Should My Soap Recipes Use Distilled Water?


Will Tap Water Be Good Enough?

A new soap maker said:

“I discovered the water in the United Kingdom is harder compared to the water I used in the United States. Would you have any idea on its effect cold processed soap? Do you have any hints on how to deal with this before I start making a batch of soap? While I am unsure about the distilled water supply in the United Kingdom, I normally used tap water for making soap.”

That is a good question, and many people often think about this.

One very good advice someone once told when it comes to using tap water for making soap is that “if the water is soft or suitable enough for making soap or it can suitably lather or rinse, then you can use it in making soap.

Scum may form on soap when hard water is used to make it. You can find out more about soap scum chemistry through research. There may be some issues with any actual soap bar. But, not much issues with detergent bars. The water must be very hard to result to these issues. The issue may reach a point when you will not be able to use it in making soap recipes. You may encounter rinsing issues when the water is very soft and not hard.

The answer is easy, tap water works just fine.

My Opinion

The soap batches I first made used distilled water ( I have a countertop water distiller to make distilled water everyday ). I followed the instructions on a book and consider it bible truth. My soap batches always used distilled water for a long time. But, my distilled water supply ran out one day, and I had to make a new soap batch.

When I used tap water, the soap was still the same. The water here at my place in Dallas is moderately hard. It has an 80 to 100 parts per million when it comes to hardness. For the past decade, I have been using tap water and no issues ever came out.

What is the Importance of Using Distilled Water in Making Soap?

  1. ADVANTAGE – Consistency of distilled water. When you use distilled water in making soap, you are guaranteed that there is nothing added to the soap batch that may result to some issues. This is because distilled water is only water. You have an idea on what you add into the soap. Even as I never experienced any issues with using tap water, there are some people who noted small amounts of metals in the water that caused the Dreaded Orange Spots or DOS in the soap.
  2. ADVANTAGE – You can promote soap made using distilled water or rain water as pure. There are soaps with the label indicating they are made using distilled water. Some have the label saying it was made using rain water or made using purified water. This is better compared to knowing it was made using tap water from my kitchen. But, soap made using distilled, purified, or rain water may not be better. Your target market will determine if it will sell better.
  3. DISADVANTAGE – It is expensive. While it is not very expensive, costs in making soap will increase when you use distilled water. You will have to make a decision on how you want to spend money on the different ingredients of your product.
  4. DISADVANTAGE – You have to make sure you have ample supply of this ingredient. You may want to think about using distilled water if you are aiming to reduce your supplies or want to maintain a lean inventory.

You can make some tests. Produce one batch of soap using tap water while making another batch using distilled water. After you cue the product for four to six weeks, you can test the two batches. You may find out if there are any differences in the two batches.

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