Does Boiling Purify Water?

Posted by Nina (Budapest, Hungary) on 07/01/2006

This is a question rather than a suggestion. I never used to drink water before, and I've started recently. I boil the water in an electric kettle for drinking purposes, but people tell me this does not help too much. I notice it's been good for me, and I do not notice any negative effects. I'm a student, and can't buy a water purifier, and buying bottled water is silly to me (besides the huge amounts of plastic waste it generates). Does anyone have a suggestion about getting clean water in a cheap way?

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
383 posts

Nina: Boiling water will kill the bacteria, but what you boil with can add extra heavy metals and increase certain chemicals that don't get evaporated, but get more concentrated such as dioxin, fluoride, etc. The best way to do it is perhaps boil water using a glass or stainless steel kettle as opposed to using aluminum. I have seen aluminum buildup in water after boiling. Stainless steel doesn't have that much heavy metal increases compared to aluminum but boiling in a glass kettle is the best. Adding activated charcoal during the boiling is a cheap way of removing fluoride and other unwanted compounds.