Can I Use Bottled Water Instead of Distilled Water?

Can I Use Bottled Water Instead of Distilled Water

If you find yourself in a situation where distilled water is unavailable to you, and you want to know if bottled water is a reasonable alternative or what will work better for your current daily needs, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn about the differences between distilled water and bottled water and their different uses.

As a general rule, you can use bottled water instead of distilled water for most everyday tasks; however, it is important to check the label on the bottled water to determine its contents and suitability for your specific needs, as well as keep in mind that not all bottled water is the same.

While bottled water and distilled water are both safe to drink, they come in different forms. Keep reading to learn about the differences between distilled water and bottled water and their uses.

What is the Difference Between Bottled Water and Distilled Water


Distilled water is water that has been purified by the process of distillation. This means it is heated until it becomes steam and then is cooled to collect the purified water. This process removes impurities such as minerals, salts, and other contaminants, leaving almost completely pure water.

Bottled water

Bottled water can come from a variety of sources, such as springs, wells, or municipal sources. Depending on the source, it may also have different levels of impurities, minerals, and dissolved substances. Some bottled waters are purified, while others may not be. To determine if your bottled water is purified, check its label.

Types of bottled water

Bottled water comes in many different types, each with its unique characteristics and advantages. Some of the most common types of bottled water include:

  • Spring water: Water that comes from a natural spring or underground source and is bottled at the source without any further treatment.
  • Purified water: Water that has been treated to remove impurities, such as bacteria, viruses, and minerals. Purification methods can include distillation, reverse osmosis, or filtration.
  • Mineral water: Water that contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, that are naturally present in the source water.
  • Artesian water: Water that comes from a well that taps into an underground aquifer, where the water is naturally under pressure and rises to the surface without the need for pumping.
  • Sparkling water: Water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas to create bubbles and a fizzy texture.
  • Alkaline water: Water that has been treated to increase its pH level and make it less acidic.

Each of these types of bottled water has its unique taste and benefits, and the type you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the intended use.

Product choice

When it comes to choosing between bottled water and distilled water, there are several factors to consider. One of the most critical factors is the intended use of the water. For example, if you are using the water for drinking or cooking, you may want to choose a type of bottled water that you find appealing and is safe to consume. On the other hand, if you are using the water for medical purposes, you may need to use distilled water, as it is free of any impurities or contaminants that could potentially interfere with the treatment.

Cost is another important factor to consider, as distilled water can be more expensive than bottled water. However, if you are using the water for sensitive medical equipment or processes, the cost of using the wrong type of water could be much higher. Ultimately, the choice between bottled water and distilled water will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s important to do your research and make an informed decision based on the intended use, quality, and cost of the water.

Can I Use Bottled Water Instead of Distilled Water

Water is an essential part of our daily lives, and we use it for a wide range of activities, from drinking and cooking to cleaning and bathing. While tap water is a convenient and cost-effective option for many applications, there are times when you may want to use a higher-quality type of water, such as distilled water or bottled water. One question that often arises is whether bottled water can be used as a substitute for distilled water.

Essential nature of water

Water is a fundamental component of life on Earth, and it is essential for the survival of all living things. Not only does it make up a significant portion of our bodies, but it is also critical for many biological and chemical processes, including digestion, metabolism, and waste removal. In addition to its biological significance, water plays a crucial role in many other areas, such as agriculture, industry, and energy production.

As a result, it is vital that we have access to clean and safe water, whether for drinking or other uses. While tap water is generally safe and readily available in many areas, there are times when higher-quality water is necessary, and this is where bottled water and distilled water can come into play.

Concern about chemicals in water

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the presence of chemicals and contaminants in tap water. While municipal water treatment plants work to remove many of these impurities, some may still be present in the water that comes out of your tap.

Common chemicals found in tap water include chlorine, fluoride, lead, and various industrial pollutants. Exposure to these contaminants can have negative health effects, ranging from minor irritations to more severe illnesses.

As a result, many people have turned to higher-quality water sources, such as bottled water or distilled water, to reduce their exposure to these chemicals. While bottled water and distilled water can be effective solutions for certain applications, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of water and when it’s appropriate to use each one.

Related article: Does Distilled Water Have Fluoride? Yes Or No

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for Drinking

Everyone knows everyday bottled water is drinkable; however, not many people are aware that you can drink distilled water as well. While it is safe to drink, many people opt to not drink it because of its bland flavor and lack of electrolytes.

The minerals found in common bottled or tap water are known as electrolytes. These are essential to a person’s health. While many people receive these minerals in their food, there may be days when you don’t eat enough minerals, such as calcium or potassium. On these days, calcium and potassium, as well as other electrolytes, are supplemented through drinking tap or bottled water.

