Is it that every liquid we see is water, with more or less of x substance?

Example: urine is water with salt and minerals

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, if only because almost anything can exist in the liquid phase. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because answer is no, and everyone who knows what oil is can tell you that. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Many liquids that you use on a day to day basis in the kitchen or at home are water. Vinegar is just water with acetic acid dissolved in it. Cool-Aid is just water with flavoring in it. Milk is water with casein proteins and other products dissolved in it. However, many liquids are pure substances. Vegetable oil is just vegetable oil. It has no water. Acetone has no water. Ethanol has no water, yet these are all liquids. Mercury is a liquid.

Water is the universal solvent. That is why water is found in so many liquid mixtures.


Not every liquid is "water" (or better put, contains water); There are a lot of substances that contain no water whatsoever, such as nonpolar solvents (benzene as an example). The reason we hear of so many aqueous solutions in nature is due to the fact that water dissolves most salts and molecular compounds very well. Water also likes to find its way mixed in other polar substances such as alcohol, this is why we hear of 70 or 91% rubbing alcohol (this is a property known as miscibility). Most substances we see will just contain different substances dissolved or mixed with water; however, there are many other substances out there that exist without water. Here is a list of examples:

  • Elemental Bromine
  • Anhydrous substances such as anhydrous chloroform
  • Oils and gasoline
  • Nonpolar organic solvents such as benzene and diethyl ether

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