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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About Smoke Grenades and Sugar Rockets

The most common formula for smoke grenades and sugar rocket fuel is $60\%\ \ce{KNO3}$ (potassium nitrate) and $40\%\ \ce{C12H22O11}$ (sugar). This is a 3:2 ratio, but I've also seen 2:1 and 5:3 with ...
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2k views

How to dissolve slime jelly?

Suppose I have a small kid that had two cans of slime jelly (a Jelly made of water, glycerin, thickeners, dispersant, flavorings and pigments). And that two cans were inside a backpack, and somehow ...
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690 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 ...
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96 views

Reaction of Rubidium with vacuum system viewport

I have a vacuum system ($<1\times10^{-7}$ mbar) filled with Rubidium ($^{87}$Rb) vapour, at room temperature. We also have a viewport near the Rubidium source, made of a stainless steel flange ...
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136 views

What makes “Color-Safe Bleach” color safe?

The ability of bleach ($\ce{NaOCl}$) to change the color of garments and introduce "bleach stains" is a well-known issue. In this question: Does bleach turn a substance white or colorless?, the ...
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861 views

How to dissolve a strong resin in difficult situation?

The resin is made up from two components: Component A: silicic acid, sodium salt (less than 10% sodium silicate) Component B: Diphenylmethane-4,4'-Diisocyanate, isomers and homologs (MDI,Polymer-MDI)...
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2k 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. ...
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126 views

Waterproofing and recycling paper

I've recently begun studying about waterproofing paper. Through what I learned is that the reason why paper absorbs water so easily is mainly because of it's material composition. Paper is generally ...
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155 views

Which (carbonaceous) fuels produce more or less soot in a diffusion flame, and how to predict that?

From what I've read, the production of soot in a flame is still an open research topic. But some hydrocarbon fuels produce much more soot than others. Are there (simple) rules that tell which fuels ...
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73 views

How can I test fruits and vegetables for certain insecticides?

I live in Turkey and I don't feel safe eating the fruits and vegetables that I enjoy that are plentiful here. After reading this article, I have been washing all fruits and vegetables with water and ...
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64 views

Remove redness in copper-nickel coin

I had a silver-looking coin (not valuable, don't worry) that was heavily covered in black. I thought it could be silver, so I cleaned it with the electrolysis method (salt + sodium bicarbonate ...
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1k views

Cat litter crystals causing toxic smell upon rubbing and pouring out of the package, safe?

I am under-educated in terms of chemistry hence the question and assumptions. Basically, for our cats, we are using what seems to be the latest scientific achievement in litter sand - the litter ...
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43 views

How to align povidone-iodine molecules in order to look for optical polarization

In this answer I mention how early polarizing filters (e.g. sunglasses) were made by doping a polymer with iodine atoms and then stretching the film to orient the polymer molecules. Electrons donated ...
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73 views

Why do certain mixtures foam and others don't? How to predict if a mixture will yield a foam?

I recently acquainted myself with the skill of whipping a mixture of sugar, fresh brewed/ hydrated instant coffee into a pale, fluffy, stiff and stable foam. This, as some might know, is known as Café ...
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45 views

“Non-stick” action on ceramic-coated pans

I understand how PTFE, or Teflon as it is commonly called, prevents anything from sticking to pans; apparently, anything coming into contact with the PTFE coating has ignorably tiny van der Waals ...
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117 views

Can fat make rubber gloves stiff?

Sometimes I use dishwashing gloves when carving cooked duck, which is very fatty. I have noticed that over time my dishwashing gloves seem to be shrinking a little bit and getting stiff. Could this be ...
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26 views

Carbon footprint rules of thumb

Could someone perhaps check the rules of thumb that I use for estimating the carbon footprint of hydrocarbon fossil fuels- I'm using schoolboy chemistry theory, and possibly falling into schoolboy ...
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30 views

Gel in water machine

I have a hot and cold water dispensing machine from my water company. I use 5 gallon water jugs delivered ever 3-4 weeks. The machine has a tank in it where water is kept cold until dispensed by ...
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64 views

What causes steel rubbing on wood to leave grey or black marks?

In my own experience, running or rubbing a high-carbon steel on wood leaves a pencil-like trail. Is this simply carbon rubbing off, or is it a more complex reaction involving tannins in the wood, like ...
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50 views

What is Hydroxy Methylbutyrate-Ca and what is it's relation to butyric acid

First of all, I am nowhere near familiar with chemistry. But I really need help with this question. A certain product contains "Hydroxy Methylbutyrate-Ca" and I need to translate this ingredient in ...
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35 views

Kitchen Counter Endothermy?

I am not a chemist. But I am curious... This evening I was making ingredients for a "lemonade bar", where people mix various flavors into a lemonade base to create custom flavors (mint + cucumber is ...
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32 views

Help with idea for an optical ph sensor

I am experimenting at home with the idea of making an optical ph sensor that can read the colour of ph indicator using photodiodes. I am wondering if there is some kind of ion permeable membrane ...
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175 views

How to make a placebo drink taste convincing?

I'm trying to make a placebo alcoholic drink - something strong (cognac, whiskey or vodka). Is it possible to make a drink containing absolutely no alcohol taste like it's got 30 or 40% alcohol? What ...
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Any way to guess what these crystals are?

Is there any way to guess from these crystals what minerals formed them? They came from ordinary tap water. I was cleaning out a room humidifier which hasn't been used since last year when I ...
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1answer
2k views

Can a table salt + vinegar mixture be explosive?

