Can I Use Bottled Water Instead of Distilled Water?

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Distilled water is a hassle to make at home, requiring a water distiller unit or a complex setup on your stovetop.

You might be wondering whether you can use bottled water instead of distilled water. Are these two water types interchangeable? When can you use one instead of the other?

We’ve answered these questions and more in this guide.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • You can use bottled water instead of distilled in some scenarios, but not in others.
  • Not all bottled waters are purified, which may make them unsuitable for certain uses.
  • If the situation specifically calls for distilled water, make sure to use bottled RO, DI, or distilled water.

🍶 What Is Bottled Water?

Bottled water is any water product that’s sold in plastic bottles.

There is no single water source, type, or quality among bottled water products. Some are sourced from springs, while others are just filtered tap water. Some are purified with reverse osmosis, while others are distilled, and others aren’t filtered at all.

You can buy bottled water from most supermarkets, gas stations, bars and restaurants, other public places, and online marketplaces.

⚗️ What Is Distilled Water?

Distilled water is a type of water that has been purified with distillation – the process of boiling water until it vaporizes, then condenses into a separate container.

Distilled water may be taken from any water source. At home, you can safely and effectively distill your tap water. The thing that makes the water “distilled” is the fact that it’s treated with distillation, which removes the majority of impurities and makes the water safe and pure for a variety of uses.

Distilled water in a glass

🤔 Can I Use Bottled Water Rather Than Distilled Water?

Yes, you can use bottled water instead of distilled water. But if you specifically need distilled water, not any old bottled water product will do – you’ll need to look for distilled bottled water.

For instance, let’s say you need distilled water to use in your CPAP machine. You can’t simply use bottled spring water in place of distilled water because this water contains impurities, and CPAP machines require pure water.

So, it depends on the type of water you buy. Don’t assume that all bottled waters are good substitutes for distilled water.

🔎 What Types Of Bottled Water Can I Use In Place Of Distilled Water?

Assuming that you need distilled water, what types of bottled water can you use in place of this water type?

There are three types of bottled water that have similar (or identical) properties to distilled water and can be used in its place.

These are:

  • Bottled distilled water
  • Bottled reverse osmosis (RO) water
  • Bottled deionized (DI) water

Let’s look at these three water types in more detail.

Bottled Distilled Water

Distilled bottled water is simply distilled water that has been bottled.

This water is treated with the distillation process (boiling water until it vaporizes, then cooling and condensing it) before being packaged in sealed bottles. You can buy distilled bottled water online and from some supermarkets.

Look for the term “vapor distilled” or “vapor purified”, which tells you that the water has been treated with distillation.

Related: How long does bottled distilled water last?

Pouring distilled water from glass container

Bottled Reverse Osmosis Water

If you can’t find distilled bottled water, bottled RO water is the next best option.

The RO purification process is very similar to distillation. It removes up to 99.99% of impurities from tap water, producing purified drinking water that’s safe for use in applications that call for distilled water.

However, because RO water is more commonly used for drinking, many bottled water manufacturers add essential minerals back into the water after the filtration process. While these healthy minerals improve the water taste, they may make the water unsuitable for use if you need water in its purest form.

Check the bottle label before you spend your money.

Bottled Deionized Water

Finally, bottled deionized water is another type of bottled water that you can consider using instead of distilled water.

Deionized water, as the name suggests, has had all its charged ions removed. The water is free from natural minerals and electrolytes, salts, carbon dioxide, and organic contaminants. Many DI water manufacturers also treat the water in a water filtration system, removing harmful chemicals, metals, and other contaminants.

However, DI water isn’t guaranteed to be purified water, so again, check the label and make sure you know what the water contains before you hit “buy”.

♨️ Can I Use Bottled Water In Place Of Distilled Water For Cooking?

Yes, you can use bottled water in place of distilled water for cooking. In fact, bottled water might actually be better than distilled and purified water for this purpose. It just depends on your situation.

For instance, if you’re cooking for elderly or immunocompromised people, using distilled, purified water is a good way to stay safe because it’s free from all trace contaminants.

But if you have a healthy immune system and you cook with distilled water because it’s contaminant-free, it might be at the expense of your food’s nutritional value.

Distilled, purified water is free from all impurities, including trace minerals with health benefits that are naturally present in tap water.

Because distilled water is lacking in minerals, it may attach itself to the nutrients in the foods you’re cooking. So, when you drain the water after cooking, you lose a lot of nutrients from the food.

It’s better to use tap water or bottled water for cooking to prevent this nutrient loss. No need to use mineral water – any bottled water that contains trace minerals will do. There are plenty of water filtration systems that can improve water quality if you want to remove contaminants in your cooking water.

Cooking with bottled water

📟 Can I Use Bottled Water In Place Of Distilled Water For My CPAP Machine?

Yes, you can use some types of bottled drinking water in place of distilled water for your CPAP machine.

Some brands will tell you to use only distilled water in a CPAP machine. You can also safely use demineralized water for this purpose, so look specifically for bottled purified water products.

Why do CPAP machines need purified water? The main reason is to prevent scaling, mineral buildup, and bacterial growth inside the machine. You’ll also reduce irritation of your airways and extend the lifespan of your CPAP machine by using demineralized bottled water, distilled water from bottles, or RO water for this purpose.

🚰 Can I Use Bottled Water In Place Of Distilled Water For Drinking?

Yes, you can use bottled drinking water in place of distilled water for drinking – and, in fact, this is what we recommend.

It’s safe to drink distilled water, but because this water lacks healthy minerals, it has a bland, flat taste and isn’t as healthy as other water types.

Bottled spring water is ideal to drink because it’s naturally purified and has a high natural mineral content. With that said, drinking distilled water is safer than drinking spring water because spring water still carries a risk of contamination.

It’s actually better that you don’t drink distilled water or any types of bottled waters. Instead, filter your tap water with a water purification system to remove select contaminants while retaining beneficial minerals. That way, your water is safer for human consumption but still contains the good stuff.

Woman drinking bottled water

🌱 Can I Use Bottled Water In Place Of Distilled Water For Watering My Plants?

Using distilled water isn’t recommended for plants because the water purification process removes beneficial minerals. So it’s best to use bottled drinking water for this purpose.

Let’s say you have an indoor plant that you only ever water with distilled water. The water is essentially “empty” water with no nutrients. While some plants might benefit from low-mineral water, others require essential nutrients to thrive, and using distilled water may hinder their growth.

So, it’s better to use bottled drinking water that contains essential minerals when watering your plants – or, even better, use filtered water from your tap.

🐟 Can I Use Bottled Water In Place Of Distilled Water For My Fish Tank?

Yes, most types of bottled waters are generally considered safe when used in fish tanks. Spring and mineral water are especially beneficial because of their natural minerals, which support aquatic health.

However, water quality and safety varies from one water product to the next, so do your research to make sure the water is safe for your fish and doesn’t contain any trace contaminants.

Distilled water is safe to use in a fish tank since it’s free from minerals and impurities, but it may be lacking in essential minerals that your fish need for their well-being. To compensate for this, you’ll need to add appropriate additives to the tank to ensure your fish have access to the nutrients they need.

📑 Final Word

It is possible to use bottled water in place of distilled water, but choose the type of bottled water carefully.

Which bottled water is closest to distilled? You can’t go wrong with distilled bottled water, but if that isn’t an option, RO purified water and DI water are the next best choices.

In any case, it depends on what you need your water for. If the situation calls for distilled water, you need to be mindful of the bottled water types you use in its place. But if distilled water is just your personal preference and it doesn’t actually matter what type of water you use, then your options are endless.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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