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Questions tagged [everyday-chemistry]

Applications of chemistry to reagents, reactions and processes of everyday life. Use this tag for question on chemistry in an out-of-laboratory/class context. DO NOT use this tag merely because the question is about simple chemistry.

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8 votes
1 answer
8k views

Storing alcohol in a thermos bottle

My thermos bottle's instructions say: Füllen Sie keine kohlensäurehaltigen Flüssigkeiten oder Trockeneis in das Produkt. Füllen Sie keine alkoholischen oder öligen Flüssigkeiten in das Produkt. ...
5 votes
1 answer
11k views

Reaction between sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), isopropyl alcohol, and acetic acid (vinegar)?

I observed this reaction by playing around with vinegar and baking soda and I do not completely understand it. Everyone knows that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) go crazy ...
7 votes
2 answers
895 views

What happened to this 10 year old unopened plastic bottle?

A colleague of mine found this unopened Aquarius bottle (non-carbonated drink) that was 10 years past its expiration date. The bottle was collapsed inward which would suggest that the pressure in ...
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Why does pectin/agar jelly taste sweet, if they stay solid at 36.5 °C, entrapping sugar?

When we eat pectin jelly(fruit jelly) or agar jelly, they taste sweet. This should imply that sugar entrapped in gel network is somehow exposed and dissolved to saliva. However, pectin and agar gel ...
2 votes
1 answer
34k views

Does Rubbing Alcohol + Bleach really produce Chloroform?

A lot of sources on the internet claim that mixing rubbing alcohol with chlorinated bleach produces chloroform. Rubbing alcohol is Isopropanol, and bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite. Neither of these are ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

The effects of acetic acid on porous concrete brick and mortar joints

I mistakenly applied a patio cleaner containing acetic acid to my porous concrete facing brick thinking it was biocide. The concentrate solution has a pH of 3 and I diluted it to one part concentrate ...
84 votes
1 answer
4k views

What causes the old book smell?

I have a collection of old books (all 80+ years old), recently, I received a British Chemistry text from 1903 (intro page below) - this being the oldest book of my collection (112 years old at the ...
-3 votes
0 answers
34 views

cloudy groundwater turns clear then develops bubbles after resting

Recently while filling water from my regular groundwater supply, I noticed it to be unusually cloudy. This cloudiness disappears within a minute or so. I left a glass of this water sitting outside and ...
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is the flint used in disposable lighters toxic?

Especially the sparks that result when using them. I heard this from a friend and can't seem to find an answer on Google.
-1 votes
1 answer
41 views

Is the reaction product favoured in this equilibrium: H2(g)+I2(s)><2HI(g) when K=45? [closed]

Is the reaction product favoured in this equilibrium: H2(g)+I2(s)><2HI(g) when K=45? or is the reaction reactant favoured? because I remember that if K>1 then the product is favoured. I am ...
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

Is there not a strict definition of what naphtha vs petrol represent?

If you search for information about fractional distillation of petroleum, many sources place petrol above naphtha, while others do the reverse. Is there not a strict definition of what these compounds ...
8 votes
0 answers
1k views

Sugar burning with the assistance of ash

If a plain pile of sugar (or a sugar cube) is heated with a torch, it just melts and gives off smoke. However, if some paper or wood ashes are added, it burns quite easily. What are the ingredients of ...
5 votes
2 answers
227 views

Why don't oils use plastic droppers?

As shown in the picture, most cosmetic oils and serums make use of glass droppers. However in the chemistry lab, scientists often also use reusable plastic droppers as well. My question was that, ...
0 votes
0 answers
66 views

How can I make sure my oil do not contain salt

Vacuuming slightly wet wood with my vacuum pump resulted in making a mayonnaise with my pump oil - which turned out surprisingly stable. I mixed salt saturated water with it in order to break the ...
1 vote
2 answers
20k views

What made my solution cloudy?

I may know, but I would like an expert opinion and a possible solution? I had an ethanol product from molasses, brown sugar and yeast which was clear. I then added (and feel all information is ...
15 votes
2 answers
125k views

Reviving Li-ion battery in freezer?

