What is water made of?

    Illustration representing Lego building blocks. The lego blocks are coloured in a blue hue, to remind you of water.
    Not Lego. Most certainly.

    And does the chemical composition of water change?

    Budding scientist, you have asked a great question.

    It makes sense that as we talk about all the minerals in water, we might question ‘does the chemical composition of water change’? The short answer is no, water is always H₂O. From a tap, the sky, a lake, the toilet, or even the water in your cells. It is two hydrogen atoms stuck to an oxygen atom.

    This Quora article sums it up pretty well, when someone asked What are the chemical formulas for dirty water, drinking water, warm water, oil fire water, polluted water, cold water, filtered water, tap water, ocean water, water that tastes like apple, and rain water?

    Frank Wood’s slightly tongue in cheek,
    but quite accurate reply tells us:

    • dirty water = H₂O + dirt
    • drinking water = H₂O + various dissolved minerals
    • warm water = H₂O + heat
    • oil fire water = H₂O + hydrocarbons
    • polluted water = H₂O + pollutants
    • cold water = H₂O (minus) some heat
    • filtered water = H₂O (minus) some contaminants
    • tap water = H₂O + lots of things in small amounts
    • ocean water = H₂O + salts
    • water that tastes like apple = H₂O + apple juice
    • rain water = H₂O + minor contaminants

    So if you want that Nobel prize, you better get back to class.

    The key take away point here is that the chemical formula for water doesn’t change, it is always H₂O. There is a difference between water and a mixture of water + something else. When another molecule is mixed with water, it is not chemically bound to it and do not create new compounds. Rather they are dissolved in water. The polarized nature of water molecules makes water a good solvent and most polarized molecules will therefore disperse or spread when put into an aqueous solution. But they do not form a new compound.

    What is tap water made of?

    So what about tap water? I hear you ask. What makes tap water not pure water? What is dissolved into it? We wrote a whole article answering this question called ‘Is tap water safe to drink’.

    In that article you can see exactly what makes tap water impure. We were able to separate 99.9% of what wasn’t water, from pure H₂O; we took all the contaminants away and took photos of them.

    How did we do that? With a home water distiller. An inexpensive home appliance which can take any kind of water such as the one running through your taps, and turn it into pure H₂O leaving all the residue behind, for your own amusement (click photo to enlarge)

    Photo of our Imber Isla. This is our premium water distiller. The appliance is depicted in the middle of the frame, with its glass collecting jug next to it. The water distiller is made of stainless steel and black plastic. White background makes the subject stand out,.
    This is the water distiller we used to conduct the experiment. It is a 4 litre distiller with stainless steel body
    Photo depicting the inside of a water distiller. The water distiller is tilted so you can see the bottom of the boiling chamber, where the water is heated. The chamber is stainless steel. White background.
    This is the stainless steel tank of the water distiller before the distillation took place
    Photo depicting the inside of a water distiller after it has been used. In the photo you can clearly see all the mineral residue of tap water. They are sediments of white and yellowish colour, slimy to the touch. The photo is supposed to elicit a sense of disgust.
    And this is the same water distiller after 2 water distillation cycles! That was all dissolved in London’s tap water

    View our water Shop Water Distillersdistillers >

    Distilled water: the greatest solvent on earth

    We just learned how water is a natural solvent and that most molecules will tend to dissolve in it. This is exactly why we drink distilled water. Not only distilled water is pure H₂O, it also has higher solvent power. Because of this it will attract and dissolve heavy metals and mineral deposited throughout the organism.

    This is what Dr. Allen E. Banik has to say about it:

    Distilled water is the greatest solvent on earth. (It is) the only water that can be taken into the body without damage to the tissues.
    What we as scientists and the public have never realized is that minerals collected in the body from water are all inorganic minerals, which cannot be assimilated (digested) by the body. The only minerals that the body can utilize are the organic minerals (from fruits and vegetables). All other types of minerals are foreign substances to the body and must be disposed of or eliminated.
    Today, many progressive doctors prescribe distilled water to their patients. All kidney machines operate on distilled water.”

    Allen E. Banik, M.D. Author, “The Choice is Clear”

    You should now have a better idea of what water is made of: two molecules of Hydrogen and one molecule of Oxygen, everything else is added sugar.

    Happy distillation!

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