How to Keep Water From Boiling Over

by Nico Riley ; Updated September 28, 2017

While boiling water is a simple tasks, sometimes mistakes can happen. Here are the basics of boiling water and keeping it from boiling over.

How to Keep Water From Boiling Over

Fill your pot with the desired amount of water you wish to boil. Make sure your pot is large enough that the water is not filled to the brim.

Turn on your stove or electric burner and place the pot of water on top of it. Keep the fire down at a low to medium setting. Turning the fire up too high can cause the water to boil faster but it can also increase the chance of it boiling over.

Keep track of how long your water has been heating up. It may seem like it takes the water longer to boil if you’re watching it but moving on to something else can cause you to forget you have water boiling. Pay attention to the water as it is heating up in order to estimate when it will start to boil.

Do not cover the pot of water in an attempt to make it boil faster. The closed pot will trap in steam and cause the water to quickly heat and boil over. You can also burn your fingers and hands when trying to remove the pot top.

Watch for large bubbles that rise from the bottom of the pot to the surface of the water. This means the water is boiling. Small bubbles let you know the water is getting hotter but large, churning bubbles let you know that your water is boiling. Boil the water until it reaches the desired temperature and then turn the stove or electric burner off.


  • Always keep pot handles facing inward so you don't accidentally knock it over.

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About the Author

Nico Riley has been a professional writer since 2006 with work appearing on various websites. Riley holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Harold Washington College and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She enjoys writing on topics about society, culture, health, self-help and entertainment.