I have read that it is possible to revive a dead Li-ion battery by putting it in the freezer for three to seven days, and then letting it get back to room temperature. Can this process work, and if so,...
4 votes
2 answers
582 views

I left scented candles in a polypropylene container. How do I remove the smell?

I left scented candles in a polypropylene container, for many weeks. How do I remove the smell? I've tried: Hand wash with Dish Soap (a few times) Hand wipe with Isopropyl Alcohol (a few times) ...
-1 votes
1 answer
23 views

what off the shelf chemicals break the factory adhesive bonding paper gaskets to a steel plate in an automatic transmission? [closed]

The adhesive chemical is unknown. This part is constantly exposed to temperatures from -20F to 300F, and is submerged is transmission fluid. The exact steel that the gaskets are bonded to is unkown, ...
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

A solution is cloudy at lower concentration and becomes clear at higher concentration. Why?

This might be just an "everyday life science" question. I am a university professor but not in chemistry so please educate me. Today I was adding some floor cleaner formula to water as ...
-1 votes
3 answers
77k views

Repairing acetone damage and discoloration to plastic

I used acetone on the back of my monitor to get rid of old stickers from LED strips. However it severely damaged my monitor. Anyway to undo this or repair it?
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could an airborne swarm of small insects explode? [closed]

I know that fine-grained organic matter such as flour or pollen can be quite explosive if ignited. It also seems logical to me that the explosiveness of such an organic powder is determined by many ...
3 votes
6 answers
368 views

Removing carbon matter from molten beeswax

In my candle manufacturing process, I melt down used candle stubs, filter the molten wax (heated to ~ $\pu{75^\circ C}$) and use this to create new candles (in addition to fresh beeswax). I'm ...
4 votes
1 answer
9k views

What happens when isopropyl alcohol expires?

My isopropyl alcohol has expired. What happens when it expires? Does it break down into something else? Can I still use it to clean or sanitize?
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

About whitish layer that formed on chocolate bar

I noticed a whitish layer on the surface of a chocolate bar that I ate yesterday. I looked at the pack where it was mentioned that, "Temperature and humidity changes may cause product to develop ...
2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Purpose of sulphuric acid in archaic matchboxes

The first attempts at instantaneous matchboxes usually included some sort of oxidizer, usually potassium chlorate and an initiating fuel (first sugar was used then they moved on to $\ce{Sb2S3}$ etc.) ...
1 vote
2 answers
142 views

How did Sinclair Oil put "liquid nickel" into gasoline, and what were the chemical mechanism(s) by which it was supposed to reduce engine wear?

The April 22, 2022 Veritasium video The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History is worth a watch, and was the basis for the question Why would tellurium + sodium hydroxide have worked ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why would tellurium + sodium hydroxide have worked as a good anti-knock gasoline additive (if it wasn't so smelly)?

The April 22, 2022 Veritasium video The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History mentions several aspects of the historical use of tetra-ethyl lead in gasoline, the resulting widespread ...
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

How would you test for ppm of lead in a powder?

Looking to test the ppm for lead in a powder that is a food item. No experience in chemistry. Possibly may need to test for other heavy metals.
239 votes
1 answer
73k views

Why can we smell copper?

If I can smell an object, it means that molecules of it are getting separated from it, so they can reach my nose. As far as I know, metals don't sublimate, especially not in room temperature. However, ...
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

Creating resilient (non-brittle non-water-soluble) verdigris (blue-green copper patina)

First off, I checked and there are indeed a number of questions on copper patinas, but none which deal with resilience. Context I own a number of copper writing utensils, which I'd like to get a nice ...
3 votes
1 answer
838 views

Why doesn't sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water spontaneously effervesce when carbonic acid does?

It's well known that if you put carbonic acid $\ce{H2CO3}$ into water it will dehydrate into carbon dioxide $\ce{CO2}$ and water $\ce{H2O}$. Indeed this is how modern fizzy drinks generate their fizz. ...
2 votes
3 answers
71 views

Oxygen bleach discolored white tablecloth

My white polyester tablecloth got stained with red wine. Stains were about the size of a quarter.I proceeded to launder it several hours later. I used Chlorx2 ColorSafe Bleach and as per ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does saltwater damage electronics?

newbie here. I'm asking a question that is related to hygrometer calibration. I read in sensitive digital hygrometers, it is stated that saltwater test should not be used to calibrate as it will ...
2 votes
1 answer
103 views

Developing aluminum mirrors, similar to tollens reagent but with Al instead of Ag

Is there a chemical process to deposit an aluminum mirror onto a surface similar to the tollens reagent process for silver? I should add that any liquid process would satisfy my curiosity, it does not ...
0 votes
0 answers
54 views

Making Sodium Citrate

I've been trying to make Sodium Citrate and I've seen online people saying just react sodium bicarbonate with citric acid in water (with correct ratios) and boil off/remove water once the reaction has ...
2 votes
2 answers
129 views

What liquid mixture has largest negative excess volume?

