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Distilled vs. Deionized Water

Distilled vs. Deionized Water

Did you know there are multiple ways to purify water? Certain industries rely on certain types of water to provide specific benefits. Distilled water and deionized water are among the most popular varieties of purified water. Here’s everything you need to know about the difference between distilled and deionized water: 

 What is Distilled Water?

You’ve likely heard of the term ‘distilled water,’ but do you know exactly what it entails?In order for water to become distilled, it needs to go through the process of distillation. In this process, water is boiled to separate the pure H20 from the contaminants. The contaminates could be quite harmful if consumed — they’re filled with metals and other substances that our bodies shouldn’t process. 

After the water is boiled with the contaminants inside, the pure water turns into steam that is captured and cooled. The steam becomes what we calldistilled water! The end result is purified water suitable for drinking — containing no bacteria and atiny amount of contaminants that are stubborn because of their high boiling point.

What is Distilled Water Used For?

Distilled water is widely used around the world — and it’s one of the oldest water purification systems. There are various ways to use distilled water. Distilled water is much purer than tap water, so it’s entirely safe to drink. It’s important to note that while impurities are taken out during the distillation process, some of the minerals our bodies need are taken out as well. If you’re looking to drink distilled water, you should plan to consume the minerals through the foods you eat. 

Distilled water is also used for sterilization purposes in hospitals, laboratory experiments, humidifiers, and cosmetics. 

What is Deionized Water? 

Deionized water is another form of pure water that doesn’t contain minerals. In fact, deionized water is often referred to as ‘demineralized water’ because the water lacks nearly all minerals. So,what makes the purification process different if minerals are removed from both types of water? 

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., describes the process that water goes through to become deionized: “Deionized water is made by running tap water, spring water, or distilled water through an electrically charged resin. Usually, a mixed ion exchange bed with both positive and negative charged resins is used.Cations and anions in the water exchange with H+ and OH- in the resins, producing H2O (water). Because deionized water is reactive, its properties start to change as soon as it’s exposed to air.Deionized water has a pH of 7 when it is delivered, but as soon as it comes into contact with carbon dioxide from the air, the dissolved CO2 reacts to produce H+ and HCO3-, driving the pH closer to 5.6. Deionization does not remove molecular species (e.g., sugar) or uncharged organic particles (most bacteria, viruses).” Essentially, all of the ions are moved from deionized water. 

Where Reverse Osmosis Comes Into Play

Since all of the ions are stripped from the water, reverse osmosis is usually required to ensure that all of the contaminants are completely removed from the water. Our4-Stage Reverse Osmosis System is a great tool for labs that wish to make deionized water to be used in different experiments, solvent preparation, and calibration standards. Deionized water is often used in labs because it provides more predictable and repeatable results.

What is Deionized Water Used For?

Many factories and manufacturers opt to use deionized water because it prevents the buildup of salts on equipment. As we mentioned above, this type of water is commonly used in scientific research because the water doesn’t negatively affect the results. Essentially, deionized water isa scientist’s best friend. 

It’s important to note thatyou can’t drink deionized water.One of the main differences between deionized water and distilled water is that deionized waterisn’t very safe to drink.  Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., warns that this type of water could cause harm to tooth enamel and soft tissues because of its corrosive nature. Further, this type of water doesn’t remove pathogens that could potentially cause disease.

It’s highly recommended that reverse osmosis takes place to purify the water further. After reverse osmosis takes place, the deionized water is ‘safer’ to drink in small amounts. We recommend only drinking this type of water when it’s absolutely necessary — it should never become your primary water source.

Where Can I Buy Deionized Water?

Since deionized water is used for all sorts of purposes, you can find this type of water in various stores. You’ll likely find some in your local auto parts store because it’s used for automobile purposes — but you’ll also find some in pet stores because it’s used in aquariums. Your local Whole Foods sells deionized water, but with minerals added. 

The Major Differences 

While there are similarities as both types of water are purified and do not contain minerals — there are also notable differences that must be considered before choosing which type of water to use for your intended purpose. While distilled water is safe to drink after the distillation process, deionized water isn’t safe to consume regularly. 

While both deionized and distilled water are often used for scientific reasons, they’re used for different purposes. Distilled water can be used for cleaning glassware and equipment sterilization — deionized water is used in many chemistry experiments that need to involve ions (the lack of ions in the water makes these types of experiments possible). 

Distilled and deionized water have similarities, but you should choose which one to purchase based on their differences.It’s truly their differences that define them! 

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