Tap Water vs Distilled Water Experiment

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TheGecko

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Due to a recent conversation regarding the above, I thought it would be interesting to see what the effects of our local 'tap' water vs distilled water in soap making.

This is experiment will take approximately six (6) weeks to complete. We will not only be looking at the cosmetic affect, but also any affect on the quality of the soap.

Parameters:

- Regular Recipe. This would be the recipe you use most often and the same for both soaps. 100% Distilled Water is preferred, but up to 50% Water Replacement will be allowed; please note what liquids and percentages were used.

- Regular Process. Whatever process you use to make soap...CP, CPOP, CPOP hybrid, HP...please use the same process for both soaps.

- Batch Size. Keep it small, but not too small so we an view the results. I plan to use my Purple Round Cavity Mold; total batch weight is 12 oz and I will make 2 soaps with DW and 2 soaps with TW.

- Do NOT use any scent; no Fragrance Oil, Essential Oil, distillations. This will be an unscented soap.

- Both soaps will be a two-color swirl...one color will be uncolored batter, the other can be any color you choose so long as both soaps use the same color. You can choose whatever 'swirl' method you like...Drop, ITP, Hanger, Chopstick or combination thereof. Please note what type of colorant you are using (mica, oxide, pigment, clay, ultramarines, neon, plant) as it could interact with the tap water. Keep the colorant on the pastel side.

- Photographs. Please post photographs at the cut or unmolding if using cavity molds and then again at two-weeks, four-weeks and then final photos at six-weeks.

If you are interested, please sign up below:

1. TheGecko
 

MelissaG

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I live in the swamp. Our water is high in chemicals to clean it. You can smell the chlorine. I even moved my cat to bottled water and I have a special filter on the shower to remove chemicals from the water before it falls on anyone's head. I'd never use tap water even to test because I don't know what's in it.
 

TheGecko

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what about using chelators? ROE since it's already in some of my oils?

Interesting question. I don't use either myself so I don't have a full understanding of them, but what I do know is that chelators are used to prevent the end-user, if they have hard water (water that has metal and minerals), from having soap scum.*** ROE is used to prevent oils from going rancid or preventing DOS?

I say go for it...all part of the experiment.

*** - Was thinking about this the other day while cleaning the bathroom how easy it was to clean the tub and sink since we quit using commercial soap.
 

TheGecko

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I live in the swamp. Our water is high in chemicals to clean it. You can smell the chlorine. I even moved my cat to bottled water and I have a special filter on the shower to remove chemicals from the water before it falls on anyone's head. I'd never use tap water even to test because I don't know what's in it.

While tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Phoenix, it is some of the 'hardest' water in the country. I didn't realize how bad it was until I left dishes in the sink for almost 48 hours and the water had turned slimy; I had to wash the dishes before I could wash them. At least once or twice a year I would have to rubberband baggies of CLR on showerheads and facets to keep the minerals from building up. And I'd run CLR through the washing machine and dishwasher. And it just destroys coffee makers. I finally got a water dispenser...used it for coffee, sun tea, ice and drinking water...made a huge difference.
 

MelissaG

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While tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Phoenix, it is some of the 'hardest' water in the country. I didn't realize how bad it was until I left dishes in the sink for almost 48 hours and the water had turned slimy; I had to wash the dishes before I could wash them. At least once or twice a year I would have to rubberband baggies of CLR on showerheads and facets to keep the minerals from building up. And I'd run CLR through the washing machine and dishwasher. And it just destroys coffee makers. I finally got a water dispenser...used it for coffee, sun tea, ice and drinking water...made a huge difference.
Slimy about describes it. I don't even want to know what lives in the water around here.
 

Babyshoes

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Due to a recent conversation regarding the above, I thought it would be interesting to see what the effects of our local 'tap' water vs distilled water in soap making.

This is experiment will take approximately six (6) weeks to complete. We will not only be looking at the cosmetic affect, but also any affect on the quality of the soap.

