If you can drink tap water in Washington, DC, why would you need distilled water for cleaning? Of course, saying that you should only use distilled water for your chores might be an overstatement. However, cleaning with distilled water has several advantages!
Learn here why you could benefit from using distilled water in your chores!
What is distilled water?
All drinkable water is treated for human consumption, including tap water. However, in a strict sense, most purified water is not pure!
Like tap or bottled water, distilled water is also purified, but the purification method is different.
Then, what’s the difference between tap water and distilled water?
Distilled water is “purer” than tap water. But let’s speak about the hardness of water first. The hardness of water refers to the number of minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) dissolved in the tap water of a city or area.
In Washington, DC, the hardness of water is moderate. It means that tap water has a fair amount of minerals—that distilled water doesn’t have.
During the distillation process, water is purified by emulating the natural water cycle. First, water boils and evaporates. Then, the steam condensates. As all contaminants are left behind during evaporation, distillation is the process that offers higher levels of purity!
“Purer water” is not always preferable. On the contrary, tap water’s richness in minerals often makes it better for drinking. However, when it comes to cleaning, those minerals are a drawback.
Let’s see how this can affect you while cleaning.
Why is distilled water good for cleaning?
The reasons to choose distilled water over tap water are subtle but many. Of course, every reason has to do with the mineral deposits in tap water. However, those mineral deposits might react differently depending on the chore and product you are using.
Here are some examples!
1. Soap produces more lather in distilled water
Soap is excellent for removing grease and grime, but it depends on complex chemical reactions. In a few words, one end of soap molecules adheres to dirt, while the other goes with the water. However, the soap also reacts to minerals in hard water, reducing its cleaning power.
Soap struggles to build lather in mineral-filled water and leaves soap scum behind as it interacts with minerals. Consider using distilled water to make soapy water or rinse soap!
2. Distilled water works better with DIY vinegar solutions!
Many DIY cleaning recipes involve vinegar and water. Vinegar is acidic, while pure water should be neutral. However, mineral-filled water is usually alkaline. In a few words, mixing acidic vinegar with alkaline water will “balance” both—reducing the cleaning power of vinegar!
If you use distilled water to make vinegar solutions for cleaning, it will maintain the effectiveness of vinegar!
3. Mineral deposits might end up as window streaks!
The chore where distilled water is almost mandatory is cleaning windows. If you use tap water, you may be removing dirt but leaving mineral buildup behind! Distilled water is crucial in any DIY glass cleaners you make!
Distilled water can also help you to avoid streaks on other surfaces inside your home! For example, mirrors, glass fixtures, and stainless steel appliances!
Learn more cleaning tips with Think Maids
Do you want to learn more useful facts and tips about cleaning? Visit the Think Maids blog! All our years of cleaning Washington DC homes have taught us one or two tricks!