, “purified” tells you something about the nature of the water you are looking at, but it doesn’t tell you anything specific about how it was purified.
It is possible that the purification method was distillation. But it is also possible that it could be something else like reverse osmosis.
What is Distilled Water?
“Distilled” water is simply water which has gone through the process of distillation.
Distilling water helps to remove contaminants such as chlorine, bacteria, pesticides, fluoride, and more. Indeed, 99.9% of minerals can be removed from water using the distillation process.
Is Boiled Water the same as Distilled Water?
Distillation is a process that involves boiling water. As a result, you may wonder whether there is a difference between distilling water and simply boiling it in a saucepan.
The answer to that question is, “Yes, there is a huge difference between boiling water and distilling it.”
Indeed, boiling is one of the steps of distillation, but it’s not the entire process.
Actually, the exact process of distillation depends on the approach being taken. Commercially, different options include simple distillation, steam distillation, vacuum distillation and fractional distillation.
Distilling water at home is also possible using simple supplies.
In fact, if you want to distill water right now using the supplies you likely already have on hand in your kitchen, you can follow the steps below:
1. Get a large saucepan and fill it with water (not all the way to the top).
2. Set a bowl inside the saucepan. The bowl needs to be tall enough that the top of it is above the water level, but below the height of the saucepan.
3. Turn the lid of the saucepan upside down, and set it on top of the saucepan.
4. Boil the water.
5. Set a cold object on top of the lid, like ice. Doing so will help facilitate condensation.
6. After boiling the water for a while, take the lid off the saucepan and look inside the bowl. There should be distilled water inside.
This process demonstrates the basic process of distillation in a way that is easy to understand.
You don’t just boil water when you distill it—you convert it into steam.
Why do this? Because if all you do is boil water and drink it, you will not have heated it sufficiently to destroy all contaminants.
But if you heat the water to the point where it becomes steam, the water itself separates from the toxins. They stay behind.
The water then condenses and falls into the collector—the bowl, in the case of the simple setup described above.
Obviously, this sauce pan method is not the most convenient way to distill water. But thankfully, you do not need to rely on it.
If you want to distill water at home, there are appliances you can buy that make it fast and easy.
You also can just purchase it in a bottled form so that the work is already taken care of for you.
How Does Distilled Water Compare to Filtered Water?
Now you know the difference between boiling and distilling water. You also know distilled water is a type of purified water, but that distillation is not the only purification process out there.
Something else you might be wondering about is filtered water.
Filtering water does not fully purify it, but it can remove some contaminants. Exactly which toxins come out of the water is dependent on the filter in question.
There are also water filters that add back healthy minerals. That way, you do not lose the good with the bad.
Is Distilled Water Safe to Drink?
You may be wondering whether there are any drawbacks to distilled water.
WebMD writes, “Distilled water is safe to drink. But you’ll probably find it flat or bland. That’s because it’s stripped of important minerals like calcium, sodium, and magnesium that give tap water its familiar flavor. What’s left is just hydrogen and oxygen and nothing else.”
In terms of everyday life, distilled water is generally safe to drink. But within the context of certain activities, it is not an ideal choice.
Although distilled water boasts excellent purity, its disadvantage is that it is lacking in healthy minerals.
That means that if you are fasting, for example, and you are relying on water to provide you with your required minerals, you may actually be depriving yourself of essential nutrition by choosing distilled water.
Another situation where you may not want to choose distilled water is if you are trying to hydrate during or after a workout.
Once again, the minerals in water are important, because when you sweat, you lose electrolytes and not just H2O.
Distilled water will replace the H2O that you have lost, but not the electrolytes.
But so long as you are not fasting or working out, distilled water can be a safe and healthy choice.
Where to Buy Distilled Water?
If you are ready to enjoy distilled water that is safe and non-toxic, you can either purchase a home distillation system or you can buy bottled distilled water.