What is Solubility? Definition, Types, Examples & Factors Affecting

Things like salt, sugar, and coffee dissolve in water. They are soluble. They usually dissolve faster and better in warm or hot water.


Soluble substances are those that when in contact with another liquid dissolve and form a solution. The substance that dissolves is the solute and the substance in which it dissolves is the solvent. The solution is a mixture between solute and solvent.

What is Solubility? | The Chemistry Blog

Solute and solvent can appear in liquid, solid, and gaseous states. These materials or substances exchange electrons when they come into contact in the right proportions; This results in the formation of new compounds.

The universal solvent is water; however, not all materials or substances are soluble in it.

Examples of solubility of soluble materials and substances

– Water soluble substances

1- Salt: or sodium chloride, is ordinarily soluble in water at 20 ° C.

2- Sugar: it is ordinarily soluble in water at 20 ° C.

3- Gelatin: it is soluble in water in the presence of heat.

4- Powdered juices: a mixture of sugar, flavorings, and preservatives, usually soluble in water at 20 ° C.

5- Nitrates: are commonly present in fertilizers used in agriculture.

6- Alcohol: both ethyl and isopropyl.

7- Wine: it is a mixture of alcohol and fermented fruit.

8- Soap: because it has carbon, hydrogen, and salt in its composition, it dissolves when it comes into contact with water.

9- Ammonia: it exists in a wide range of household cleaning products.

10- Oxygen: this gas dissolved in water is what aquatic animals breathe.

11- Vinegar: being acidic and polar, it dissolves easily in water.

12- Saccharin: it is a sweetener that can be dissolved in water at 22 ºC.

13- Aspartame: it is a sweetener that dissolves with difficulty in the water at 20ºC.

14- Sodium bicarbonate: solid compound easily soluble in water. 

– Substances soluble in other substances

15- Mayonnaise: it is a mixture of egg, vinegar, and salt in the oil.

16- Paints, lacquers, and dyes:  they dissolve in thinner, acetone, or methyl ethyl ketone.

17- Nail varnish:  dissolves in thinner or acetone.

18- Plastic:  reacts to organic solvents based on ethylene glycol.

19- Glue:  dissolves in formaldehyde.

20- Oils and waxes: in diethyl ether, also called ethyl ether.

21- Resins and gums:  dissolved in toluene.

22- Rubber and leather:  can be dissolved in xylene.

23- Fats: dissolve in methanol.

24- Gold dental amalgam: it is gold dissolved in mercury.

25- Coffee or cocoa: they can be dissolved in milk, at a higher rate depending on the temperature of the components.

The importance of polarity in solubility

Polarity is the element that defines whether the substance is soluble in water or not. Most of life’s important everyday chemical reactions take place in a watery environment. 

Polarity refers to those molecules that are not composed of ions, and have an excess positive charge at one end and a negative charge at the other. 

Water, thanks to its polarity and its hydrogen bonding property, can dissolve ions and molecules of various types, as long as they are polar.

In the case of nonpolar molecules, such as fats, plastics, and oils, water does not act as a solvent, to the point that when trying to mix both substances they do not dissolve but remain separated in the form of layers.

These types of nonpolar molecules dissolve in substances such as ether, naphtha, benzene, thinner, and acetone, among others.

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