Math teacher here. I’m trying to teach about types of sets that when you add them together, their sizes don’t add (called non-measurable sets). I came across the chemistry experiment where you mix 50 ...
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

How to remove color from bromostyrene/dibromostyrene

Distillation under low heat can remove color (excess bromine) but this is time consuming and there is a danger of bromostyrene polymerization even with added TBC. In aqueous, sodium thiosulphate can ...
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

Mechanism of adhesion of particles on solid surfaces [closed]

What is the mechanism of adhesion of particles on solid surfaces? How does anything stick to anything, for that matter? Why does cigarette smoke stay so stubbornly on our bodies? Why does perfume also ...
2 votes
1 answer
132 views

Point group of trimethyl borate $\ce{B(OCH_3)3}$

What's the point group of trimethyl borate $\ce{B(OCH_3)3}$. The answer that my teacher gave is $D_{3h}$ but I'm struggling to see the n perpendicular $C_2$ axes and the horizontal plane of reflection....
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is "super" in superphosphate?

This question is inspired from a previous question(marked unclear). I don't know the context of that question but I was intrigued by a statement: Superphosphate is used instead of just phosphate ...
2 votes
1 answer
477 views

Using Hydrogen Peroxide to clean toilet

I want to use lysol hydrogen peroxide multipurpose cleaner for cleaning my toilet. Is this a dangerous course of action?
7 votes
3 answers
13k views

Why can potassium hydroxide not be used to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide?

As we know that $\ce{KOH}$ absorbs $\ce{CO2}$, then why can't it be used to remove the excessive $\ce{CO_2}$ present in the atmosphere?
3 votes
1 answer
132 views

Why did it take so long to figure out what made Roman concrete so durable?

I'm no chemist, but it feels like there should have been more than enough motivation to discover the recipe for strong concrete and it should have been discovered ages ago. Why were the details only ...
-2 votes
1 answer
136 views

What are these plates in LixC6?

I'm completely new to chemistry. I can’t personally figure out the basic issues myself, so I’m asking for your help. I became interested in how lithium-ion batteries generally work. As a result, I ...
1 vote
2 answers
7k views

Mixing bleach and ammonia?

I know that the two should not be mixed, but i want to know that if the two become mixed in a contained unit, does it build pressure? Or can you seal the container safely untill it can be disposed of ...
-1 votes
2 answers
441 views

Best ingredients for a homemade desinfectant

I am trying to determine the best recipe/ingredients for a homemade desinfectant/germ killer. I've been researching these as of now: Isopropanol (or even Ethanol) White vinegar Borax H2O2 Specific ...
-1 votes
1 answer
95 views

What chemical makes the ‘smoky’ flavour in smoked paprika?

I really detest ‘smoky’ flavours eg smoked paprika. It tastes like fumes to me. What chemical/ substance do these contain that causes this please
25 votes
1 answer
47k views

How does adding lemon juice to sugar make better caramel?

It's a common cooking advice: if you want a somewhat softer caramel, add some lemon juice to the sugar: To help prevent the caramel from crystallizing, you can add an acid to the sugar before you ...
1 vote
3 answers
3k views

How to neutralize the stink of decomposed fish?

Recently I discovered for myself an interesting way to easily produce home made plant fertilizer that is quite effective (tested myself on the plants). It's fish emulsion (so can be used also in a ...
-3 votes
2 answers
88 views

Sodium hypochlorite bleach and chromium mop handle [closed]

I have been using sodium hypochlorite bleach as a cleaning method in my house. During a two week period when I was at home I left the mop handle in the bucket with bleach in it. I did not know it was ...

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