10 Brilliant Ways to Use Boiling Water Around Your Home


Maybe you can't whip up a perfect soufflé, but no matter what kind of kitchen skills you do (or don't) have, you can boil water. Though it sounds too simple to be true, boiling water can help you clear your skin, improve your garden, fix your tarnished silver and even sleep better at night. Time to put on the kettle!

Arm pouring boiling water into bowl in kitchen

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1. Give Yourself a Home Facial

If you've ever had a professional facial, you know that estheticians often use steam to hydrate the skin and help it absorb products. Recreate that at home with a big bowl of freshly boiled water. As the water steams, place a towel over your head and lower your face to about 12 inches above the water (or more if the steam is too hot). Relax for about 10 minutes and then apply moisturizer.

Hot steam rising from bowl

2. Make Microwave Cleanup Easier

It doesn't matter who made a mess of the microwave; it only matters that someone cleans it. Boiling water in the microwave creates steam that loosens anything baked onto the walls. Put a few cups of water and some lemon slices in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high until the water boils. This should take a few minutes depending on how much water you use. Let it cool for a few minutes and then carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Woman putting bowl with lemon in microwave

3. Kill Yard Weeds

It's not always the most effective way to deal with problematic weeds in your yard, but it's worth trying boiling water before moving on to products laden with chemicals. The most important thing to consider when killing weeds with boiling water is how to transport the water from your kitchen to your yard without burning yourself or anyone else. It's better to make multiple trips with small amounts of water than to try carrying a heavy pot through the house.

Woman weeding a flower bed with a hoe

4. Clear Your Drains

Boiling water may not be enough to tackle really serious problems, but with a clogged sink drain, there's no harm in trying boiling water before buying expensive drain cleaner. Make sure there's no standing water in the sink and then slowly pour a kettle of boiling water down the sink. This may be enough to sweep away minor clogs.

Sink drain with water

5. Use a Hot-Water Bottle

Hot-water bottles have fallen out of fashion, which is a shame. The first time you climb into bed on a cold night and curl your feet around a soft hot-water bottle, you'll be a true believer. Hot-water bottles usually hold around 2 liters of boiling water. The best part is choosing a cozy cover for yours. There are knit and fleece options available.

Person with cold feet in bed with a red hot-water bottle

6. Remove Lime Scale Buildup on Kettles

You can use a kettle to boil water, but over time, lime scale builds up and creates a chalky appearance and unpleasant taste. The solution? Boil more water – but this time with either lemon juice or vinegar added. Fill the kettle halfway with water and the juice of one lemon or with a half-and-half mix of water and vinegar. Set the kettle to boil, let the kettle sit until the water is completely cooled and wipe down the inside. Boil a few more kettles of plain water to remove any lingering vinegar taste.

Female hand in a rubber yellow glove wipes a blue teapot with a rag

7. Make Silver Shine

A quick dip in some boiling water is enough to bring your tarnished silverware back to life. This hack works to polish any kind of real silver items you have. Start by putting a layer of aluminum foil in the bottom of a large glass pan. Place the silver on the foil, sprinkle on some baking soda and carefully pour in enough boiling water to cover the silver. Let the water cool and buff the silver pieces with a clean rag.

Woman drying silverware

8. Clean a Greasy Stove Hood Filter

Cleaning the filter in the hood over your stove is probably not on your list of weekly chores. In fact, you may have done it exactly zero times. Depending on your model, the hood's filter should slide or pop out pretty easily. Warm water won't cut through all the greasy residue that will probably be clinging to the filter, so soak the filter in boiling water with dish detergent for 20 minutes before scrubbing it clean with a brush.

Hands in gloves cleaning stove hood

9. Cover Unpleasant Odors

You know how a bubbling pot of sauce makes the entire house smell like onions and garlic? Boiling something amplifies its odor, which can be useful if you're trying to cover some other unpleasant smell, like microwaved fish. Set a pot of boiling water on the stove with lemon slices and peels, a few whole nutmegs and a few cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer (supervised) until the water is nearly gone.

Steaming saucepan in the kitchen

10. Try Your Hand at Canning

If you've never tried canning foods before, you may want to give it a try the next time you find yourself with more fresh produce than you can eat. Canning may be easier than you might realize and doesn't require a lot of special supplies when you use the water bath method. Submerging the sealed jars in boiling water kills bacteria, forces air out of the jars and creates a vacuum seal that makes canned food shelf stable.

Preserving organic vegetables in jars

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