Learning to purify water with a magnifying glass is an admirable skill, especially if you enjoy being outside. These small skills can always come in handy in emergencies for survival.
I decided to study to see whether my pocket magnifier could purify water if things went so bad that I couldn’t find a match.
This post will explain what this approach can achieve, how to do it, and its limitations. There are several methods for killing germs in water, and a magnifying glass is one of them. Though a magnifying glass may remove germs from water, it cannot remove all pollutants.
Can a Magnifying Glass Purify Water?
YES, you can use a magnifying glass to purify water!
This method concentrates sunlight through the glass to boil the water. However, this improvised approach will NOT remove any contaminants and will NOT always perform as well as a filter.
This water is unsuitable for human consumption because of the water’s additional contaminants, plant debris, and sediments.
Drinking this water is, at best, a SEVERE health risk that you should avoid. If the water isn’t near a toxic waste dump, you can use it to clean your equipment and possibly wash. As a result, it can still be handy in a situation.
However, if you are stuck without water, this purifying process may be a possibility if you have the chance of receiving medical care soon. Having said that, using this method should only be used as a final option for purification.
What Using a Magnifying Glass to Purify Water Won’t Do
A magnifying glass can be used as one stage in water purification, but it is not a full solution. A magnifying glass can destroy bacteria, but it won’t get rid of the following:
- Pollutants: Pollution is a significant concern in many rivers across the world. Boiling water alone will not be sufficient to remove chemicals or other substances created by unlawful dumping.
- Plant Life and Algae: Even if you boil the water, the plant stuff in it will remain. Depending on what was in the water, this might make your water unsafe to drink.
- Sediments: The sand and gravel from a riverbank will also remain.
- Boil Water: Getting the water hot enough to boil will be a stretch with a typical magnifying glass. Check out this video of some tests being done:
How to Purify Water With a Magnifying Glass
Purifying water with a magnifying glass may sound like a MacGuyver-Esque task, but it’s rather simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:
Get a little sheet of glass and a glass of water. Cover the bulk of the top of the water glass with the glass sheet. If you don’t have an extra sheet of glass, use a magnifying glass with a bigger mouth than the glass’s mouth and a solid metal glass.
Take your magnifying glass and tilt it so that the light focuses on a single spot inside the glass. The heat from the light is what causes the water to boil.
Wait for the water to begin to boil. This is the most challenging aspect. The good news is that you can prop up your magnifying lens using sticks.
Most of the germs will be removed after five minutes of boiling. Ta-da! You have disinfected the water.
The exact time required for this procedure is determined by various parameters, including the volume of water to be purified, the amount of sunshine, and the weather. At best, cloudy conditions might make this procedure challenging.
A low-powered magnifying glass might also lengthen the process. However, it might take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
As discussed throughout this post, a magnifying glass can be used to purify water in case of emergencies when there is no other option left. And learning these skills would come in handy, especially since the process isn’t very hard.
Though it does consume a bit of time, water purified using a magnifying glass is not so suitable for drinking and also comes as a disadvantage. However, it can be used for many other works. And even for drinking, if no other option is left, and if you can access medical support in case you need it.
A type of lens on the market is intended to aid boil water and start fires is called a Solar Lens and is designed to offer a high heating point in a focused location. This is a must-have if you desire multitasking equipment for your next camping trip.
Can You Boil Water With a Magnifying Glass?
Yes, magnifying glasses can be used to boil water. All you have to do is concentrate sunlight through the magnifying glass onto one point of the glass beaker the water is in. Though it will take some time, the water will soon start to boil. Or you can make a small fire using the magnifying glass and boil the water.
Can You Heat up Water With a Magnifying Glass?
It is also feasible to heat water with a magnifying lens. Much as with boiling water, we all have to focus a beam of sunshine on one point of the glass beaker. The water will begin to heat up after a while.