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Deionized Water Versus Distilled Drinking Water

What’s the difference between deionized water and distilled water? Drinking water can be a complicated topic – from filtration and treatment to bottled water and pitcher filters, it can be hard to know what kind of water is the right choice for you, and your home. Things can get even more complicated when you consider the different qualifications of water, like distilled and deionized water, which feel like they come in and out of popularity. It’s important to pay attention to how water is qualified because this can indicate significant differences for how water is used, and even whether or not it’s recommended for drinking.

Comparing Deionized and Distilled Water

  • Purity Level: Both have high purity levels.
  • Production Method: Distilled water has a higher production complexity compared to deionized water.
  • Cost: Distilled water is generally more expensive to produce than deionized water.
  • Usage: Both have diverse uses, although specifics may vary.
  • Taste: Both types of water have a poor taste due to the lack of minerals.
  • Conductivity: Both have low electrical conductivity.

comparison of deionized vs distilled drinking water

Distilled Water For Drinking

For example, distilled water is water that has been boiled to create purified water free of contaminants and impurities like chlorine and dissolved solids. And while this may sound great, it’s not actually an ideal solution for drinking water. Distilled water is safe to drink, but because the distillation process removes many of the naturally-occurring, and helpful, minerals from water, using this type of water as your daily drinking water could end up causing more harm than good in the long run.

What Should I Use Distilled Water For?

Even if you don’t plan on using distilled water for drinking, there are some helpful applications for distilled water around the house. Health equipment like CPAP machines and humidifiers typically run more efficiently when you use distilled water with them. Your iron, and clothes, will benefit from distilled water, and it generally meets vehicle standards for car maintenance. Additionally, distilled water is often recommended for aquariums, and can be used to water houseplants.

Is There Another Name For Distilled Water?

In general, distilled water is most commonly referred to simply as “distilled water.” However, in different contexts, it might be known by other names:

  1. Deionized Water: Although similar in purity to distilled water, deionized water has had its ions removed through a different process (ion exchange). It’s often used interchangeably with distilled water in certain contexts, like laboratories.
  2. Purified Water: This is a broader category that includes water purified by various methods, including distillation. Distilled water is a type of purified water, but not all purified water is distilled.
  3. Demineralized Water: Similar to deionized water, this term refers to water from which minerals have been removed. It can be synonymous with distilled water in some contexts.

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can refer to water treated by different purification processes. In everyday language, though, distilled water is most commonly just called “distilled water.”

What Is Deionized Water?

Deionized water, like distilled water, is a very pure form of water. Where they differ is that deionized water is water that has had all the ions removed from it. This means that it typically needs to be used in tandem with another type of treatment, such as reverse osmosis, to ensure that all contaminants are properly eliminated from it.

Deionized water is also referred to as ‘demineralized water’ because like distilled water, the deionization process removes nearly all minerals from the water. And like distilled water, this means that while it is safe to drink, it may not be the best solution for your drinking water needs as it removes beneficial minerals many of us rely on getting from our tap water.

What Should Deionized Water Be Used For?

Deionized (DI) water is commonly used in scientific applications where experiments using water can be counted on to be 100% pure, leading to more predictable and repeatable results. This type of water is also used in pharmaceutical applications for safety and consistency reasons.

If you have any questions or concerns about your drinking water, Culligan of Los Angeles is always happy to answer them. From understanding distilled water vs. deionized water to what kind of drinking water you should rely on at home for daily use, we’ll provide solutions for your unique water needs.

What Is Demineralized Water ?

Demineralized water is water from which most minerals and salts have been removed through various processes, including ion exchange, electrodyalysis, or membrane filtration. This type of water is often used in industrial and technical settings, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, automotive cooling systems, and in steam irons, where the presence of minerals can lead to scaling or reactions that might damage equipment. Demineralized water is also used in laboratories for certain experiments where the presence of ions might interfere with chemical reactions or outcomes.

Demineralized Water vs. Deionized Water

While demineralized water is similar to deionized water in that both are stripped of minerals, the specific methods used for demineralization can vary. In comparison, distilled water is obtained through boiling and condensation, removing impurities and minerals.

Is Demineralized Water Safe To Drink?

While demineralized water is safe to drink, it lacks the essential minerals found in regular drinking water, and long-term consumption might lead to mineral deficiencies.

What Is Purified Water?

Purified water refers to water that has been treated through various processes to remove impurities and contaminants. These processes can include distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, microfiltration, ultraviolet oxidation, or electrodialysis. Purified water is used in contexts where high purity is essential, such as in pharmaceuticals, medical, and food processing industries.

Can I Drink Purified Water?

Yes — purified water is also used for drinking, particularly in areas where tap water quality is poor. In comparison, deionized water specifically has its ions removed, while distilled water is purified through boiling and condensation. Both deionized and distilled water are types of purified water, but they are obtained through different methods. While purified water is safe and often preferable for drinking, it lacks the minerals present in natural water sources. Some people prefer mineralized water for taste and health benefits, but purified water is a great choice for avoiding contaminants and impurities.


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