Why You Should Always Keep a Bottle of Distilled Water in Your Cleaning Kit

*Adds to grocery list.*

You accidentally spill wine on the sofa or sauce on the carpet, and you instinctively head to the faucet. Water is one of the first things we reach for—along with our go-to cleanser and lint-free microfiber cloth—when we're cleaning a stain. But if you've ever scrubbed a spot on your upholstery, only to greeted with an obvious, unsightly water mark in place of the original stain; take note.

Since tap water is "hard water" (that is, it contains minerals); when it dries, it often leaves water marks and spots on some types of fabric and glass. The solution: Pick up a bottle or two of distilled water—aka water that has been boiled and condensed back into a liquid to remove the minerals. Include distilled water in your cleaning kit now, so you can reach for it when tackling any of these cleaning tasks.

Spot-Clean an Upholstered Couch

If you have an upholstered fabric couch that doesn't have removable, machine-washable covers, you're probably used to spot-cleaning spills and stains. And if you use tap water to tackle these spots (it's a good idea to check the manufacturer's care instructions), make the switch: Distilled water is mineral-free and less likely to leave a ring or water spot.

If you have a microfiber couch, follow these cleaning steps and dab (don't rub!) the spot, starting from the outside and working your way in so the stain doesn't spread. You can also combine 1 cup distilled water, ¼-cup white vinegar, and a few drops of mild dish soap to create a homemade cleaning solution.

For Streak-Free Windows

To get spotless windows, you probably know about lint-free microfiber cloths and wiping in an s-pattern. But here's one more secret: Swap distilled water for tap water when mixing up a DIY cleaning solution. It helps prevent streaks and spots, leaving your windows and mirrors sparkling clean and clear.

When Washing Your Car

Water spots on aren't just unsightly, they can also damage the paint on your car over time. For a streak-free, spot-free automotive shine, grab some distilled water. You don't need gallon after gallon of it though, just use mineral-free water as a final rinse after the car is completely washed. This rinse helps prevent mineral buildup on your car.

In Your Clothing Steamer

If you're filling your favorite clothing steamer with tap water, you may notice a white mineral buildup develop. Over time, it can clog your machine and potentially transfer some of that chalky mineral buildup onto the delicate clothing you're steaming. To prevent this and to to prolong your steamer's lifespan, fill your steamer with distilled water exclusively. Hint: The same idea holds true for humidifiers and clothing irons, too.

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