A Deep Dive: Distilled Water vs. Purified Water

Water, the essence of life, comes in multiple forms for consumption. As technology and science progress, the methods to achieve the purest form of H₂O have expanded. Two popular contenders in the debate are distilled and purified water. Let’s dive deeper to discern them.

Distilled Water

Definition & Process

Distillation, an ancient practice, involves boiling water to produce vapor and then cooling that vapor to create water. This process ensures that the majority of contaminants, having different boiling points than water, are left behind.

Benefits & Applications

  • High Purity: The water produced is nearly devoid of contaminants.
  • Consistent Quality: Distillation produces consistent results, regardless of the source water.
  • Diverse Use: Essential in industries, laboratories, and specific medical procedures. Also popular for steam irons and automotive cooling systems due to its mineral-free nature.


  • Lacks Beneficial Minerals: Essential minerals like calcium and magnesium are removed.
  • Taste: Some find the taste “flat” due to the absence of minerals.

Purified Water

Definition & Process

Purified water isn’t a method but a result. Any water that has undergone treatment to remove impurities can be classified as ‘purified’. This can involve processes like reverse osmosis, deionization, carbon filtration, and even distillation.

Benefits & Applications

  • Flexibility: Various methods can produce purified water, allowing for choice.
  • Taste: Some methods retain minerals, offering a fresher taste.
  • Health: Methods like reverse osmosis may retain some beneficial minerals.


  • Varied Purity Levels: Depending on the method, the resulting purity might differ.

  • Environmental Concern: Some processes, like reverse osmosis, waste significant amounts of water.

Analyzing Different Methods of Purification

1. The Basics: Understanding Water Purification

The essence of water purification revolves around three pillars:

  • Biological purification – the cleansing act that fends off parasites, pathogens, and rogue bacteria.  
  • Chemical purification – a rigorous defense against impurities, including insidious detergents and pesticides.
  • Physical purification – the unyielding barrier against tangible offenders like sand, dust, and debris.

Considering the water’s origin is vital; after all, the ocean’s salt-laden embrace demands different treatment than a sewer’s murky depths.

2. Delving into Distillation: Vapor's Graceful Waltz

The term “distillation” may echo with simplicity, yet it’s a profound embodiment of purification. Here, water undergoes a phoenix-like rebirth: evaporating only to condense, leaving its impurities behind.

3. The Alchemy of Filtration: Sifting through Nature's Secrets

To filter is to purify. From a rudimentary sieve separating debris to the high-tech realms of reverse osmosis, filtration is our trusted sentinel. Notably, some filtrate membranes comprise multiple layers, working in tandem to ensure only the purest drops seep through.

4. Boiling: Nature's Primeval Guard

One of the ancients’ gifts to humanity, boiling is the unsung hero that decimates lurking microbes. However, it’s crucial to remember that boiling primarily targets biological adversaries. Toxins and certain chemicals stand defiant, urging further purification.

5. Granular Activated Carbon: Charcoal's Enigmatic Symphony

GAC, colloquially known as “charcoal water filter,” is an ode to nature’s brilliance. Through oxidation, charcoal becomes “activated,” attaining the prowess to imprison a myriad of impurities. Moreover, its alacrity in neutralizing odors and enhancing taste, whilst reintroducing vital minerals, is truly commendable.

6. Reverse Osmosis: The Unyielding Force of Purification

Reverse Osmosis, or RO, is akin to nature’s strictest gatekeeper. Here, water is compelled, under pressure, to pass through a membrane, ensuring that only the purest molecules make the cut.

7. Bioremediation: Nature's Genius at Work

Leveraging nature’s microscopic soldiers, bioremediation is a testament to evolution. Organisms willingly dive into water, breaking down perilous entities into benign constituents. Especially prevalent in septic systems, this method showcases nature’s resilience against heavy contamination.

