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Myth or Fact: Cold Water Boils Faster Than Warm Water

If you're like many people, you don't like waiting a long time for water to boil, especially when you're hungry. You may have heard that cold water boils faster than warm water, but are wondering if that's myth or fact because it doesn't seem logical. If you dread waiting for water to boil when you're cooking, trying a few simple tricks to help speed along the process.

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Which Boils Faster?

According to the University of Illinois Department's of Physics, warmer water boils faster than cold water, and it's a myth to say that cold water boils faster. Because it logically makes more sense that hot water would boil faster, you may wonder how this myth came about.

Which Freezes Faster?

The University of Illinois Department's of Physics notes that under certain conditions hot water can freeze faster than cold water, which could explain how the myth that cold water boils faster than warm water began. According to the University of California's Department of Physics, hot water can sometimes freeze faster than cold water -- which is called the Mpemba effect -- and can occur because of increased evaporation in hot water, a difference in dissolved gasses in hot water vs. cold water, and potential convection currents that develop in warmer water during the cooling process. However, hot water doesn't always freeze faster than cold water.

Ways to Make Water Boil Faster

Using hot or warm water instead of cold water can decrease the time it takes for your water to boil. So will covering your water with a lid. In fact, there's a chance that covered cold water may boil faster than uncovered warm water. Other ways to help speed along the boiling process include using a smaller amount of water, choosing a pot with a large surface area, or using more heat to boil the water. Being in a high altitude causes water to boil at a lower temperature, according to theU.S. Department of Agriculture, which may reduce the time it takes for water to boil.

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An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.

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