*Adds to grocery list.*

By Katie Holdefehr
June 24, 2019

When we accidentally spill wine on the sofa or sauce on the carpet, our first reaction is to head to the faucet. Along with our go-to cleanser and a lint-free microfiber cloth, water is one of the first things we reach for when we're cleaning a stain. But if you've ever scrubbed a spot on your upholstery, only to remove the original stain and be greeted with an obvious, unsightly water mark, you'll want to take note. Because the water from your faucet is "hard water," or contains minerals, when the water dries, it can leave behind 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 form to remove the minerals. Add distilled water to your cleaning kit now, then reach for it when tackling any of the cleaning tasks below. 

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Spot-Clean an Upholstered Couch 

If you have an upholstered fabric couch that doesn't have removable, machine-washable covers, then you're likely used to spot-cleaning spills and stains. And if you typically use tap water to tackle these spots (it's a good idea to check the manufacturer's care instructions), you'll want to make the switch to distilled water. Because distilled water is mineral-free, it's 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 that the stain doesn't spread. You can also combine one cup distilled water with 1/4-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 already know about the importance of lint-free microfiber cloths and you've likely heard us extolling the merits of wiping in an s-pattern. But here's one more secret: swap in distilled water for tap water when mixing up a DIY cleaning solution. It will help prevent streaks and spots, leaving your windows and mirrors sparkling clean and clear. 

When Washing Your Car

If you really want a streak-free, spot-free shine on your car, you'll want to grab some distilled water. To avoid using gallon after gallon of distilled water, trying doing just a final rinse with mineral-free water once the car is completely washed. This rinse will help avoid mineral buildup on your car. These water spots that aren't just unsightly, but they can also damage the paint on your car over time. 

In Your Clothing Steamer

If you're currently filling your favorite clothing steamer with tap water, you'll start to notice a white mineral buildup develop. Over time, it can even begin to clog your machine and you run the risk of accidentally getting some chalky mineral buildup on the delicate clothing you're steaming. To prevent this, only fill your steamer with distilled water to keep it working for longer. (Hint: the same idea holds true for humidifiers and clothing irons, too!) 

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