Quantcast

Tap water or distilled?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Natalie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Up late with lots of questions.

In my attempts at cold process I've been using regular tap water. I remembered hearing somewhere to use distilled water. For those who do not have distilled water on hand, do you boil tap water and use that?
 

Lane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
1,577
Reaction score
11
Location
Midwest, USA
For some reason, Wal mart out here isn't carrying distilled water anymore... I just made a batch with a water bottle of spring water I found and it worked great....

I've used tap water before but ended up the "sludge" in my lye water solution... I used it anyway and it didn't hurt anything. :)
Hope that helps some!
 
G

Guest

My understanding is that the choice to use distilled water depends on your tap water supply, as far as hard, soft, mineral laden or relatively pure. Boiling your water is not going to change the mineral content appreciably, and in fact when you boil off some water you're actually increasing the mineral content.

Boiling might kill any bacteria or other live pathogens, but the lye will do that just as well IMO, and when you add lye the water goes to 180°-200° anyway which should accomplish about the same. I doubt boiling your water could have any beneficial effect on your soap.

I started with distilled water but when I run out I'm going to try tap water. I wanted to take the least risks and short cuts in making my initial batches of soap so that I would have the best chance at having good results, so now I have the experience to change the water and judge for myself whether the tap water had any negative impact. My tap water here in the San Fernando Valley is practically pure snowmelt water coming from the High Sierra Mountains 300 miles north of LA, and is rated as some of the best quality water in the nation. (Note that the rest of LA does not share this fine distinction.) I'll be astonished if my tap water isn't good enough to make soap. I'm switching as soon as I run out of my initial gallon of distilled water.

If you've been using tap water with good results I see no reason to change.
 

SoapyGal

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
180
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa
For my first batch, I gathered everything except distilled water, and didn't realize that I forgot it until after the soap had been poured into the mold! :p

I got nervous that I had used tap water, & figured my soap would be ruined (talk about pessimism!)

But, the soap came out beautiful, can't see anything wrong with it at all.

I will try the same recipe with distilled water in the future, just to see if there is indeed a difference.

I'm not sure how one would go about checking the quality of their tap water...

HTH :)
 
G

Guest

SG, I think you're wasting your time with distilled water if your tap water comes out okay. It depends on your water supply. We have good water in Los Angeles, I'm running out of distilled water, and I'm switching to tap water in my next batch. I'm not going to go back to distilled unless I notice any problems.
 

cdwinsby

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
448
Reaction score
1
Location
Sicamous, BC
Distilled water is only required if you have hard water which contains unwanted minerals that can react with the lye.

You know you have hard water if you need lots of soap to get a lather. When you wash your hands, your hands won't slide against each other very well without soap and your skin feels quite dry after a shower. We had really hard water when I lived in Chilliwack....it's aweful.

I used my mothers well water for years with great results. I just put it through a Britta filter. That water is so soft that you barely need to use any soap since it lathers like crazy there.

Alas I no longer live near my mother and our water isn't soft enough here so I just pick up some purified water at the local drug store.
 

Lane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
1,577
Reaction score
11
Location
Midwest, USA
cdwinsby said:
Distilled water is only required if you have hard water which contains unwanted minerals that can react with the lye.
Our water out here is so hard it practically comes out of the faucet as rocks... :shock: :roll:
 

SoapyGal

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
180
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa
Lovehound said:
SG, I think you're wasting your time with distilled water if your tap water comes out okay. It depends on your water supply. We have good water in Los Angeles, I'm running out of distilled water, and I'm switching to tap water in my next batch. I'm not going to go back to distilled unless I notice any problems.
I was born & raised in LA, left there 8 years ago because of hubby's work. I lived in the beach cities area, probably never heard of it, San Pedro was the name of my city.... worked in Torrance...anyway, we had really cruddy tap water there. Always had to drink Sparkletts :p But up in the mountains there was really lovely tap water. Mostly snow melt.

Lived in Miami for a spell... the water there was hit & miss, depending on which part of the city you were in.

Here in Iowa the water seems pretty decent. I probably won't bother with distilled water, but I would like to try one batch with it just for comparison sake & because I'm a curious creature :p
 
G

Guest

Here in the San Fernando Valley (area of L.A.) we get all our drinking water from the Owens Valley aqueduct which comes from the eastern High Sierra Mountains, supplied by fresh snow water. We have some of the best water in the nation.

The rest of L.A. is fed with a combination of Colorado River water, Sacramento Delta water and well water.

Note that the San Fernando Valley (800 feet) is higher in elevation than the other parts of the city (0-500 feet), our High Sierra water even higher (4,000-7,000 feet), so we luck out just because it's economically prohibitive to pump water uphill when it's already there in the Valley.

The upshoot is that snow water comes out of my taps.
 

SoapyGal

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
180
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa
Lucky bugger :p

On a side note, I notice your location says "Northridge".... I was curious if you were there for the big earthquake in '94? (I think that was the year, if my memory serves me correctly -- but that's a crap shoot these days! :p ) Did it affect you badly? Where we were, we lost power all day, had a gas leak, and alot of cracks in foundations & retaining walls, that sort of thing. It was one of the biggest ones I've ever experienced, personally, and I lived there for a total of 34 years.
 
G

Guest

I got up at 4 a.m. preparing to leave at 5 a.m. for my job in Palm Springs. Long story short I went blind, dumb, deaf and stupid before leaving for work, and only came out of shell shock 2-3 hours later after I dragged out my camping gear and made coffee. Besides my house being shaken by a big giant, besides having stuff on one kitchen counter jump across the kitchen to the other counter, despite $12,000 damage necessitating replacement of the chimney, and considering everything in my house was tossed, I returned to work a few days later, via remote login and was able to resume work before Friday. What an ordeal! :)
 

SoapyGal

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
180
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa
Yikes! That was quite the ordeal!! Well, thank God you weren't as unlucky as that poor motorcycle cop who raced off to help people, only to lose his life while discovering that the double decker freeway wasn't all in one piece anymore. That was really a very traumatic experience for the whole state, I think. Even those of us that didn't get hit that bad personally were so shaken emotionally by seeing what others had to go thru. Terrible.
 
G

Guest

I remember hearing about that. What a rush, although a very short one...
 
Top