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New question about humidity control

jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
i asked this question a few years back and was never satisfied with the answers I got so I’ll try again. Hopefully there is at least one BOTL on board who took chemistry in school or college. 

My understanding of the distillation process is that the water is reduced to steam which is then routed through a condensating apparatus thereby leaving all traces of minerals, etc behind with only pure water being collected at the end. 

If this is correct, then what is the white residue that’s left behind when a small container of distilled water completely evaporates?  Seems to me it has to be mineral residue of some sort but, if so, why is it still in the distilled water I poured into the container and allowed to evaporate?  In my mind, there should be NO residue. 

So, anybody know the answer??  
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Comments

  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,097 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Great question Marty, no I don't know the answer but you would have to figure it was something besides pure water.
    A little dirt never hurt
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,534 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thats what my guess was and I just spent 30 minutes trying to google an answer with no luck.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks, guys. I may just run an experiment on my own where I place some distilled and non-distilled waters in separate but matching containers and see if they both have the same amount of residue or what differences I might observe. 

    I’m beginning to believe that it doesn’t make any difference which one you use unless the non-distilled has an odor or some other noticeable thing that might affect the taste or aroma of Cigars. If they both show the same amount of residue and no odor, then why are we spending money for distilled??
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 5,645 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That white residue would be calcium, water softeners reduce this mineral, but it will never fully dissipate even when distilled.  The calcium will not attract mold spores, its the other crap found in normal tap water that can.  Notice I use the word can, not will.  You will be surprised the stuff that's in our drinking water.  
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Okay, but I still think my premise is valid. We know we’re not going to dunk our sticks in any kind of water, distilled or not, so I still think that,as long as there’s no odor, tap water would be as good as distilled. The calcium isn’t going to travel through the air and land in our cigars so what’s the harm?  Only the water vapor is going anywhere..... 
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 5,645 ✭✭✭✭✭
     Correct, however it's the unknown in the tap water that "can" grow mold.  To me this would make a fun experiment.  Take two identical containers withe the same cigars and humidity device.  One with tap water the other with distilled and see what happens over time.
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
     Correct, however it's the unknown in the tap water that "can" grow mold.  To me this would make a fun experiment.  Take two identical containers withe the same cigars and humidity device.  One with tap water the other with distilled and see what happens over time.
    So, are you saying that some other substance in the tap water can evaporate and travel through the air like water vapor does?  I never took chemistry in school but I thought only water could do that. What are some examples of other ‘crap’ that can evaporate and migrate like water does?
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,536 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    So what do you think they use at the cigar factory in, say, the DR, or Nicaragua, or even Cuba? You think that they use distilled water cause they abhor mold spores? Or do you think that you would not want to drink out of whatever giardia jungle crick the boy dipped that bucket full of water from before they poured it into this here barrel that's been sitting in the rolling room since before Castro was a toddler? 

    I think this whole hyper worry budget of distilled water is one of the silliest things ever. Ex lax. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.


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  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Deionized water AKA lab water or to be specific Ultra-Purified (Type I, 18.2 Megohm) water used for testing solutions in labs is about as pure as it would ever need to be. There is more pure but the conductivity of the water rises. Distilled water is preferred for humidors because when heated to 212*F+ mold spores can be killed, but they are not removed still but should be dead…I believe there is some mold strains that require a lot of heat to kill them and the temperature has to be maintained for a certain duration of time to kill them. A gallon of distilled water is $1.00 and should last most all year, why take the risk of live mold spores in most tap water when all you have to spend is a dollar?
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That’s all interesting but you’re not addressing the question. Is there anything else in water that can evaporate and migrate through the air besides water vapor. 

    Can mold spores evaporate? Can they migrate while evaporated?  Can anything else do it?  It’s those kinds of things I’m asking about. To my limited knowledge, only water can evaporate, migrate, and recondense to moisture. I could be wrong. Hell, I don’t know everything. That’s why I’m asking. 
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,861 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mold spores cannot evaporate, but they can shed through the air. That's why people with mold in their houses get sick. I think @TX98Z28 has the best answer I've heard so far. Distilled water has always been raised above the point to kill contaminants.
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  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,861 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Something that I did read, with regular evaporation, it is almost always pure water that is removed, and the chemicals are left behind. With boiling, some chemical compounds are carried with the water vapor, which is why soup smells good when you cook it. So as far as anything chemical related, it seems as though distilled may be worse, but it does kill most live spores.

    When I first started I had a Black Ice pie humidifier. I filled 2 sections with distilled, and 2 sections with tap. After a few months, one of the two sections filled with tap did develop a bit of mold. Since mold spores are carried in the air, I would assume they would eventually shed and find their way into the moist leaves of the nearby cigars.
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All well and good but my original question was why is there a residue left behind when a container of distilled evaporated completely?  One would think that there would be nothing left to firm a residue if the water had been distilled properly. 

    In other words, why am I paying for distilled water that still has ‘crap’ in it??  The crap should have been left behind during distillation. 
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,861 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Distilled water still contains any chemical with a boiling rate of 212 or lower, but the living spores are dead.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...

  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta said:
    All well and good but my original question was why is there a residue left behind when a container of distilled evaporated completely?  One would think that there would be nothing left to firm a residue if the water had been distilled properly. 

