Distilled Water

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kmarvel

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Hello. I usually use distilled water to make my soap. I bought a Brita water filter and was wondering if it is just as good using the filtered water as the distilled water.
 

bumbleklutz

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I wouldn't risk it. Looking at the Brita web site, it doesn't appear that it removes calcium, magnesium, or iron from water. The time I lost all my holiday gifts to DOS was the one time I used tap water for soaping. I now know that the DOS was probably caused by minerals in the tap water, but we have really hard water here. Your mileage may vary.
 

penelopejane

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I wouldn't risk it. Looking at the Brita web site, it doesn't appear that it removes calcium, magnesium, or iron from water. The time I lost all my holiday gifts to DOS was the one time I used tap water for soaping. I now know that the DOS was probably caused by minerals in the tap water, but we have really hard water here. Your mileage may vary.
I use double filtered water but it removes all those mentioned above and I haven't had a problem (yet).
 

DeeAnna

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Filtering absolutely ~cannot~ remove calcium or magnesium ions. If you had a filter that fine, it would not pass water molecules through the filter either.

Removal of calcium and magnesium ions requires treatment by distillation, reverse osmosis, water softener, soda ash, zeolites, etc. Carbon adsorption, mechanical filtering including ultra filtration, etc. ... nope, won't work.

Iron removal depends on the type of iron in the water. Sometimes filtration may help, but often a chemical removal process is needed.
 
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lsg

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I bought a small electric water distiller from Amazon several years ago. I usually make about a gallon of distilled water at a time.
 

kmarvel

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Filtering absolutely ~cannot~ remove calcium or magnesium ions. If you had a filter that fine, it would not pass water molecules through the filter either.

Removal of calcium and magnesium ions requires treatment by distillation, reverse osmosis, water softener, soda ash, zeolites, etc. Carbon adsorption, mechanical filtering including ultra filtration, etc. ... nope, won't work.

Iron removal depends on the type of iron in the water. Sometimes filtration may help, but often a chemical removal process is needed.

Thanks everyone for the great responses. Definitely not going to use Brita water!! :)
 

kmarvel

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I bought a small electric water distiller from Amazon several years ago. I usually make about a gallon of distilled water at a time.
I am going to look into buying one of these!! Thank you.
 

penelopejane

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Filtering absolutely ~cannot~ remove calcium or magnesium ions. If you had a filter that fine, it would not pass water molecules through the filter either.

Removal of calcium and magnesium ions requires treatment by distillation, reverse osmosis, water softener, soda ash, zeolites, etc. Carbon adsorption, mechanical filtering including ultra filtration, etc. ... nope, won't work.

Iron removal depends on the type of iron in the water. Sometimes filtration may help, but often a chemical removal process is needed.
Bugger! I have no doubt been living in a dream world. :crazy::crazy:
 

DeeAnna

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Not a dream world, PJ! Sometimes filter makers make some pretty amazing claims, however. How are we consumers to know what is correct and what is not??? :)

Here's why I said what I did --

Water has the molecular formula of H2O. Each water molecule has a size of about 3 Angstroms. (There are 10,000,000,000 Angstroms in 1 meter.) A calcium ion has the formula Ca2+ with a size of about 1.1 A and magnesium has the formula Mg2+ with a size of about 0.9 A.

If you had a filter that was fine enough to filter out particles that are 1.1 or 0.9 A in size, then bigger particles (3 A) would also get caught in the filter.
 

penelopejane

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^^^ I understand.
I have dual ceramic filters. The brochure info says it gets rid of the following. If it is effective is it good enough to use to make soap? I am a bit paranoid about the idea of DOS which I've avoided so far. (Touch wood).
Aluminium
Barium
Cadmium
Chlorine
Chromium
Copper
Cryptosporidium & Giardia
Cysts
e. Coli Bacteria
Taste
Heavy Metals
Hydrocarbons
Iron
Lead
Manganese
Mercury
Nitrate
PCB’s
Potassium
Radium
Sediment, Dirt & Rust
Selenium
Sodium
Odour
 

DeeAnna

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I use distilled water. Reverse osmosis water is a reasonable alternative and is often easier to find in countries other than the US.

In a pinch, filtered rainwater or snow water or filtered water from a dehumidifier will work.

If you don't want to use any of those, then filtered tap water is better than nothing, but it isn't going to meet the same standards as distilled or RO water. That said, many people say they use tap water and don't seem to have problems.

It's a debate that comes up repeatedly. I err on the side of treating soap making like I would a science experiment, so that's my bias.

I guess the bottom line is to use what seems best to you.
 
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BattleGnome

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I'll add some anecdotal comments... I mostly use Brita water for my soaps an only once had an issue (but I'm pretty sure the oil was bad as opposed to the water). We also don't have particularly hard water but at the same time it's not particularly soft either.
 

Soapprentice

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So, we have RO that means I can use the water from it? But then again distilled water is cheaper than the water from RO as a lot of water will be removed. If that makes any sense
 

DeeAnna

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I would use whatever is easiest and cheapest for you, Soapprentice. In my area of the US, distilled is much easier to find than RO water!
 

earlene

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Wondering what is the difference between using non-distilled water and using juice or tea or beer or any other liquid in place of water when we make soap? I know when I use vinegar it's made with distilled water. But can I really expect that kombucha tea is made with distilled water? Maybe it is, I'd have to look at the label. (But if I used homemade kombucha tea in my soap it would be made with filtered or tap water.)

And how long has distilled water been the go-to water for soap making? Rain water may have once been the go-to water. Spring water may have once been the water of choice. Certainly tap water wasn't originally available, but neither was distilled water.

So why not use filtered water?

When traveling, I use whatever is available to me. Sometimes it's distilled water. Sometimes it's bottled drinking water (that can be just about anything, including NYC tap water, btw.) Sometimes it's vinegar. Sometimes it's milk, etc. etc.

The times I had DOS were early in my soap making endeavors and I don't know for sure, but I really don't think it was the water itself that was the problem. I'm pretty sure it was the oil because I used old oil that I no longer used for cooking.

That's not to say that water contamination won't cause DOS. I'm just not sure it's as crucial as "NEVER use non-distilled water or you WILL get DOS." I am unconvinced.

Maybe I am being naive. So if there are factors I have not considered, please let me know. Could it be more about introducing scum-producing products to the soap, perhaps? That I think is more valid than a DOS concern.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Quite - while distilled water is not guarantee of dos-free soap and using tap water does guarantee dos, it is better to use what you can if you can to minimize the risks. I can only imagine what sort of water was used "back in the day", but we have other options which makes sense for most people to use.

I wouldn't not make soap if I needed soap just because I had no distilled water on hand, but I would try to make sure that I always have it on hand for soaping
 

BrewerGeorge

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The thing to remember, though, is that CP - even HP - soap the way we make it is a very controlled, precise process far removed from the way it was done "back in the day." Those soaps were made lye-heavy and salted out exactly because they couldn't be sure of things like the purity of the lye, makeup of the water, or the fats themselves.

These modern methods work because we have control of these variables and computers to easily do the calculations for us. When you willfully relinquish control of one or more of those variables, you risk things going wrong.

And I'm unclear why anybody would risk it. You've likely got $6 in fragrance alone in a medium batch - to say nothing of the oils. Why introduce additional risk for twenty-five cents worth of water?
 

DeeAnna

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I will say too that if a person ever wants to make liquid soap, especially if you want it to be transparent, then distilled or RO water is not optional -- you really do need to use it vs regular drinking water.
 

jod58

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Well we shower and wash with regular water. Can't be that bad!
 
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