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This Easy Trick Will Stop Your Pots From Boiling Over

Stop making a big mess on your stove.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
Expertise Home Tips, including cooking, cleaning and appliances hacks Credentials
  • National Silver Azbee Award for Impact/Investigative Journalism; National Gold Azbee Award for Online Single Topic Coverage by a Team; National Bronze Azbee Award for Web Feature Series
Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read
saucepan boiling over on stove

Don't let your pot boil over ever again.


You're making some pasta on your stovetop, and step away from the boiling pot of water and noodles for just a minute when suddenly you hear it -- that sizzling sound that means your pot has boiled over, and now you're going to have to wipe up a mess. 

It doesn't have to be this way. There's an easy trick that can stop your pot of water from boiling over. It's been around for a while, but I only just learned about it, and it's one of those simple and obvious game changers for your kitchen. All you need is a wooden spoon. (You can also check out the right way to load your dishwasherhow to clean a cast iron skillet, and which kitchen appliance can save you hundreds of dollars.) 

How to stop a pot from boiling over

wooden spoon across pot of boiling water with pasta

Stopping your pot from boiling over can be as easy as putting a wooden spoon across the top.


Grab a wooden spoon -- the kind you probably have on hand already for mixing. Lay it across the top of your pot, where you'd put a lid. As the bubbles rise up, the spoon will pop them before they can escape the pot. The spoon is also a cooler temperature than the boiling water, which helps the steam from the bubbles condense back into water. 

(And yes, it does have to be a wooden spoon. Wood doesn't conduct heat or electricity, while metal does, which means it won't repel those bubbles as well.)

That's it! This may not work over an extended period of time if the water is boiling vigorously -- at some point, the wooden spoon will heat up and the bubbles will boil over -- but at the very least should save it from splattering everywhere when you turn away to wash a dish. 

If you don't have a wooden spoon, you can also try using a larger pot, using less water or keeping the temperature lower. 

Want more kitchen hacks? Check out how to remove grease from hard-to-reach places, and how to safely pit an avocado.