We all know that water will freeze when it reaches a certain temperature. When the molecules in water reach cold enough temperatures they latch on to one another.
Once this process begins, you start to see the formation of ice.
However, there are certain conditions in which water won’t freeze. This is due to different additives that have a molecular structure that prevents the freezing process.
Additives to Keep Water From Freezing
There are both natural and chemical additives that you can add to your water to prevent it from freezing. The most common and safe additive to prevent water from freezing is salt. However, if you are facing cooler conditions, a chemical solution may be the best route for you to take.
The Safest Additives To Prevent Your Water From Freezing
When it comes to water, depending on what your intended use for it is, safety always comes into play.
There are certain additives that you can use to prevent your water from freezing that can be dangerous if it comes in contact with skin or is ingested.
If you are storing emergency or general drinking water, natural additives are the safest and most effective solutions to prevent your water source from freezing.
Use Alcohol to Prevent Water from Freezing
It shouldn’t be surprising at all to know that alcohol will help prevent your water from freezing.
If you’ve ever left a bottle of liquor in your freezer, you’ll have noticed that typically it doesn’t freeze. If it is lower quality alcohol, you may notice some ice crystals, but it remains mostly liquid.
Adding a little alcohol to your water can prevent it from freezing. Using a small amount of vodka will usually not cause a noticeable change in taste and your water will not freeze.
Add Salt to Prevent Water from Freezing
When you add salt to your water it decreases the freezing temperature. When you look at large bodies of saltwater, even at very low temperatures, they often have little to no ice.
However, adding salt to the water that you intend to drink needs to be done in moderation.
Drinking saltwater can be dangerous as it increases your level of dehydration. Your salt to water ratio should be no more than 1:3.
With this additive, you will also notice a change in taste that some people find unappealing.
Can Sugar be Used to Prevent Water from Freezing?
Some people say that sugar is a safe and effective additive to water that prevents it from freezing.
However, while adding a little sugar to your water won’t harm you in small quantities, it probably won’t prevent it from freezing.
Juices and other sugary liquids will be free. One of the few exceptions is the sugars that are found in alcohol.
Chemical Additives To Prevent Water from Freezing
There are chemical additives that you can add to your water to prevent it from freezing. It is important to note, however, that these should not be added to drinking water.
Chemical additives are designed to prevent water from freezing at significantly low temperatures. As a result, the additives in it are typically poisonous if consumed.
If you are trying to prevent water from freezing that is not intended for drinking or bathing, as some chemicals can cause skin irritation, you can use a coolant or anti-gel.
When turning to chemicals, usually this is seen in situations where you want to prevent water in mechanics or other machinery from freezing.
Some additives can be used to prevent ponds and other small fresh-water bodies of water from freezing. However, when it comes to these, look for a higher price point and be sure to follow the directions.
Otherwise, you risk poisoning the water.
Storage of Water Is More Important Than Additives To Prevent It from Freezing
While there are additives that you can mix with your water to keep it from freezing, the most important factor is storage, similar to how you keep food from freezing.
There are several different ways to store drinking water to decrease the likelihood of it freezing.
One of arguably the most common and effective methods of storing water without risking it freezing is storing it underground.
Because the water is in an insulated environment, there is more heat being generated. This then prevents your water from freezing.
If you don’t have the option of storing your water underground, harnessing sunlight maybe your best option.
Storing water in an area that has a significant amount of sunlight and humidity will keep your water from freezing, even in the winter.
This could be a place like a greenhouse or a car, where, when exposed to sunlight, it generates a greater temperature inside than the temperature outside.
However, you do need to account for evaporation. Even if your water is sealed, placing it in areas of direct sunlight will promote the evaporation process.
You can also store water that is in bottles or containers upside down. It may sound silly, but water freezes from the top down.
If you store it this way and you need emergency drinking water, the area that you will be drinking from will not be the part that has frozen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Additives to Keep Water From Freezing
How much ethanol should I add to water to keep it from freezing?
If you are adding ethanol to prevent your water from freezing, you can do a 50/50 mixture. This will bring the freezing temperature of your water to 0°F. However, with the level of ethanol, this shouldn’t be an additive that is used for emergency drinking water.
Is adding salt to water to prevent it from freezing dangerous to consume?
We can consume salt to a certain level. Water with too much salt in it is dangerous to drink. This is why when people are stranded at sea, they are told not to drink the water. If you add too much salt to your water, it won’t freeze, but drinking it can result in serious health issues or even death.
In Conclusion About Additives to Keep Water From Freezing
There are a number of different additives that you can put into your water to prevent it from freezing.
What it comes down to is what that water is intended for. If you are planning on drinking water, the safest additives are alcohol and salt.
If you aren’t, there are a number of different chemical additives that just can’t be consumed.