Monday, June 12, 2017

Does Salt Water Boil Faster?

Does salt water boil faster than fresh water?  The answer is no.  If you pour fresh water from the tap and sprinkle or pour in a bit of salt, then no, the water does not boil any faster.  You just aren't adding enough salt to change the overall saltiness of the water.  You can add salt to the water to flavor whatever you intend to put in the pot, but the added salt will not result in a quicker boiling time.

Don't believe this?  Test it out yourself!  This is a great opportunity to show your kids the power of experimentation.  I haven't done this test with my kids yet, but now I have plans to.  Start out with equal volumes of water from the tap.  Let the water sit for several hours to reach room temperature.  Pour one container of water (either fresh or salted) into a pan.  Turn up the temperature and measure how long it takes to reach a boil.  Repeat for the second container of water.  To keep consistency, use the same stove burner, the same pot, and turn the temperature to the same setting as the first test.  You'll want to make sure the stove burner and pot have completely cooled down before repeating.  If you don't, you've started with different initial conditions and will likely see different results. 

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