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Q & A: deionized vs. distilled water

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Most recent answer: 01/29/2014
We are attempting to clean a small ceramic substrate for some testing here and one of the steps will include a pure water rinse to remove polar impurities after a prior isopropyl alcohol scrub which is done to remove non-polar contaminants. I have received conflicting input relative to the cleansing effectiveness of distilled water vs deionized water. Seems to me that the distilled water should be more pure than the deionized water and leave fewer residues. Can you advise? Thanks in advance.
- Dave (age 55)
La Mesa, CA USA
I agree. The wikipedia article on this agrees with what I know about it. Distilling is a more broad-spectrum impurity remover than some other deionization methods, especially passage through an ion exchange column.

Mike W,

(published on 03/08/2010)

Follow-Up #1: distilled water is de-ionized

Is distilled water also de-ionized? I just got a kit to test sulfites and TA in wine using the Ripper method. It involves probes and a pH meter. It says to rinse the probes with "de-ionized water" in the instructions, but in the "things you will need" section it lists "distillled water." I phoned the company I bought it from, but am not confident I was talking to a knowledgeable person.
- David (age 66)
Lancaster, PA, USA

Yes, distilled water should be even better than water de-ionized with ion exchange resin, since distilling removes non-ionic impurites too.

Mike W.

(published on 01/29/2014)

Follow-up on this answer.