Another reason people tend to not drink distilled water is because of the taste. Distilled water is more pure than the drinking water most people are used to. Bottled water contains the minerals calcium and magnesium, as well as others. This gives bottled water the familiar taste we have all come to associate with water; however, distilled water is stripped of these minerals, leaving the purest form it can come in: simply hydrogen and oxygen. Without much flavor or taste at all, many people choose to not drink distilled water, as they find it unpleasant, leaving them to prefer drinking bottled or tap water instead.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for Cooking

While cooking with distilled water is considered safe, especially for those who are immuno-compromised, it may not be the best decision in the kitchen. Not only for the taste of your food but because of the nutrients in your food as well.

Distilled water is stripped of all its minerals, known as electrolytes. When cooking, distilled water, which lacks any nutrients or minerals, can attach itself to the nutrients in your food. For foods that keep the water it is cooked in, such as certain soups, this may not be an issue. However, if you drain your food when cooking something like pasta, you will be washing the nutrients from your food down the drain as well.

It is recommended that tap water or bottled water be used in cooking, especially if you need to drain the water from your food, as bottled water already contains minerals and will not strip your food of nutrients.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for Plants

We have learned that distilled water is safe to drink, so it must be good for plants then, right? Well, not exactly. As humans, we get our nutrients from the food we eat. A plant, however, must get its nutrients from the soil they sit in.

When using distilled water, much like how it can strip our food of nutrients when cooking with it, it can do the same to your potting soil. Plants can tolerate distilled water once or twice, but over time, when used regularly, distilled water will strip the soil of all its nutrients. This can leave your beautiful plant stunted and discolored.

It is recommended to use regular bottled or tap water for plants to protect the plant, and its soil, from a loss of nutrients. The choice of using either bottled or tap water is completely up to you, as they are both incredibly similar and will not strip your soil of its nutrients.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for Hair

Every day people around the world take showers, washing their hair with shampoo, conditioner, and tap water from the shower head. With hair care regimens becoming more and more of a phenomenon on social media, you may be wondering if you should stick to tap water or use bottled or distilled water to give you that desired shine.

Bottled water is typically a form of tap water that has been slightly altered. Usually, this alteration consists of changing its mineral content. Because it is so similar to tap water, there is no real benefit to using bottled water rather than tap water. On the other hand, using distilled water on your hair is a great replacement for tap or bottled water because it is as purified as water can be. It is free of any harsh chemicals that could damage your hair.

While distilled water will not make your hair shiny, it shouldn’t be completely ignored either in your hair regimen. Tap water can contain harsh chemicals that can damage hair, especially if your hair has been colored or had any other sort of chemical treatment recently. Distilled water, being free of these chemicals, is a great alternative to reduce the damage done to your hair.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for Fish Tank

When filling your aquarium full of water, you may wonder if there is a better alternative to tap water. Bottled water, being very similar to tap water, isn’t necessary when filling your tank. There are slight mineral differences, but these are minute and rarely make a difference in your fish tank.

On the other hand, while you can safely use distilled water in your fish tank, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Distilled water lacks any nutrients or electrolytes; therefore, if you plan to use distilled water in your fish tank, you will have to add those missing minerals back into the water before adding your fish.

Another reason people do not regularly use distilled or bottled water in their aquariums is the cost. While tap water is cheap and easily accessible, distilled and bottled water must be purchased from stores. Depending on how large of a fish tank you have, the amount of water you would need can easily add up. Not to mention the minerals you would need to purchase to replace the missing minerals from the distilled water.

Overall, it is not very beneficial to use distilled water or bottled water in a fish tank. It can become costly and, in the case of distilled water, you would need to remineralize your water before adding your fish. Using simple tap water and a de-chlorinator before adding your fish will suffice.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled water for Batteries

When it is time to water your lead acid battery, you may be wondering if bottled water is safe to use, or if you should invest in the distilled water needed for the battery.

Tap and bottled water both contain minerals that can be harmful to batteries, even in small amounts. It is recommended you always use distilled water to water your batteries, as this will keep them healthy and working longer.

Distilled Water Vs. Bottled Water for CPAP

A lot of humidifiers and CPAP machine manufacturers recommend distilled water, rather than tap or bottled water, due to minerals that can cause a buildup in your device. These minerals have already been removed from distilled water, unlike in bottled water. If distilled water is not an option or preference, you can use bottled water for your humidifier; it will just require a deep clean more often to get rid of extra mineral buildup. While bottled water will in no way harm you or your machine, it is better to avoid using it when possible.


We may think of pure being better, but when it comes to distilled water, while it is purer, it is not always the best option.

For things that do not require nutrients and can benefit from a pure water source, like hair or batteries, distilled water is your best bet. However, for things that need nutrients, like food, potting soil, and aquariums, it is not the best choice to use.

At the end of the day, distilled water, like many things in life, is great to use, but not for everything. Sometimes simple run-of-the-mill tap or bottled water is your safest bet.

Boch Richard

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

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