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What is the difference between distilled & sterile water?

Updated April 17, 2017

Distilled water is made through the reverse osmosis of water. Some uses of distilled water are in automotive cooling systems, steam irons and home aquariums due to the lack of minerals and impurities. Sterilisation of water requires boiling or treating the water and is often used when water is not otherwise safe to drink.

Sterilised Water

Sterilised water is free from bacteria and viruses and can be made by rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes or by adding small amounts (four eyedroppers for every gallon of water) of fragrance free chlorine bleach to tap water.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is basically regular tap water is turned into clean steam vapour which is condensed and then passed through an organic filter. Through this process, pollutants, synthetic chemicals, bacteria, parasites, herbicides, pesticides and some metals are filtered out.

In Comparison

Distilled water has had many of its impurities removed, whereas sterile water may not be chemical or mineral free. Both distilled and sterile water can start out by boiling the water; however, distillation takes it one step further by condensing the steam into a container.

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About the Author

Marie Liberty has been writing since 1998. She is the author of "Little Miss Right Now" and her articles have appeared in the "Blackwater Review," "Voices" and "Northwest Florida Daily News." Liberty is certified in elementary education and has a Master of Science in psychology from Troy State University.