How Does Table Salt Affect The Boiling Temperature Of Water?

Finding out how does table salt affect the boiling temperature of water by learning an interesting experiment that does not require any special ingredients.

You may have noticed how many recipes call for adding salt to boiling water. That is because adding the salt causes the water to boil at a higher temperature. Salt actually doesn't increase the temperature much, only from half a degree to at the most, six degrees F.

  1. An easy experiment is to boil one quart of water. The temperature should be about 212 degrees F. 
  2. Add one tablespoon salt, stir, and return to a boil. The temperature should then be about 215 degrees F. 
  3. Add another tablespoon of salt, bring to a boil, and it should rise to around 218 degrees F. 
  4. Water by itself boils at 100 C. 
  5. With salt, it boils at approximately 104 C (212 degrees F). 
  6. Salt elevates the boiling point elevation. Water is a solvent, and salt is a non-volatile solute. When you add salt to water, it turns the water into an impure solvent and raises the boiling point. 
  7. So the answer is that salt  helps water get hotter because of ingredients in the salt that increase the temperature. The boiling point can thus actually be changed.

Although adding salt really doesn't do much to the temperature, the experiment to see how table salt affects the boiling temperature of water is a fun and easy one.  Watching what happens and measuring the temperatures can be enjoyed by children as well as adults.


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