How long does it take for boiling water to cool to 175 degrees?

Boiling water is a common occurrence in many settings, from home kitchens to industrial processes. Whether we’re making coffee or tea, cooking pasta, or sterilizing medical equipment, understanding how long it takes for boiling water to cool to a desired temperature is essential. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the cooling rate of boiling water and calculate the time it takes for boiling water to cool down to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. We will also provide practical tips for efficient cooling and safety precautions when handling hot liquids.

Understanding Heat Transfer During Cooling

Heat transfer is the process by which energy moves from one place to another due to differences in temperature. There are three methods of heat transfer that occur during the cooling process:


Convection occurs when heat is transferred through a fluid or gas by movement caused by differences in density. For example, as hot air rises above boiling water, cooler air rushes in below it creating and circulating currents.


Conduction occurs when heat passes between two objects in contact with each other. When hot water is placed in a pot made of metal or glass with higher thermal conductivity than air itself; over time, some amount of heat will discharge into surrounding space through conduction.


Radiation transfers energy by electromagnetic waves without physical contact. Objects that are hotter emit more radiant energy than those that are cooler- causing faster radiation until balance equalizes.

The cooling rate can depend on which method dominates as well as external factors such as humidity levels and material composition.

Factors Affecting Cooling Rate

Several factors impact how quickly boiling water cools down:

Temperature Difference

The larger the temperature difference between the boiling liquid and its surroundings (room temperature), the faster the cooling rate will be until balance is achieved at room temperature (70°F).

Thermal Properties Of The Container Used.

The thermal conductivity (how easily it allows heat to move through it) and ability to hold heat (its thermal capacity), of the container holding the boiling water can affect the cooling rate. Shallow, wide containers will have greater surface area compared to volume than deep ones and cool faster since they are closer to room temperature air.

Humidity And Air Temperature

Humidity similarly effects how quickly water can evaporate which impacts cooling rate. Air with higher moisture levels reduces the rate of evaporation, slowing down cooling time. Conversely, drier climates can speed up cooling due to aid temperature differences.

Calculating Cooling Rates of Boiling Water

One method used for determining how long it takes for water to cool is Newton’s Law of Cooling. This law states that the rate of cooling is directly proportional to the difference between two temperatures:

ΔT = T(t) – A

Where ΔT represents the change in temperature over time, T(t) is the initial temperature, and A is ambient (room) temperature.

Another key variable used in determining cooling rates is specific heat capacity–the energy required per gram for a material’s temperature to increase by one degree Celsius or Fahrenheit.

To calculate how long it takes for boiling water to reach 175 degrees Fahrenheit, we need additional data on initial temperature (boiling point), ambient room temperature and specific heat capacity for both variables. All these calculations combined help us measure cooling times more accurately as demonstrated below with an example:

Suppose a pot has 400 grams (about 14 ounces) of boiling water at 212°F placed in a room with an ambient temperature of 70°F. Let’s also assume that both water droplets and container are made up only of materials with specific heat capacities like S=4 [J/g °C]. Using this information along with our knowledge from above equations about convection, conduction, radiative forces- we able predict remarkable accurate time needed until liquid reaches 175°F.

ΔT = T(t) – A = 212°F – 70°F = 142°F

The temperature difference between boiling water and ambient air is 142 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q = msΔT

Q is quantity of energy to be removed m is mass (in grams) of fluid contained in the pot, S=4 [J/g °C].


Q = (400g)(4J/g°C) (142°F) = 227,200 joules.

We can use the equation below to express our data with knowing Newton’s Law of Cooling:

t = -ln[(T – A)/(To- A)]/(k)

t= time needed to reach desired temperature T0 is initial temperature A represents room temperature K= cooling rate constant obtained through knowing specific heat capacities.

Using all this information it can then be calculated that a pot containing 400 g or ~14 ounces rock bottom liquid at an initial temperatures of about ~100°C or burning point at atmospheric pressure for one standard atmosphere on Earth (1 atm) will take in total roughly no more than just over ~20 minutes until reached right around 80°C!

Empirical Data on Average Cooling Rates

Several studies have been conducted on the average cooling times for different volumes of boiling water using various containers. Some findings are described below:

  • In one study, four different-sized containers were used to cool down two cups of hot water. The results showed that larger containers cooled faster than smaller ones due to having greater surface area-to-volume ratios. Shallow pans had the shortest cooling times compared to tall, narrow jars.
  • Another study investigated how quickly a pot of boiling water cools with and without a lid. Results showed that liquids with lids cooled down slightly slower since less warm gases escape from beneath reducing contact area with cooler air.
  • Different water volumes were assessed and found that cooling rate depend on the volume of water. Thirty-two ounces of boiling water took around 45 minutes to cool down to below 130°F, whereas eight ounces took only five to ten minutes.

Practical Applications and Tips

Here are some tips for efficiently cooling boiling liquids:

Use a Shallow Container With High Aspect Ratio

As we discussed earlier, shallow containers have more surface area in relation to their volume and can allow for faster cooling. A high aspect ratio (e.g., narrow containers) could produce lower cooling times than a short rim depth with wider base type container.

Use a Lid or Cover When Possible

Using a lid helps isolate the liquid contents from external airflow along with concurrently trapping heat which reduces interaction time by both conduction and radiation. This allows the temperature decrease process to occur slower creating longer lasting warmth even after being removed from its heating source!

Place In A Location With Good Airflow

Placing the pot near airflow, such as an open window, will speed up evaporation and reduce humidity levels, accelerating the cooling process.

Safety Precautions

Dealing with hot liquids like boiling water requires safety precautions due to risk of accidental burns or injuries. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

Proper Holding Techniques

When handling any hot material like boiling water always hold it securely using oven mitts or thick towels. Hot materials don’t just burn skin they also conduct heat through your body – increasing risk factor!

The Proper Use Of Safety Gear

Always wear proper gear when dealing with hazardous materials (like gloves/oven mitts). Avoid pouring liquid from above head height because this creates boiling droplets that can spill out causing injury or damage nearby items too!


Boiling water is a crucial part of our daily routines as well as essential in numerous industries across various fields. Understanding how long it takes for boiling water to cool to a particular temperature (e.g., 175°F here) is important and knowing factors that influence the process can enable us to make more informed decisions. By following practical tips for faster cooling as well as taking precautions with safety practices, we help guarantee a safe and enjoyable cooking or processing experience each time- while also helping ensure optimal coffee, tea, pasta or cider every time!


  1. Q: Can the temperature of boiling water drop to 175 degrees in a matter of seconds?

A: No, it takes some time for boiling water to cool down to 175 degrees. The rate at which water cools depends on several factors such as ambient temperature, container size, and volume of water.

  1. Q: Is it safe to consume water that is cooled to 175 degrees?

A: Yes, water that is cooled to 175 degrees is safe for consumption. It is considered a suitable drinking temperature for hot beverages such as tea or coffee.

  1. Q: What methods can be used to speed up the cooling process?

A: Some methods that can be used to speed up the cooling process include adding ice or placing the container of hot water in a cold water bath. However, it’s essential to be cautious when handling hot liquids to avoid accidental burns.

  1. Q: Why is it important not to rush the cooling process of boiling water?

A: Rushing the cooling process of boiling water by submerging the container in cold water or mixing it with ice can cause thermal shock and lead to cracking or shattering the container. It’s crucial to allow enough time for the liquid to cool down naturally and safely.