If I have water containing a certain concentration of salt and I boil the water to the point that I have, say, half of the initial water left, will the leftover half have a higher, lower, or equal salt concentration than the initial whole?


2 Answers 2


It will be higher. If (for example) there was 1% salt in a volume of water, then that water halved, you will be left with 2% salt content as only the water has evaporated.

This is actually how salt is made commercially. Salt water from the sea or lakes is evaporated until no water is left, leaving just the salt residue afterwards.

  • 1
    So what evaporates is (mostly) water while (most of) the salt remains in the liquid water, right?
    – FZS
    Dec 5, 2020 at 19:06
  • 2
    I think "mostly" would mean something like 99+%. It's unlikely you'll be losing salt in a kitchen environment at around 100 °C. But you can check in with the folks over at Chemistry for a more science-y answer chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/30869/…
    – John Doe
    Dec 5, 2020 at 19:26

You will have a saltier liquid after you evaporated half of the liquid. Salt (NaCl) doesn’t evaporate at water‘s boiling point.

Just consider how sea salt is traditionally produced: Sea water is pumped into large basins and the water evaporates, up to the point where the salt concentration is so high that salt crystals can be harvested.

The same happens in your pot. If you left it for so long that all water evaporated, you‘ll see a thin layer of salt on the bottom of your pot.

Depending on how vigorous you boil your salty water, you may lose some if the salt as it gets carried away by bursting bubbles in the water and splashed around (again: white residue), but at a gentle simmer, the effect is negligible and you can easily calculate the salinity.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.