Boiling vs Microwaving Water to Sanitize?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ken Scharabok, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If the water source is possibly contaminated, advice is to boil it at a rolling boil for several minutes. What about microwaving? Would the radiation kill the contamination quicker?

    Ken Scharabok
     
  2. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    the microwave would kill all the organisms in the water, and if ya leave it in long enough, it will nearly boil in the Microwave.

    Good question, but I have heard like Car batteries your suposed to use TAP water(no clorinated) and boil for several minutes.
     

  3. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    You have to be careful when microwaving water. If the bowl is real smooth, it can't boil, becuase the bubbles have to have some kind of imperfection to form. So it just kind of builds up and explodes when you pull it out and disturb it some way. You can just stick like a bamboo stick in there or something to prevent that if your container is smooth.

    I would think that you could sterilize the water, but it would still have to boil the same amount of time in the microwave. I think it would be easier on the stove.
     
  4. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    You can sterilize things in the microwave but I think that it would take the same amount of time because you still have to bring it to a boil and then boil for ten minutes. IMO, I think I would stay with the stove.
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    take a temp reading on water in the microwave. if i rememebr reading right, water under microwaves doesnt boil it superheats, so you may have water at 212+ and it not move.
    heat is what you are after, so if you maintain 212+then your ok.
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    A microwave doesn't really radiate the food. It works by a very short wavelength of sound that causes the molecules to vibrate and rub against each other. Thus heating by friction.


    Why were you wanting to boil water? If your well or tap is contaminated you can add chlorine and then filter. Or you can rig up a solar pasturizer. Or just turn your hot water heater up and only draw drinking water from that side.
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Microwaves are electromagnetic waves, with a higher frequency than radio waves but much much less than the kind of radiation used to sterilized foods etc. You're still trying to kill the bugs with heat when you sterilize water or items in a microwave, and I've certainly heard Southerngurl's advice over and over again about boiling water in a microwave.