Chemistry of common things

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See Doughs, batters, leaveners


Trees, O2, CO2


On bottled water

Demineralized and distilled water

The difference

  • Distilled is nearly-pure H2O, because distillation means you move the water and leaves behind most other things
  • demineralized means few to no minerals (fresh natural water has some, tapwater has a more-controlled bunch; see also hard water) by some method
...but says little about what else may still be in there
it's useful to keep minerals out of chothes irons, car batteries, and such (mainly to avoid limescale)

Contaminants in demineralized water

Demineralized water often mentions it is not fit for consumption

largely because depending on the process of demineralization, there may be other things still left in there, say, a few bacteria. Your iron or battery won't care, but you might
(also in part because it's also sold in supermarkets, so it's useful, possibly required, to point this out explicitly)

In practice it's usually pretty clean water, but it's not guaranteed to be.

On nutritional deficiency:

In theory there are additives in tap water, mostly a few minerals/salts, some which we need, some less so. Most common are calcium, sodium and magnesium (calcium may be there already depending on the water source).

The idea of adding fluorine for teeth turned out to have some negative side effects so is generally being phased out.

These minerals won't be in distilled water or in demineralized water.

But water is never enough for a daily recommended dose of anything (other than water itself, pedants), but it certainly helps when you're missing a regular food-based intake of any mineral.

So if you structurally drink only distilled instead of tap water, you may need to pay a little more attention to what you eat. Which is why generally you wouldn't want to.

On water poisoning

tl;dr: You are at negligible risk.

Water poisoning happens when drinking a large amount in a short time, because of other balances, primarily salt and other electrolytes. (roughly why saline solution is medially a sensible way to deal with dehydration - though studies show there are subtler choices for that)

Basically, drinking a lot of water eventually causes effects like osmosis taking necessary salts out of your kidneys.

...but the thing is that if you drink liters of liters of anything, you are likely to dilute yourself unless it's a very specific mix.

And somewhat surprisingly, a lot of drinks are not quite as bad as just plain water.

And there's little variation in types of water, because while tap water has more minerals (including salt), as does a lot of bottled, it's almost always very low, aimed at being minor suppliment at best.

To the point that distilled isn't significantly more dangerous, at least when you eat.

...because it's primarily salt in our food is what helps keep our salt balance. So if you eat anything salty your body can keep this balance well. And you'll probably crave salt if you're low on it (and find high amounts of salt nasty).

Hard water

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

Hard water refers to water having relatively high mineral content.

Typically specifically calcium, because this often means the water comes from a source where it has passed limestone, chalk or such. Which gives you things like calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates.

Hard water is perfectly healthy (arguably slightly preferable for drinking water), but is less ideal for industrial processes, and for washing machines, means you need more detergents (or a detergent that contains a water softener), and deposits limescale in kettles, showers, glasses, washing machines, and such.