Why Distilled Water for Soap Making

  • By: Carl
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Soap-making is a great way to save money and create a product that is better for your skin than store-bought soaps. However, one important ingredient in soap making is distilled water. What is distilled water and why is it necessary for soap making?

Distilled water is ideal for soap making because it has no impurities. Making soap with distilled water helps create a pure and smooth soap product that will keep an ideal appearance and performance.

In addition, distilled water also helps to somewhat take the guesswork out of the soap-making process. When distilled water is used, it is less likely that your soap will suddenly seize or become crumbly.

Distilled Water & Soap Making

Distilled water is produced through distillation. Distillation is the process of separating various components or substances from liquid through boiling and condensation. During the distillation process, water is heated past its boiling point transforming it from liquid to gas or steam.

The steam is collected in a separate container and then cooled down to revert it to liquid form. When the steam transforms to liquid, it is already cleaned and referred to as distilled water. On the other hand, the original container or chamber stores all contaminants that are left behind.

Distillation is an effective way to purify the water and eliminate all harmful components or contaminants that are commonly found in water from different sources such as rain, rivers, lake, tap water, and more.

Water that contains contaminants is typically referred to as hard water. Some common contaminants in hard water are sodium, iron, manganese, fluoride, lead, chlorine, and other inorganic materials.

Moreover, distillation makes it possible to eliminate all harmful chemicals that are not possible to remove by just boiling such as calcium and magnesium as their boiling points are higher than water’s boiling point.

Distillation is also known to eliminate all kinds of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases.

Distilled water is ideal to use in soap making because it contains no contaminants and chemicals that may potentially cause harm to the health or affect the soap quality.

Benefits Of Using Distilled Water For Soap Making

Below we go through the different benefits of using distilled water in more detail.

1. Consistent soap quality

Distilled water is pure and doesn’t contain any substances that may affect soap quality. By using distilled water, you are fully aware of your soap ingredients. Therefore, you are more in control and can avoid the adverse effects of certain contaminants present in the water.

2. Rich lather

Making use of distilled water gives the soap a good lather performance that removes dirt and grease. Distilled water doesn’t leave any residue and has increased cleaning power. Distilled water soaps can also produce higher voluminous bubbles compared to soaps made with other types of water.

3. Completely clear liquid soap

Distilled water doesn’t contain contaminants that could affect the appearance of any form of soap. Liquid soaps, in particular, are easily affected by contaminants making them more prone to getting a milky and cloudy appearance. Because of this, it is best to use distilled water for liquid soaps.

4. Prevents microbial contamination

As we have tackled above, distilled water is a great way to remove all viruses, bacteria, and other chemicals that can cause diseases. Distilled water soaps are deemed safe for the health and prevent any formation or reproduction of microbes that can raise health concerns.

In addition to these benefits, some soap buyers may prefer distilled water soaps over other kinds of soap. This is because distilled water soaps are often advertised as pure and safe. This can cause a significant influence on many soap buyers.

Risks Of Not Using Distilled Water In Soap Making

While making use of undistilled or normal water is generally safe, doing so could affect the soap quality and performance. Soaps made with distilled and normal water have noticeable differences and reactions that every soap maker should be aware of.

To learn more about the drawback of using normal water in soap making, read our list of risks below.

1. Increased risk of oxidation

The contaminants in normal water can cause oxidation when it comes into contact with oxygen. When oxidation progresses, rancidity occurs and smelly chemicals form. This results in the unpleasant odor of the soap.

2. Milky or cloudy appearance of liquid soaps

Undistilled water contaminants can have an unfavorable response to other soap ingredients. When the contaminants and the soap ingredients are mixed, visible effects like cloudiness can be seen.

3. Decreased cleaning abilities

Many soap makers still believe that the pH of soap can prevent microbes and provide good cleaning abilities regardless of the water used. However, this myth is not true at all. If the undistilled water contains microbes, it is still very likely to spread diseases. Different sources of water like tap water are not clean and safe for soap making.

4. Formation of soap scum

Soap scum is the thin white or gray chalky residue that sticks to different surfaces like the bathroom floor or sink. The contaminants in normal water, particularly calcium and magnesium, can cause soap scums when combined with soap. In addition to creating stains on surfaces, soap scums can cause other soap problems such as poor lather ability and increased risk of rancidity.

Disadvantages Of Using Distilled Water

Distilled water is certainly the best water for soap making. It is important for ensuring the quality and safety of the soap. However, there are still some perceived disadvantages of using it.

1. Costs extra money

Distilled water is not very expensive. In fact, you can typically buy a gallon of distilled water for less than a dollar. However, this cost can still affect your budget for soap making.

2. It is one more ingredient to store and think about

Soaps don’t necessarily require a lot of ingredients, hence adding one more ingredient such as distilled water wouldn’t hurt. But for people who make large batches of soaps, it can be an extra thing to store and think about. It can also take up some space in small work areas.

Where To Buy Distilled Water

Distilled water is widely available in different leading and local stores. It can be bought in groceries and even pharmacies. It is also fairly cheap and you can often buy it for less than a dollar per gallon. Water stores and refilling stations can also offer it at lower prices and bigger sizes with different delivery services.

Making distilled water at home is also a handy way to procure distilled water. Different distilling machines are now available in online stores and appliance stores. However, making distilled water could take time and effort.

Some soap makers claim that boiling water is as good as distilling but this is not factual and effective for soap making. Boiling water eliminates all bacteria that can cause someone sick but distilling removes all impurities apart from disease-causing bacteria.

Distilling removes all contaminants and other impurities that could affect the soap’s quality and performance making distilled water better than boiled water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use distilled water for other purposes?

Yes, distilled water can be used for different purposes. It is often used as an ingredient in beauty products, cleaning solutions, and even in car radiators.

How long does distilled water last?

Distilled water can last for a very long time if it is stored properly. Make sure to keep it in a clean and sealed container to prevent contaminants from entering.

What are the different types of distilled water?

There are three types of distilled water – ion-exchange distilled water, deionized distilled water, and reverse osmosis distilled water.

Is distilled water safe to drink?

Yes, distilled water is safe to drink. In fact, it is often recommended for people with different health conditions like kidney problems.

How much distilled water should I use for soap making?

The amount of distilled water to use for soap making will depend on the recipe. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that you are using the right amount.


Distilled water is the best type of water to use for soap making. It removes all impurities and contaminants that can affect the quality and performance of the soap. It is important to use distilled water to ensure the safety and quality of the soap.

Distilled water is widely available and fairly cheap. You can buy it in different stores or make it at home. distilled water is safe to drink and can be used for different purposes.

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