I remember having read in a book, Ask Me Anything (Dorling Kindersley), that a combination of copious amounts of table salt and vinegar is explosive. Now this was a really long while back, and I can'...
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73 views

Sand Under Pool Turned Gold in Color

I'm removing an above-ground chlorine pool installed years ago by a previous owner of my house. Looking underneath the pool, I found that the sand on which it's resting is a gold/bronze color with a ...
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193 views

Can the properties in a tomato help make hair curl?

Is it possible for the active properties of a tomato to turn your hair from straight to curly? And what are the active ones that do this and why?
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314 views

Brewing tea with deionized water

I am wondering what efect brewing tea (let us assume for the sake of simplicity it is green tea, brewed at about 80 °C) in deionized water might have on the product. Will the lack of ions in the ...
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204 views

What's causing my plastic fork to break?

This has been a real mystery for me at work. For the past three days I've eaten salads for lunch. I used a plastic bowl with a lid and when I was finished with the salad, I didn't rinse out the bowl ...
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21 views

How to remove the foggy discoloration in polycarbonate tubes caused by acetone?

Unknowing that the tubes used in the centrifuge are made of polycarbonate, I cleaned them with acetone. Following, a white smoky discolouration appeared and the tubes turned opaque. Is there any way ...
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53 views

Are there any gases that can not be turned into liquid, or liquids that can not be frozen solid?

My son points out that some solids can not be melted (because they combust, for example). He wonders if there are any liquids that can not be frozen, or gases that can not be liquified.
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415 views

Why do nitrile gloves turn yellow from sweaty hands?

When I take off my nitrile gloves after some hours in the lab, the inside of them has turned yellow. This happens especially in the regions around joints. I suspect this is due to a reaction between ...
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35 views

What kind of chemical reaction happens when combining Tahini and Date syrup?

While both Tahini and Date syrup are quite thin, when mixed together they form a paste-like substance that is very delicious, and quite thick. But what kind of chemical reaction leads to such sudden ...
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56 views

Why chewing gum gets hardened after drinking water

Basic question, please don't say temperature change, because i've tried, and it never gets back to same elasticity! There must be some other chemistry at work. Even with luke warm water or room ...
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99 views

Mechanism for removal of pesticides from fruit by sodium bicarbonate

When Googling around for methods to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables, a study commonly referred to from some news sites (e.g. here and here ) is one where soaking apples in a sodium ...
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552 views

Detecting alkaloids - Dragendorff's reagent

I am writing a book and as part of the plot one of the characters has a plant that contains alkaloids in tincture form. They want to do a test to detect for the alkaloids so they use the Dragendorff's ...
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31 views

Is there a non toxic moisture indicator that can be applied on a wall?

I am looking for a substance that could serve as an indicator for a risk of mold growth, e.g. by a change of its hue. Cobalt chloride is both irritant and carcinogenic so is not an option. I've found ...
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0answers
44 views

Continuous series of inorganic hydrates (from mono- to deca-)

I'm doing some research for university and it has to do with crystals. I'm currently experimenting with $\ce{CuSO4 * 5 H2O}$. I know we refer to the formula as copper sulfate pentahydrate. And also, I'...
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70 views

Pulling Calcium Phosphate from Animal Bones

I am looking to pull Calcium Phosphate out of animal bones (chicken, fish, etc) without destroying the collagen. If I soak animal bones in brown rice vinegar will the vinegar pull out Calcium ...
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571 views

Which cup of tea cools down more quickly?

There are 2 cups (both cups are identical) of tea which are served at the same temperature. Assume that the walls of the cup to be non-heat conducting. Which cup of tea cools down faster, a full-...
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198 views

Heat and Sugar Syrup Consistency

I make my own sugar syrups and have been observing how heating the syrup to different degrees results in syrups of radically different consistencies, I wonder why. Heating up syrups (4:3 Sugar:Water) ...
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179 views

What gives saliva its adhesive properties?

The act of sealing off an envelope by licking the flap and "gluing" it down so that the envelope becomes closed rather tightly is probably rare nowadays, but remains well known to many people. I was ...
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0answers
101 views

Vacuum filtration: will Polymer elements interfere with the vacuum?

I am doing an experiment with vacuum filtration, where a Nylon filter is used to create a membrane (marked in pink in the picture attached). When I use the membrane, it frequently breaks in the ...
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0answers
554 views

Is there an important difference between soap and detergent?

I've read recently somewhere that most "soaps" are actually detergents and the real soap would not be a good idea in everyday applications like washing hands, shower gels and shampoos, and dish ...
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0answers
88 views

How to slow/prevent corrosion of a steel post

I have a steel post set in limestone, about 18-20 inches deep, with some concrete around it. I just noticed that I have about 6 inches of water inside the post. The limestone had a small seam in it ...
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157 views

Is there any chemicals that I can add to soy bean wax

I recently decided to make homemade candles in my spare time since all 6 kids have left the house. After much research and trial and error and reading many articles, I have found that Soy wax does ...
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0answers
35 views

Purple rinse water

After forming a white substance while on the stove, I rinsed the Pyrex pot under tap water (from a well), whereupon the water in the pot turned purple. Why did this happen? Iron and sulfur are ...
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0answers
69 views

Composition of carbon rods in alkaline batteries

The carbon rods in batteries look somewhat similar to graphite, but they do not leave a significant mark on paper. What form of carbon are they? Are they simply just graphite with a large amount of ...
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868 views

What are these fluffy white crystals growing out of my floor tiles?

Does anyone know what these white crystals are? As you an see they are growing out of some floor tiling in my house. They have been appearing for some years now out of the floor, which is cleaned ...
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33 views

Reagent for identification of Water Hemlock (Cicuta) or Cicutoxin?

Chemical reagents are used for macroscopic identification of some wild mushrooms. Are there similar reagents used to identify Water Hemlock (or potentially cicutoxin) as a supplement to visual ...