Distilled Water vs. Tap Water

What's the Difference?

Distilled water and tap water are two types of water that differ in their composition and purification processes. Distilled water is produced by boiling water and then condensing the steam, leaving behind impurities and minerals. As a result, distilled water is free from contaminants and minerals, making it pure and safe for consumption. On the other hand, tap water is sourced from various natural sources such as rivers, lakes, or underground wells. It undergoes treatment processes like filtration and disinfection to remove harmful substances, but it may still contain trace amounts of minerals and chemicals. While tap water is generally safe to drink, distilled water is often preferred for certain applications, such as in medical procedures or laboratory experiments, where absolute purity is required.


AttributeDistilled WaterTap Water
TasteNo tasteMay have a slight taste depending on the source
SourceWater that has been purified through distillationWater from various sources such as rivers, lakes, or underground wells
PurityHighly pure, free from impurities and mineralsMay contain impurities and minerals depending on the source and treatment process
Mineral ContentVery low mineral contentMay contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and fluoride
Chemical CompositionConsists of only H2O moleculesContains various chemicals and compounds depending on the source and treatment process
Boiling Point100°C (212°F)May vary depending on the dissolved substances
UsesCommonly used in laboratories, medical procedures, and steam ironsUsed for drinking, cooking, and other household purposes

Further Detail


Water is an essential resource for all living beings, and its quality plays a crucial role in our health and well-being. When it comes to drinking water, two common options are distilled water and tap water. While both serve the purpose of hydration, they differ in various aspects, including their sources, purification methods, mineral content, taste, and potential health effects. In this article, we will delve into a detailed comparison of the attributes of distilled water and tap water to help you make an informed choice.

Source and Purification

Tap water is sourced from various natural sources such as rivers, lakes, and underground wells. It undergoes a treatment process at water treatment plants to remove impurities and make it safe for consumption. This treatment typically involves filtration, disinfection with chemicals like chlorine, and sometimes additional steps like coagulation and sedimentation.

On the other hand, distilled water is produced through a process called distillation. It involves boiling water to create steam, which is then condensed back into liquid form, leaving behind impurities and contaminants. This method effectively removes minerals, chemicals, bacteria, and other substances, resulting in highly purified water.

Mineral Content

One significant difference between distilled water and tap water lies in their mineral content. Tap water often contains a variety of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for our body's functions. These minerals contribute to the taste and provide some health benefits. However, the mineral content can vary depending on the water source and treatment process.

Distilled water, on the other hand, is devoid of minerals due to the distillation process. While some argue that this lack of minerals may have negative health implications, it is important to note that our daily mineral intake primarily comes from our diet rather than drinking water. Therefore, the absence of minerals in distilled water is unlikely to have a significant impact on our overall mineral intake.

Taste and Odor

The taste and odor of water can greatly influence our preference for one type over the other. Tap water often has a distinct taste that can vary depending on the region and the treatment process. Some people may find the taste of tap water to be slightly metallic, chlorinated, or even earthy. Additionally, tap water may sometimes have a noticeable odor, especially if it contains certain contaminants.

On the contrary, distilled water is known for its neutral taste and odor. The distillation process removes impurities that can affect the taste, resulting in a clean and pure flavor. This attribute makes distilled water a popular choice for those who prefer a tasteless and odorless drinking experience.

Health Considerations

When it comes to health, both distilled water and tap water have their pros and cons. Tap water, when properly treated, is generally safe for consumption and regulated by government authorities to meet specific quality standards. It often contains essential minerals that contribute to our overall nutrient intake. However, tap water may still contain trace amounts of contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides, depending on the water source and treatment process.

Distilled water, on the other hand, is highly purified and free from most contaminants. This attribute can be beneficial for individuals with compromised immune systems or specific health conditions that require extremely pure water. However, the lack of minerals in distilled water has led to debates regarding its long-term consumption. Some argue that prolonged consumption of distilled water may lead to mineral deficiencies, although this is generally not a concern for individuals with a balanced diet.

Uses Beyond Drinking

While drinking water is the primary focus of this comparison, it is worth mentioning that both distilled water and tap water have various other uses. Distilled water is commonly used in medical and scientific laboratories, as well as in certain industrial processes that require pure water. Its lack of minerals and impurities make it ideal for applications where water quality is critical, such as in medical equipment or car batteries.

Tap water, on the other hand, is widely used for household purposes beyond drinking, including cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Its availability and convenience make it a practical choice for everyday tasks. Additionally, the mineral content in tap water can contribute to the taste and texture of certain dishes, enhancing the culinary experience.


In conclusion, the choice between distilled water and tap water ultimately depends on personal preferences, health considerations, and specific needs. Tap water, with its mineral content and regulated quality, is generally safe for consumption and suitable for most individuals. It is readily available and serves multiple purposes beyond drinking. On the other hand, distilled water offers a highly purified option, free from most contaminants and with a neutral taste. It may be preferred by those with specific health conditions or for specialized applications. Regardless of your choice, staying hydrated with clean and safe water is essential for maintaining optimal health.

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