If we were to mix two soluble salts together, for instance sodium nitrate and potassium chloride together, and their products are also soluble, will any reaction still occur? Say if we were to boil the solution, will we obtain only sodium chloride and potassium nitrate? Or will it be a mixture of all 4 possible salts.


1 Answer 1


Unless a precipitate forms from a double replacement reaction (basically cat$_1^+$an$_1^-$ + cat$^+$an$^-$ --> products), no reaction will occur from the dissolution of two salts. The precipitate can even be water, or a gas (like carbon dioxide, which will form from the decomposition of carbonic acid, alongside water).

e.g. H2SO4 + BaCl2 --> 2HCl + BaSO4 occurs because barium sulfate precipitates.
e.g. 2HNO3 + BaCl2 --> NO REACTION because neither hydrochloric acid nor barium nitrate precipitates. They just hang in the water as free ions (hence ionic equations).

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    $\begingroup$ There are other reactions besides precipitation, for example redox reactions. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ What if you remove the water? Do you get your original salts back (sodium nitrate and potassium chloride) or new salts (sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, potassium nitrate and potassium chloride) $\endgroup$
    – Luo Zeyuan
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ @LuoZeyuan I'm not quite sure. I know that with one dissolved salt, it will reform once the water has boiled out. Not all cation-anion combos do this though, for example vinegar (acetic acid HC2HOOH or HC2H3O2). But when you have two salts dissolved... maybe if the ionic bonds are strong enough to reform, but that goes deep into chemistry. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ You will get a mixture of all 4 possible salts if you evaporate to dryness $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ Some salts are easily separated by crystallization. In salt ponds, this is used to separate highly soluble salts, such as LiCl, from less soluble, e.g. CaCO3. See hydrochemistry.eu/exmpls/sea_evap.html $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 1:12

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