Category Archives: Microwave water plant experiment

Day 17 – Microwaved Water to Plant Experiment

“It’s like Deja-Vu all over again”
– Yogi Berra

It’s Day 17 and the plant watered with microwaved water is still healthy and viable. It is to the left. The one given untreated tap water is to the right.



The family wants to repeat the experiment with a larger sample size and use seedlings that we sprout ourselves.

I will keep you in the loop, but for now I conclude that based on a sample size of 2, one minute of microwaved water didn’t kill our growing basil plants after 17 days.

The family is ready to make pesto.


Day 4 of Microwaved Water to Plants Experiment

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Day 4 microwave

Above:  After 4 days of microwaved water (water left to sit overnight)

Day 4 tap water

Above: After 4 days of untreated tap water (water left to sit overnight)

(Holding back the urge to make fresh pesto, I am making great culinary sacrifices for the sake of science.)


Microwaved Water to Plants Experiment – Day 1

I see a world where people verify facts for themselves.

My dad Arran read an article years back about how plants watered with microwaved water die.  He hasn’t used a microwave since.  I cringe at the idea of having to heat everything up in a pan or pot and then wash it (versus the quick microwave zap).  I also kind-of-don’t-really-want to know since I used microwaves so many a time in the middle of the night when my baby daughter was screaming for milk.  Dont want to think that maybe I’ve been slowly poisoning my developing children.  Everyone uses microwaves, right?  It’s just easier to dismiss what dad said.  Well, about a year ago, I came across this again.  It’s been ruminating.  Eventually, I started to talk to my daughters about this and we agreed that we should experiment.

We are attempting a very simple and not-truly scientific test.  My statistics friends, especially Michael Greenacre would cringe at this.  What, a sample size of two?!

Day 0 the set up

The set up

I haven’t googled this at all but I figure that if there is such a terribly strong effect, I should see it right away.  I don’t want to have to use p values to determine whether there is an effect.  There should be a clear answer like the squirrels who eat all the organic corn but leave most of the GMO kernels on the cob.  Last night  I bought two basil plants which were next to each other at the only store open on a Sunday night in Victoria.  They looked healthy and hearty.   They are now set up in the kitchen in a sunny spot.  We took a glass of water and microwaved it for a minute, and let it sit overnight.  We put an identical glass of tap water to sit overnight.

This morning with the help of my one-armed assistant (the other arm is in a sling as she fell off the monkey-bars about a month ago), we watered the plants.

Day 1 watering plant 1 with Microwaved water

Day 1, watering plant 2 with tap water

We will do so until we see some kind of difference and will post about this.

To sort of appease any of you scientists upset at my small sample size, please have a listen to the SVD song.