Is It Safe To Boil Sea Water And Eat The Salt?

Sea salt is wonderful addition to any dish. But can you make your own sea salt? Is it safe to boil seawater and eat the salt?

Sea salt, as the name suggests, is salt that is harvested from sea water, either by boiling (in an industrial process) or by drying and harvesting using a salt pond, in a more artisanal process. Can you take water from the ocean and do the same?

Is It Safe To Make Salt From Sea Water?

The short answer to this is, “Sort of.” On one hand, yes you can certainly get salty water boil it down, spread out the remaining solids in the sun, and when it’s all fully dried you will have usable salt that you can eat.

On the other hand, when making sea salt as an amateur, there are many factors you might not be considering. For example:

  • Is the water free of chemicals from the surrounding area like petroleum or even sunscreen?
  • Does the water contain a concentration of micro-plastics?
  • Are there naturally occurring contaminants in the water you might not want to consume, like shells and sediments?
  • Are there minerals in the area that will still remain after the boiling process that you’d not want in your food?

There are enough unknown variables here that it’s probably not a great idea to make your own sea salt. If you happen to be in an area where this is done you can certainly talk to experts and try to harvest salt from an area they recommend in order to decrease the risk, but some things are best left to the professionals.

So, in sort, making your own sea salt would probably be fine but there are unknown risk factors that cause us to recommend against this practice. If you went ahead and did it anyway, there is a good chance things would turn out fine for you.

And, of course, don’t forget there is a lot minerals in sea water besides salt[1]Sea Salt Mineral Composition:! So you’ll have to watch out for the composition if you plan on eating this sea salt with any regularity.

Eating Ocean Salt In An Emergency

Salt is an essential electrolyte that our bodies need to function properly. We get most of the salt we need from the food we eat, but in a survival situation, you may need to supplement your diet with salt from seawater. However, eating too much salt can be dangerous and you certainly don’t want to drink sea water, but boiling the water and harvesting the salt could be a fine solution in a short-term emergency scenario.

In the discussion above, we talked about making your own sea salt as something you’d do regularly, as in a hobby or artisanal food preparation. There are concerns with repeatedly doing this, but if it’s only occasional or in a serious emergency, then you’d likely have much larger concerns.

In Short

In a survival situation, boiling seawater to drink is a good way to make sure the water is safe. However, eating too much salt can be dangerous, so start with small sips and gradually increase your intake as your body adjusts. If you experience any signs of dehydration, stop consuming saltwater immediately and seek medical help.


1 Sea Salt Mineral Composition: