Boiling water does not remove sodium or other nutrients, in fact, the process increases the salt concentration within the cooking vessel.
Basically, the only thing that boiling water removes is: water. When water comes to a boil it starts to evaporate thereby reducing the volume of water in the vessel.
Salts have a much higher boiling temperature and thus remain behind in the vessel. Therefore, boiling water that contains salt will make it even saltier, as the ratio between sodium and water is changed in favor of the sodium.
Does Boiling Tap Water Remove Minerals Or Destroy Nutrients?
Just like with salt, boiling water does not remove any other minerals from water. Also, contrary to what some bottled water manufacturers may want to make you believe there are no significant nutrients in drinking water.
The minerals that might have some sort of nutrient value are not destroyed by boiling as they stay dissolved through the boiling process.
The main reason why some bottled water contains adjusted amounts of minerals is because of the taste.
Boiling vs Filtering Tap Water
On most days your local tap water will not need any boiling or filtering to make it ready for consumption. However, no matter where you live accidents do happen and contamination are always a risk, therefore it's always smart to take the right precautions.
Although there aren't any disadvantages to drinking boiled water, the list of benefits is also fairly short. While boiling water will quickly kill most bacteria and other pathogens, even prolonged boiling will most likely not kill every organic material in your water. Furthermore, even after boiling, although dead, the organic materials will remain in your water.
As previously mentioned boiling water also will not get rid of undesired minerals nor will it remove any other toxic metals within the water. If you have reasons to believe that your water might be contaminated consult an expert and look into taking precautions like a water filter or reverse osmosis installation.
Keep in mind that no system is perfect, and in case of doubt your safest bet will probably be bottled water.
How To Remove Sodium Chloride (Salt) From Water At Home
On remote island states or places where no freshwater is available, salt and other impurifications are removed in desalination plants, these generally use a technique called reverse osmosis which uses pressure to force water through different membranes that block the unwanted minerals and other molecules from going through.
This, however, is an expensive process and requires quite a bit of investment, below you can find some ways to remove sodium from water at a lower cost or even for free!
To remove salt from water through boiling you would have to capture all the evaporated water (steam) and let it condense back into liquid form. This process is called distillation and is mainly used on an industrial scale for processes that need pure water.
However, if you have a regular need for distilled water it might be worth it to invest in a water distiller, they are available in all shapes and sizes. A countertop distiller will distill around a gallon of water at a time and easily goes back into your cupboard if it is not needed.
If you are in a remote area without electricity solar distillation might be an option, these devices harness the power of the sun to evaporate the water and therefore do not work in colder climates or on cloudy days.
They can be created fairly easily with some regular household materials, or are available for order online.
There is also a way to remove salt from water without the use of heat. If you're in a hurry to get some desalinated water this might be the right option for you.
Salt lowers the freezing point of water, therefore, as water starts to freeze the salt is concentrated in the fluid part. If you put a container of salted water in a freezer or outside in a cold environment after a while ice will begin to form.
This ice contains a lower concentration of salt which allows it to freeze before the more salty water does. By collecting the ice before the whole container is frozen solid you can separate the water with a lower salt concentration and melt it for use.
This process is not 100% effective and depending on the application and initial salt concentration you might have to repeat the process several times for the desired result.
Keep in mind that you have to start with a significantly larger amount of water as in each cycle a large portion will have to be discarded.
Ok, so this doesn't actually remove any salt, but depending on the use case it might just do the trick! Assuming you have salt free water available, by far the quickest and easiest way of bringing down the sodium content of water is dilution.
So on the off chance you've stumbled across this article because the top of your salt bottle popped off and fell into your saucepan, your only option at this moment is dilution, just add a bit more water and maybe say it's soup for dinner today!
Buy Bottled (Distilled) Water
Ok, ok, hear me out, this may sound kind of stupid, but unless you're stranded on a tropical island there probably is no reason for you to have any time constraints on the need to remove salt from water.
So unless you know you'll need tens or even hundreds of gallons of desalted or distilled water over the next couple of years, just pop into your local convenient store, or order some bottled or distilled water online.
Are There Benefits To Low Sodium Water?
You might be wondering whether removing all that sodium from your water has any benefits at all, perhaps you've just started using a water softener and are worried about an increase in daily sodium intake.
While the health risks of a high sodium diet are widely reported it is unlikely that your water intake will have any severe effects on your health.
Even in the most extreme cases, with water hardness levels of over 400mg/L of calcium bicarbonate, softened water will at most contain 200 mg/L of sodium.
This means you would have to consume 11.5 liters or more than 3 gallons!! of water every single day to exceed the recommended daily sodium intake of 2,300mg.
This of course doesn't take into account any sodium intake through other means like food, however, the average American has an intake of 3,400 mg of sodium a day.
At a more reasonable water hardness level (around 100 mg/L of calcium bicarbonate) your daily water consumption would need to be more than 45 liters or 12 gallons per day. At those levels, the real danger would most certainly be water poisoning.
Needless to say, sodium intake through water will most likely not be a big threat to your health anytime soon and other sources of sodium will most likely be a bigger piece of the pie.
If you are on a low sodium diet due to health reasons please consult your doctor whether any form of sodium reduction would be necessary!