    In other words, why am I paying for distilled water that still has ‘crap’ in it??  The crap should have been left behind during distillation. 
    Because it is not pure distilled water. What I'm saying is if bought at the store for a $1.00 your getting what you pay for quality wise for that price. The main point is the spores are dead like @Wylaff said. 
    If you quote me do the @TX98Z28 in your text or I won't be notified of your quote, Thanks.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting question, @jlmarta .  I took basic chemistry, 3 courses, but don't remember this.  like yourself, I'd have assumed "nothing" made it through the process except H2O, certainly no Ca++.  Hmm, now I'm going to be scratching my head all day.  
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  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 5,645 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think it would carry in a closed unit with no fan.  As I stated this seems like a fun experiment.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TX98Z28 said:
    jlmarta said:
    All well and good but my original question was why is there a residue left behind when a container of distilled evaporated completely?  One would think that there would be nothing left to firm a residue if the water had been distilled properly. 

    In other words, why am I paying for distilled water that still has ‘crap’ in it??  The crap should have been left behind during distillation. 
    Because it is not pure distilled water. What I'm saying is if bought at the store for a $1.00 your getting what you pay for quality wise for that price. The main point is the spores are dead like @Wylaff said. 
    So, what other sources are there for us to acquire distilled water?  We’re told to use only distilled water in our steam irons so as to avoid the buildup of mineral deposits which will screw up the iron. So we buy DW at the store but it still leaves mineral deposits behind. And these deposits are not only accumulated over time, they’re darned difficult to remove - even from a clear glass custard cup like I use in my humis. 

    I dont think making one’s own DW would be a very practical endeavor so where else could a person get it, if not from the store?


  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,861 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not hard to make yourself. Put a teapot on the stove. Put a bowl over the spout. Put a **** under the bowl. Collect what condenses. Done.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...

  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta said:
    TX98Z28 said:
    jlmarta said:
    All well and good but my original question was why is there a residue left behind when a container of distilled evaporated completely?  One would think that there would be nothing left to firm a residue if the water had been distilled properly. 

    In other words, why am I paying for distilled water that still has ‘crap’ in it??  The crap should have been left behind during distillation. 
    Because it is not pure distilled water. What I'm saying is if bought at the store for a $1.00 your getting what you pay for quality wise for that price. The main point is the spores are dead like @Wylaff said. 
    So, what other sources are there for us to acquire distilled water?  We’re told to use only distilled water in our steam irons so as to avoid the buildup of mineral deposits which will screw up the iron. So we buy DW at the store but it still leaves mineral deposits behind. And these deposits are not only accumulated over time, they’re darned difficult to remove - even from a clear glass custard cup like I use in my humis. 

    I dont think making one’s own DW would be a very practical endeavor so where else could a person get it, if not from the store?


    I thought this was solely for humid control...Buy a Reverse Osmosis unit for your house for drinking water, you can use it in the iron, coffee machine etc. too. The one I have removes 99% or more of $hit and has like 3 filters on it. I've never had a problem with it leaving residue behind and knowing the water I'm drinking is beyond safe to drink is extra peace of mind.
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  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @jlmarta, I also have a whole house water conditioner. It has different resin/media in it to remove chemical, toxins, all sorts of junk and is a water softener as well using sodium chloride to rinse the resin/media beds during its back wash cycle. 
    If you quote me do the @TX98Z28 in your text or I won't be notified of your quote, Thanks.
  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,097 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are Reverse Osmosis units producing water as clean as supposedly distlled?
    A little dirt never hurt
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TX98Z28 said:
    @jlmarta, I also have a whole house water conditioner. It has different resin/media in it to remove chemical, toxins, all sorts of junk and is a water softener as well using sodium chloride to rinse the resin/media beds during its back wash cycle. 
    I’ve had one of these for the past 24 years and I can tell you that the same white residue appears from this water as well as distilled water. That’s kinda what prompted the question in the first place. 

    I was always led to to believe that DW wouldn’t do that but it does. 
  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dirtdude said:
    Are Reverse Osmosis units producing water as clean as supposedly distlled?
    Yes. Mine does for sure, it's probably cleaner than most distilled sold. Sounds like distilled water manufactures are cutting corners…
    If you quote me do the @TX98Z28 in your text or I won't be notified of your quote, Thanks.
  • TX98Z28TX98Z28 TexasPosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017

    jlmarta said:
    TX98Z28 said:
    @jlmarta, I also have a whole house water conditioner. It has different resin/media in it to remove chemical, toxins, all sorts of junk and is a water softener as well using sodium chloride to rinse the resin/media beds during its back wash cycle. 
    I’ve had one of these for the past 24 years and I can tell you that the same white residue appears from this water as well as distilled water. That’s kinda what prompted the question in the first place. 

    I was always led to to believe that DW wouldn’t do that but it does. 
    Get a reverse osmosis unit. Filters will be around $100 a year. A water softener or water conditioner will not remove anything close to what an RO unit can do. No more bottled water either, except for me I use distilled only for my humidity control for cigars, along with Boveda. 
    If you quote me do the @TX98Z28 in your text or I won't be notified of your quote, Thanks.
  • YaksterYakster I'm on a Buying Freeze / I sent the Coffee Filters!Posts: 13,141 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I heard a rumour that some distilled water sold is really treated by reverse osmosis. 
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Hmmmm. Does anyone know whether the small bottles of drinking water on the market are of distilled water?  They’re probably not. Probably just spring water (at best) with local minerals, etc. in it. At least that’s my guess...
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,861 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Most drinking water is actually municipal.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...

  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,097 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wylaff said:
    Most drinking water is actually municipal.
    You mean with birdcrap and stuff in it?
    A little dirt never hurt
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