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Differences in Types of Water

Water, H2O, two elements, seems simple enough right? So what’s with all these different types of water, isn’t it all the same?


Distilled water, spring water, purified water, drinking water—what’s the best for your body? Your mind? What about for washing your car? Or washing your clothes?

Well, let’s start with the different types of water.

Drinking Water

Drinking water is water that’s best for exactly what it says—drinking. It comes from a municipal source and is most suitable for human consumption. There are no added ingredients aside from those found in normal tap water, which are generally beneficial.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is a type of purified water that goes through an additional distillation process to strip it of any contaminants. This rigorous process also strips it of it’s natural minerals, meaning it’s not the best for human consumption as it doesn’t provide any of the natural benefits from water.

Distilled water is good to use in household appliances, like irons, since you won’t get the mineral build up you would get from using tap water. Distilled water is also good to use to wash your car as it won’t cause water spots caused by minerals found in tap water.

Purified Water

Purified water can come from any source, but is sent through a purification process to remove any harmful contaminants and chemicals. This process also can remove any of the naturally beneficial minerals, but not as much as distillation does, so it’s okay to drink.

Spring Water

Spring water is what you will most commonly see in bottled water. It comes from a “natural” spring and may or may not have been purified or treated. The name itself sounds more natural and almost of a higher quality, but it’s not necessarily the best for drinking as studies have found contaminants, such as coliform, arsenic, and phthalates, in spring water. The ambiguity of spring water is where things get tricky. A lot of water is labeled as “Spring Water” but the source is unknown. This particular topic has been a growing controversy for the past few years.

So, how much water should you be drinking?

Healthcare professionals recommend drinking an average of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This is the equivalent to 1/2 a gallon of water everyday. This is commonly referred to as the 8×8 rule, which is easy to remember!


Another way to calculate how much water you should be drinking is by using your body weight. Start by dividing your body weight in half, then divide half your body weight by 8. The result will tell you how many 8 oz cups of water you should drink daily.

For more information, check out this article from Mother Nature Network.