Parameters:

- Regular Recipe. This would be the recipe you use most often and the same for both soaps. 100% Distilled Water is preferred, but up to 50% Water Replacement will be allowed; please note what liquids and percentages were used.

- Regular Process. Whatever process you use to make soap...CP, CPOP, CPOP hybrid, HP...please use the same process for both soaps.

- Batch Size. Keep it small, but not too small so we an view the results. I plan to use my Purple Round Cavity Mold; total batch weight is 12 oz and I will make 2 soaps with DW and 2 soaps with TW.

- Do NOT use any scent; no Fragrance Oil, Essential Oil, distillations. This will be an unscented soap.

- Both soaps will be a two-color swirl...one color will be uncolored batter, the other can be any color you choose so long as both soaps use the same color. You can choose whatever 'swirl' method you like...Drop, ITP, Hanger, Chopstick or combination thereof. Please note what type of colorant you are using (mica, oxide, pigment, clay, ultramarines, neon, plant) as it could interact with the tap water. Keep the colorant on the pastel side.

- Photographs. Please post photographs at the cut or unmolding if using cavity molds and then again at two-weeks, four-weeks and then final photos at six-weeks.

If you are interested, please sign up below:

1. TheGecko

Thank you for setting this up. I hope to have the energy to soap again soon, and if so I'll include a couple of water test batches. Our water is very hard, so I do expect a reaction of some sort.
 
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Our water, if left sitting out in the open, gets a dirty white ring so I'd love to do this experiment. However, we need to get our house back together after getting it painted, then we have company coming for two weeks, then I have a quilt retreat, then more company and about that time a deadline looming for a gift. So mine will not happen, if it happens, until July or August.

However, I do remember my first soaps were made with tap water...I was totally green at soapmaking, used a friend's recipe without running it through a calculator and know I didn't cure the soap. But it was still wonderful compared to anything I was using at the time. Once I learned that you used distilled water in soapmaking I have never gone back to tap. So this would fulfill my curiosity about the water we have, which is well water and wonderful to drink...not quite so wonderful for the faucets and shower heads. It will be interesting to see what happens with the same recipe now that I know a little more about soaping than I did the last time I made soap with tap water. I'll be following this thread even though I know that my tap water is not the same as your tap water.
 

SudsyPigeon

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If you are interested, please sign up below:

1. TheGecko
2. Gardengeek
3. ScentimentallyYours
4. Dooleykins
5. SudsyPigeon

It'd be great if participants can also get a water report for their city/municipality. It would help us compare minerals and additives that might show a pattern of what affects CP and what doesn't. I'm VERY excited about this because tracking down distilled water is so annoying in NYC.
 

jcandleattic

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I've conducted this test before with our tap water. I can't use it. We have too many minerals and metals in our tap water, and it causes a lot of funky things to happen to my soap batter, from seizing, smelling off, to discoloration.
Not worth it for me to do again.
 
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I finished my two today. I plan to leave them undisturbed until at least Sunday afternoon. There were no notable differences in behaviors.

I'm on municipal water with no extra water treatment. My water is hard so I do use chelators. I was using sodium citrate but recently switched to edta/sodium gluconate.

@SudsyPigeon, I wonder if my city has a report online? I'll check it out this weekend.
 

DianaMoon

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I live in the swamp. Our water is high in chemicals to clean it. You can smell the chlorine. I even moved my cat to bottled water and I have a special filter on the shower to remove chemicals from the water before it falls on anyone's head. I'd never use tap water even to test because I don't know what's in it.

Can you ask your local water board? (Or whatever it's called.) Get a confidence report.

Most localities have chlorine in water, for good reason. I guess there are some that don't, but I don't know of them. I remember reading about an experiment in Peru where they did away with chlorinated water in some major city. Result? Cholera epidemic.

I often leave my water out for a while for the chlorine to evaporate before I drink it. Although I didn't even notice the taste before I learned that we do have chlorinated water (duh) in NYC. But once I learned about it I could taste it. The power of suggestion.
 
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