Uses of Distilled Water

  1. Laboratories: Scientists rely on distilled water’s high purity to ensure accurate results in research studies. Its absence of contaminants ensures the integrity of experimental outcomes.

  1. Medical Settings: In hospitals, the sanitation standard is paramount. Distilled water, devoid of germs or bacteria, is essential for procedures like surgeries, especially for patients with compromised immunity.
  1. Household Purposes: Distilled water’s pure quality makes it a preferred choice for preparing baby formula, ensuring infants ingest no unwanted chemicals. Additionally, it’s ideal for cleaning tasks since it doesn’t leave limescale spots.

  1. Cooking: For those discerning about taste, distilled water keeps the flavor of food and beverages unaltered. It’s especially beneficial if tap water is compromised by old plumbing or is hard.
  1. Motor Vehicles: Cars need water, especially in cooling systems. Using distilled water minimizes the risk of clogs or corrosion within the engine.
  1. Gardening: Keen gardeners value distilled water for maintaining specific soil pH levels or for watering sensitive plants that might react to tap water’s chlorine content.

Comparative Analysis


  • Safety: Both are safe and surpass the purity of regular tap water.

  • Commercial Availability: Both types are readily available in bottled form.

  • Home Production: Equipment is available for home production.


  • Methodology: Purified water encompasses multiple methods, while distillation is a singular process.
  • Purity Spectrum: Distilled water sits at the higher end of the purity spectrum.
  • Taste: Minerals might be present in purified water, giving it a more “natural” taste.


Selecting between distilled and purified water often boils down to the specific requirements of the user. If absolute purity is the goal, distilled water has the edge. However, for those who prefer a touch of natural minerals, certain purified water methods might be more appealing. Always choose based on individual needs and the intended application.


The list below are all the resources used to produce this distilled water vs purified article:
  • Balke KD. Surplus or Absence of Chemical Components in Water and Its Consequences for Public Health. In: Balke KD, Zhu Y, editors. Water and Development. Beijing, China: Geology Press; 2003. pp. 36–42. ISBN 7-116-03831-0/X·17.


  • Samuel B. Ellis, Samuel J. KiehlJ. The Purification of Water and its pH Value American. Chemistry. Society., 1935, 57 (11), pp 2145–2149DOI: 10.1021/ja01314a029Publication Date: November 1935


  • Erica K. Jacobsen, Water Filtration. Journal of Chemical Education, Madison, WI 53715. J. Chem. Educ., 2004, 81 (2), p 224A. Publication Date (Web): February 1, 2004


  • Ahsan, Amimul. (2015). Journal of Desalination and Water Purification. Journal of Desalination and Water Purification.


  • Balke KD, Zhu Y. Sources of Water Pollution. In: Balke KD, Zhu Y, editors. Water and Development. Beijing, China: Geology Press; 2003. pp. 3–9. ISBN 7-116-03831-0/X·17.


  • Eftekhar B, Skini M, Shamohammadi M, Ghaffaripour J, Nilchian F. The Effectiveness of Home Water Purification Systems on the Amount of Fluoride in Drinking Water. Journal of Dentistry. 2015;16(3 Suppl):278-281.


  • Isogai A, Nakagaki H, Hanaki M, Tsuboi S, Morita I, Osaka C. Use of fluoridated dentifrice and glucose retention at the approximal areas of anterior teeth. ASDC J Dent Child. 2001; 68: 42–46, 12.


  • Eskandarpour A, Onyango MS, Ochieng A, Asai S. Removal of fluoride ions from aqueous solution at low pH using schwertmannite. J Hazard Mater. 2008; 152: 571–579.

1 thought on “Distilled Water vs Purified Water Here Is What The Experts Say”

  1. I believe that is аmong tһe such a lot important infօ for me.
    And i’m haρpy reading your аrtіcle. But want
    to statеment on few common isѕues, The website style is ideal,
    the articⅼes is in reality excellent : D. Excellеnt јob, cheers


Leave a Comment