Hack to prevent boiling water spilling over leaves viewers ‘mind-blown’

A content creator has been thanked after sharing his go-to hack to prevent boiling water from spilling over a pot.

The seemingly counter-intuitive method requires tossing an ice cube directly into boiling water, preventing it from overflowing instantaneously.

The hack emerged on the TikTok page @lifehack, in a clip that racked up a staggering 252,000 likes and thousands of comments.

“That’s a cool hack! Great video.” quipped one viewer, while another chimed in: “Mind-blown. I didn’t believe it, so I had to try it myself.”

Another penned: “I pour a bit of cold water in when it’s ready to boil over,” While a third added: “Oh wow I’m gonna use this because almost every time I have overspill. Thank you.”

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The logic behind the hack is simple. Placing a pot of hot water over the stove causes the pot to heat up quickly, but takes considerably longer for the water to start boiling.  

This delay in the rise of water temperature is down to several reasons, including a reduced transfer of heat from the pot.

When water does eventually start to boil, adding the ice cube causes a sudden shift in temperature that prompts the water to come out of a boiling state.

Experts at physics.stackexchange.com add: “It will then take some time for the heat from the burner to heat the water back up to boiling.” 

“You can also lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot and it won’t boil over,” wrote another commentator, referring to another hack that recently went viral.

One viewer echoed: “I taught my mom of 74 years that if you put the wooden spoon in the boiling water, the water will never boil over. She was astonished.”

The reason this hack is equally effective for preventing spillovers is twofold, According to Southern Living. The wood acts as a water repellent on the unstable bubbles, which in turn causes them to destabilize and stop rising.

Home safety experts recommend using the hacks intelligently, however, to ensure safety remains a priority in the kitchen.

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