I remember from school that photosensitive chemicals are kept in amber coloured bottles. Is KCl photosensitive? I read up the impurities list on the bottle and it says that it may have bromides too? So is it because of the KCl or the bromides? If it is due to the bromide, what sense does it make since it would react just to form another impurity?

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    $\begingroup$ I suspect that when manufacturers order bottles, sometimes they have a few extra amber ones and sometimes they have a few extra clear ones. In cases where it doesn't matter chemically which bottle is used, silly logistical factors like this might be decisive. $\endgroup$
    – Curt F.
    Jun 1, 2016 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


The potassium chloride solutions in my lab are in transparent glass bottles, as was the potassium chloride solution in my inorganic students’ lab at the LMU in Munich. If I recall it correctly, the solid potassium chloride we had there was in a transparent bottle, too, but don’t quote me on that.

There should be nothing in potassium chloride that will react under irradiation. And these types of impurities are generally not a reason to use such a bottle. But maybe the supplier of your choice just happens to have too many amber bottles?

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    $\begingroup$ Haha! Thanks. Maybe I was wrong to generalize based on just the bottle in my lab :) $\endgroup$
    – Polisetty
    May 31, 2016 at 22:44

On a sample of one selling site, amber bottles are cheaper than similar clear bottles, for some moderate to large quantities, at least today. KCl is fairly cheap so when selling the stuff in small quantity every penny saved counts towards profit. So: Economics could be the cause.

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    $\begingroup$ I would totally believe this. Also if amber bottles are cheaper, then just stocking one color bottle simplifies things. You have 1/2 the bottles in inventory which is huge. // I'd guess that clear bottles must have much purer ingredients. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:00
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    $\begingroup$ Recycled glass makes amber bottles - mix up the green glass, brown glass, clear glass, whatever. It's the colour of play-doh when you mix it all together. Clear glass needs clear feedstock - clear means pure and pure means refined and refined means expensive-er. Some things legitimately benefit from being stored in bottles that block short wavelength light, preventing photodegredation, but KCl is certainly not one of them. $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ I had to look at the price charts a few times to see that the images were making the same point that the text was. The prices are kind of interesting: the amber is cheaper when you buy 128-999, 5000-9999, or 10000-25000, but the clear is cheaper when buying 1-127, or 1000-4999. That's kind of interesting. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2016 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshuaTaylor - yeah, I should have done some SO-style "markup" with freehand circles drawn with a pen tool in Paint ... but ... got lazy. $\endgroup$
    – davidbak
    Jun 1, 2016 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ I can't imagine what I would do with 25000 bottles. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2016 at 15:58

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