Why do we use distilled water in the laboratory?

One of the questions you will encounter as a chemistry tutor is on why distilled water is used in the laboratory, so i thought i should share from my more than a decade of teaching Chemistry the basic uses of distilled water.

In performing experiments in chemistry, there is a need to use water that does not or will not contaminate the media. Do I use distilled water or deionized water?

What is distilled water?

Distilled water in chemistry is simply water gotten by distillation.  It means water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container.

During this process, Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container.

The distilled water is stored in a wash bottle, a wash bottle is one of the common pieces of apparatus used in chemistry for several purposes.

Distilled water vs Tap water

Distilled water is not the most healthy form of water because it contains little or no mineral or mineral ions.

However, distilled water is very pure due to the distillation process that makes it possible for only molecules of water to condense leaving.

The distillation process is very effective at removing potentially harmful contaminants, but it also removes the minerals in it.

On the other side, tap water is not very pure because it contains minerals, air, chlorine, and other dissolved particles.                                                                                                   

Is Tap water a mixture?

Yes, Tap water most times appear as a homogenous mixture since it does not contain only the molecules of water but other additives but in the same phase as the water.

General uses of Distilled water

The general uses of distilled  water include the following

  • Building aquariums
  • watering plants and crops.
  • Applied in car cooling systems.
  • laboratory experiments.
  • Washing medical devices

General uses of Tap water

Tap water is essential for several purposes including


• cooking


•Hand wash basins

Is Distilled water good for drinking?

Distilled water is not used for drinking because it is demineralized i.e. it does not contain any minerals. Pure or distilled water has high solubility. Distilled water is acidic in nature and is used to draw the poison out of the body. -Continued drinking of distilled water is harmful to the human body.

Tap water vs Distilled water Chemistry

The major difference between tap water and distilled water is that tap water may contain impurities whereas distilled water does not contain impurities. Moreover, distilled water is not suitable for consumption as it may not have the necessary nutrients (ion) needed for the body, but tap water has dissolved minerals

Tap water vs Distilled water Conductivity

In comparison, tap water conducts electricity more than distilled water.

Tap water conducts electricity due to the presence of mobile ions, unlike distilled water which does not contain many ions or even any ions depending on the level of distillation.

Tap water vs Distilled water for plants

Distilled water is not perfect for plants because plants require minerals for their growth But tap water contains magnesium and calcium ions which will help the growth of plants.

Tap water vs distilled water for cleaning

Tap water contains some additives used in the treatment of the water so may not be appropriate for cleaning, unlike distilled water which is free of chemicals and contaminants and thus better for cleaning.

Tap water vs Distilled water for batteries

Tap water contains minerals and is thus not good for our batteries but distilled water is perfect for deep cycle batteries.

Why is distilled water used in batteries?

Distilled water is free from additional minerals you would find in water such as regular tap water.

What is distilled water used for in the laboratory?

Distilled is usually placed in cans in the laboratory for experiments -dissolving solutes, rinsing apparatus, and performing other laboratory experiments because it contains no ions and would not interfere with the experiments.

Distilled water vs Deionized water

10 common questions on Distilled water vs Deionized water

Is distilled water and deionized water the same thing?

No, distilled water is not really the same as deionized water.

Deionized water is water that has been treated to remove all ions, therefore, removing all of the dissolved mineral salts.

Distilled water has been boiled so that it evaporates and then re-condensed, leaving most impurities behind. Distilled water is purer than deionized water because all the ions, contaminants, and Impurities have been removed unlike deionized that has only ions removed.

Is Distilled water better than deionized water for cleaning?

When purity matters, distilled water is appropriate.

Distilled water is used for cleaning medical tools and equipment in the hospital.

What is deionized water in chemistry?

Deionized water is water that has most or all of its ions removed but still contains Impurities.

Why is distilled water used as a control?

How do I make distilled water?

Distilled water can be made using distillaton pocess

Is boiled water the same as distilled water?

No, they aren’t the same. Boiled water is simply water that has had the temperature increased until it reaches its boiling point. This kills a host of bacteria and germs that can cause sickness. Distilled water is water that has been heated to its boiling point and condensed stripping the water of impurities, including minerals and microorganisms.

Does boiling water make it distilled?


Boiling water does not really make it distilled because the distillation process involves the collection of the vapor via a condenser from the liquid boiled.

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