Out of laziness sometimes I re-heat the water in kettle we use to make formula milk for our daughter, but the health visitor said it's a bad practice to re-boil water over and over. Any specific reason for that?

1 Answer 1


Water isn't pure H2O; there are all kinds of dissolved substances in it: minerals, chemicals, etc. This is why scientists use only distilled water in experiments (often twice-distilled).

Some impurities will boil off (some volatile organic compounds, for instance) but some will remain behind. With each boil, you lose some of the water to steam, leaving a more concentrated solution of those contaminants which do not boil off.

For example, add a teaspoon of salt to two cups of water; boil away one cup of water, and you'll be left with water that's almost twice as salty as you started with. (Some small amount of salt may be splashed out while boiling.)

This is why you should always start out with fresh water; otherwise you're feeding your daughter water which has more contaminants than fresh water. If you want to do that for yourself, that's your choice, but your baby deserves better.

Water Quality
Groundwater quality

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    Note that "more contaminants" here doesn't mean they are coming from outside, but still the old contaminants. It's just the lost of water makes the contaminants more concentrated.
    – Ooker
    Oct 28, 2015 at 7:34
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    That concentration argument is of course correct but depending on the equipment used: that can actually add new contaminants if heated water is allowed to leach them out over a prolonged time. Note that I am talking mainly about plastics/metals used that aren't properly called fit for food grade applications. But some manufacturers or sellers are sinners in this regard. Using fresh water mitigates that risk a bit – and tastes better. Sep 16, 2017 at 13:28
  • And depending on the interval time between boils: if there is enough food for microbial growth in the initially boiled water those germs might start producing tosinx that then might be not destroyed by boiling anew. Although that time frame and state of the water initially used is unlikely in an infant feeding situation. Sep 16, 2017 at 13:33

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