How long boil water to kill bacteria

How long boil water to kill bacteria. Heating the water until it boils and letting the water boil for at least one minute is the standard boiling time, but depending on the bacteria that may be in the water, the time of bacteria-killing can vary. The water, after any boiling, should be cooled down to complete the boiling process.

The water in my home was great, but when I moved to the city, the water didn’t cooperate with me. I immediately got sick after drinking the water.

Not at the same moment, but on the same day. I didn’t know the water was the culprit at first, but the doctors pointed it out and advised me to take water that was boiled before drinking.

I asked for the optimum boiling time for my water, and they told me a lot about boiling water. I haven’t gotten sick because of the water since that day.

How long boil water to kill bacteria

Having contained water filled with bacteria will get you a stomachache and even diarrhea. Getting disease through contaminated water is pretty common. The water in contaminated form won’t only make you sick but will also taste bad.

The bad taste of water is one thing, but the color of the water will make you question the water. The boiling of water can get all these cases solved.

The optimum boiling time for water boiling is a minute but having water boil for more time depending on the bacteria makes a difference.

Bacteria in water

bacteria in water

There are different types of bacteria in the water you drink. Not all the water present bacteria are going to make you sick.

Most bacteria are neutral in the water and do not cause any disease with their presence in the water.

But this neutral behavior of bacteria in water doesn’t apply to all. Positively, bacteria in the water sometimes benefit our body as well as make the behavior positive.

But not all bacteria are positive for us or the body. The bacteria in water can harm us too. The majority of bacteria can be said to be harmful to us. Most bacteria in water, like E.coli, are not good for health.

Bacteria like E.coli can trigger diseases in us. The salmonella species of bacteria do the same. Bacterium like Staphylococcus aureus has their own trajectory of harming our body. Some bacteria with their effects are below.

  • E.coli


If you get headaches, cramps, or diarrhea, your culprit is E.coli. E.coli is a bacterium that causes illnesses and headaches like diarrhea and fever.

E.coli, if not removed manually, can last about 4 months in the water, so boiling it is going to kill it. As usual, E.coli can be eliminated from water by boiling.

It only takes E.coli a minute to die in the process of boiling. The boiling time can be 3 minutes if you are 6500feet above sea level.

  • Salmonella


The heading and cramps were not only caused by E.coli, but salmonella resides with E.coli too. You will get diarrhea even without E.coli because of the presence of Salmonella.

Agriculture runoff and sewage water leakage is usually the reason Salmonella gets into your water. Boiling water can kill Salmonella too.

Unlike E.coli, which takes a single minute to die, Salmonella takes about 10 minutes of boiling to die.

Boiling for 10 minutes won’t just get rid of Salmonella but also other bacteria. Boiling for 10 minutes can be a drag but having water to drink that is pure is a blessing.

  • MRSA


MRSA is the most dangerous bacteria due to its resistance to cleaning. MRSA, because of the diseases it causes, is very dangerous. It doesn’t only spread because of water, but it can be because of contact.

The cuts and wounds are especially affected by MRSA. MRSA can be killed by boiling too. You only need a single minute of boiling to get rid of MRSA.

Boiled water advantages

Its advantages must be enlightened to know how long and why to boil water. Boiling water is a great technique to get rid of bacteria.

The plus point of boiling the water is that not only will the bacteria die, but also other types of viruses as well.

The heat damages the structural components of the water, and the flow of life of bacteria and viruses is disrupted by this structural destruction.

Boiling is characterized as pasteurization, and it doesn’t have any confederation with sterilization. In sterilization, all the organisms present in the water are killed.

But pasteurization doesn’t revolve around killing all the organisms, including the benefited organisms in the water. In pasteurization, not all bacteria are killed, but the bacteria that are harmful, like E.coli, are killed.

Benefiting bacteria in the water remain unharmed when the water is boiled, and thus the water is not only just safe but also healthy.

Boiling the water is recommended more than other cleaning methods as the advantage of boiling water are much more than theirs.

Boiling water doesn’t take the freshness of the water away. Even the taste of the water doesn’t get changed it.

Pasteurization timing

pasteurization timing

As explained, pasteurization is actually boiling. So boiling the water and pasteurizing is a great technique but pasteurization depends on the temperature and the time the water is boiled at that temperature.

Time and pasteurization are directly linked, including temperature. 131°F/55°C is the lowest temperature at which the pasteurization begins.

After 2 minutes of heating at  144°/62°C, makes the water non-infectious. The boiling of water can further performs miracles as well.

You can also heat the water for 20 minutes at 144°/62°C and kill all the active and inactive germs and bacteria that are harmful. 99.999% of bacteria and germs can be killed simply by boiling the water.

Waterborne diseases

The diseases caused by contaminated water are waterborne diseases, and there are a lot of water-borne diseases that are caused by bacteria.

The bacteria that cause water-borne diseases are mentioned above. Bacteria like E.coli are the ones causing the diseases, as mentioned above. But the name of diseases that are caused is not all mentioned above.

Cholera is one of the main water-borne diseases. Diarrhea is a pretty popular waterborne disease. Typhoid and hepatitis are caused by water contamination.

Giardiasis and campylobacteriosis because of water contamination too. Scabies and worm infections are also water-contaminated diseases.


Getting sick from water is common if you don’t have pure and clean water. Impure water is usually in the cities, but the water in the village can also be contaminated.

So boiling the water for 1 minute at a minimum should kill the basic bacteria present in it. But I recommend 10 minutes of boiling. Thanks for reading!

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