Household Chemistry
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10-11-2012, 07:33 PM
Household Chemistry
I'd just like to post some simple chemistry reactions that are neat or useful that can be performed safely with common household chemicals.


The first one is useful for when you have dishes with nasty lime deposits. Lime is calcium carbonate, CaCO3, and is naturally found dissolved in water. When water containing calcium carbonate evaporates, the CaCO3 is left behind as faint white spots on your dishes, especially visible on glassware.

CaCO3 can be a pain in the butt to get off of your dishes. Normal soap does not attack it, or does so only weakly. It's time for some chemistry.

CaCO3 will react with acetic acid (aka vinegar) to create calcium acetate and carbon dioxide. The calcium acetate dissolves off the glass and into the water, so it can be poured down the drain, leaving your glassware clean. Great! But there's a problem: this process is very slow, taking at least a couple hours to completely remove the lime stains.

That's where our second reagent comes in: isopropyl alcohol, or "rubbing alcohol". Isopropyl is only a very weak acid, and interacts mainly through Van der Waals forces (the forces that allow chameleons to cling to walls and ceilings). It won't do anything to CaCO3 on its own. But mix it with acetic acid, and it will work as a catalyst to speed the reaction up enormously.


So simply take your glass, fill it with one (1) part distilled white vinegar, one (1) part 70% or 91% rubbing alcohol, and two (2) parts hot water. You'll immediately see bubbles form and rise to the top of the glass; this is the carbon dioxide released as the calcium in CaCO3 bonds with the acetic acid. Within 5 to 15 minutes your glass should be spot-free.

This mixture is also a good general purpose glass and tile cleaner, when you need something with a bit more "oomph" than Windex.



WARNING: Isopropyl alcohol is toxic to ingest, and does release fumes. Use in a ventilated area. If you start to get a headache, go outside immediately to clear your head.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012 07:33 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012, 07:50 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Free Thought - 10-11-2012, 07:56 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - robotworld - 10-11-2012, 08:17 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - robotworld - 10-11-2012, 08:09 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012, 08:14 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - robotworld - 10-11-2012, 08:38 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012, 08:57 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - ET1 - 21-04-2013, 12:23 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012, 08:10 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Free Thought - 10-11-2012, 08:18 PM
Household Chemistry - Erxomai - 10-11-2012, 08:42 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - black_squirrel - 28-10-2013, 06:23 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - Logica Humano - 10-11-2012, 08:47 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Free Thought - 10-11-2012, 09:10 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - BryanS - 27-10-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Free Thought - 27-10-2013, 11:36 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - nach_in - 10-11-2012, 09:15 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 10-11-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Elesjei - 15-11-2012, 12:20 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - kingschosen - 15-11-2012, 01:46 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Elesjei - 15-11-2012, 09:19 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - LadyJane - 15-11-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Erxomai - 15-11-2012, 02:59 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 16-11-2012, 07:26 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - ddrew - 16-11-2012, 09:33 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - Phaedrus - 16-11-2012, 09:38 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - bemore - 17-11-2012, 07:30 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - Chas - 17-11-2012, 10:16 AM
Household Chemistry - Erxomai - 17-11-2012, 07:36 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - KVron - 22-04-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - dmparker5 - 27-10-2013, 03:52 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - BryanS - 27-10-2013, 10:18 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - dmparker5 - 28-10-2013, 04:44 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - BryanS - 28-10-2013, 07:00 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - dmparker5 - 28-10-2013, 12:16 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Youkay - 27-10-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: Household Chemistry - Chas - 28-10-2013, 05:21 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - BryanS - 28-10-2013, 06:28 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - Hafnof - 28-10-2013, 06:04 AM
RE: Household Chemistry - Raptor Jesus - 28-10-2013, 01:53 PM
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