water - what's the difference

You will often find in many DIY recipes that Distilled Water is part of the ingredient list.  

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So what is the difference? 

Can I just use tap water or bottled water?

What will happen if I use tap or bottled water?

What can I do if I don't have distilled water?

THE DIFFERENCES -  There are many minerals and impurities that are taken out in the purification process to obtain distilled water.  In short contaminants and even bacteria.  Not that is all bad - we need some bacteria - but others can grow and reek havoc on your project.  

If the recipe calls for distilled water do yourself a favor and use the proper ingredient.

SUBSTITUTES - If you simply have to finish your project and you don't have any distilled water - you can substitute filtered water that has been boiled.  It has to be a very high quality filter - no the Brita water pitcher filter.  In the end if you choose this route - maybe make a small batch so if is should turn - you are not out too much.

PS - Bottled water - is all too often water that has literally been filled from a tap.  Do you your research when it comes to bottled water.