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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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14
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3answers
4k views

Why is it considered acid rain with pH <5.6?

I recently read in a book that rain is considered acid rain if the pH falls below 5.6. However a substance is acidic when the pH is below 7; so why is the boundary for acid rain 5.6? I was thinking ...
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6answers
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Handling and storing sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol

I'm an electrical engineering and I hope you can give me some advice as I'm not much into chemistry. I'm trying to start making my PCB (Printed Circuit Board) at home but I'd like to have some advice ...
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2answers
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If I drink water without sipping, is there a chance of saliva diffusing into my bottle?

I always prefer to drink water without sipping, like this: I do this so that my saliva doesn't contaminate the water contents, which would make the water impossible to share with my friends. But ...
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3answers
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Is there such a thing as a “minimal soap” molecule?

Wikipedia's Soap gives sodium stearate as an example of soap, and apparently I've been eating it: Sodium stearate is the sodium salt of stearic acid. This white solid is the most common soap. It is ...
14
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3answers
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Is poison still poisonous after its 'expiration date'?

As we all know that, Any poison is nothing but a chemical compound. And as discussed in the question: Chemicals-do-have-an-expiry-date! So, my question is: Is poison still poisonous after its '...
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3answers
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What is the effect on humans of using dry ice and liquid nitrogen as food additives?

I have seen on a TV show that some guy uses dry ice (solid $\ce{CO2}$) to make ice cream and on an another TV show, liquid nitrogen ($\ce{N2}$) is used with tequila. Both are edible. I know that ...
14
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3answers
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Tape versus 1922 silver coin

I have a 1922 silver half dollar with scotch tape on it. The tape has been on it 50 years plus. It’s dried out and totally adhered to the coin. I’ve soaked it in lemon essential oil and googone but ...
14
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2answers
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Toxicity of metallic lead (Pb)

I have some pieces of lead ($\ce{Pb}$) at home. I keep them in a box in the closet and never touch them. Can it be harmful? Should I throw them away? I would like to keep them, but I am not ...
14
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1answer
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Does bleach turn a substance white or colorless?

From what I understand, bleach works to weaken the ability of a substance to absorb light. Thus this seems to be "whitening" i.e. reflecting all light. In contrast, colorlessness (according to ...
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2answers
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Why do unboiled eggs last longer than boiled eggs?

Just like the title says, I watched this video https://youtu.be/CHMY4G9gTPA and then became intrigued.
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2answers
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Can I make my own graphene at home in my kitchen?

Graphene is cool. Can I make some? What do I need? Is it at all feasible to make it in quantity?
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6answers
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When I dissolve sugar in my cup of tea/coffee, does it become a liquid?

When I dissolve sugar in my cup of tea/coffee, does the sugar go from being a solid to being a liquid? Related: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/5562/what-keeps-the-sugar-suspended-in-the-...
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1answer
556 views

Why do some materials turn black and others white after combustion?

Most solids objects turn black after they are burnt. But some turn white. Why is that ?
14
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1answer
322 views

Does the Battery Bounce Test actually work?

I heard that a good way to test if a battery is dead or alive is to see if it bounces. Supposedly, dead batteries bounce higher than living ones. Can someone tell me if this is a legitimate claim, and ...
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2answers
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Can drinking a lot of water be fatal?

I vaguely recall having heard that drinking too much water can, over time, prove fatal to the human body. Nothing special about the water; not distilled or de-ionized or anything … just plain ol' ...
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5answers
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How to dissolve candle wax (paraffin)?

Wikipedia states that waxes can be dissolved by non-polar organic solvents. I failed to dissolve candle wax in both acetone and ethanol, which are the only organic solvents I have at home. I have ...
13
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4answers
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Does desalination work?

Does salt vaporise? If I boil salt-water and leave it there until half of the water vaporises, will it be twice as salty as in the beginning? Or exactly the same? Or somewhere in between?
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3answers
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Does a smell imply particles or chemicals in the air? [duplicate]

(I know little science so please help me if I'm in the wrong place or if my question needs editing. I could use help with tagging, for example.) If I can smell something then does that mean there are ...
13
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2answers
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Why does ice crack when a drink is poured on it?

I think most people have experienced this, but while pouring a beverage over ice I noticed the ice cracked. Before After My initial thought was that because the beverage has an antifreeze property ...
13
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3answers
74k views

What makes Coke acidic?

What makes Coke and other soft drinks acidic? These drinks are carbonated, so a freshly-opened can should have a lot of dissolved carbonic acid, but the ingredients also lists phosphoric acid. Would ...
13
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2answers
867 views

Paint changes color when applied to Stucco. Chemical rxn assumed, but what?

PROBLEM: When I apply paint to my home’s exterior stucco (currently white), the paint changes color. The grays change to purple. The whites change to yellow. Greenish-beige becomes orange. I have ...
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4answers
8k views

The mole is used extensively in chemistry, why not elsewhere?

In chemistry, the unit "mole" is used in many places, and is an important tool when working with quantities. I have not seen it used elsewhere--for example, we never count people or TVs with the unit....
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2answers
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Why do most drugs (eg: oxycodone) have seemingly arbitrary names?

How do some medicines derive their names? For instance, is the name oxycodone somewhat arbitrary? I am not well-versed in Chemistry (1st semester student) but does the prefix oxy- imply some ...
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4answers
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How pure NaCl is typical table salt? How is it purified?

How pure $\ce{NaCl}$ is typical table salt? Is it pure enough for research-level experiments in chemistry? How is $\ce{NaCl}$ purified if need to be?
12
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2answers
832 views

Why does microwave heat up things so much more quickly than visible light?

I wonder why microwave has more "energy" to heat things up than visible light does. Microwave has a much longer wavelength, therefore should supposedly has less energy than visible light. But does ...
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3answers
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Why is condensation in dyed beverages colorless?

Does food coloring somehow evaporate and turn into nothing? Or does the beverage itself being much more color intensive? I had a bottle of Gatorade, colored Lemon-Lime (and flavored as such). I ...
12
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3answers
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Where do the bubbles in a glass of water come from?

This weekend I accidentally left a glass of water on my kitchen table for a few days while I was out of town. Unsurprisingly, bubbles formed on the walls. As I understand from the last time I ...
12
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1answer
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Explanation of Lemon Juice-Invisible Ink

A cute homegrown spy-trick we all know: lemon juice invisible ink. But there is no scholary article available in the internet about this phenomenon. A rough explanation I found in Scientific American:...
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2answers
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What is going on when pen stops working on a section of paper?

Ever had a ballpoint pen that would all of a sudden hit a 'dead spot' on a sheet of paper and refuse to write? It's clearly not the pen, because when moved off to the corner it would draw perfect ...
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5answers
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Which side of an aluminum foil should I put in contact with food?

Aluminum foil has two sides: a matte one, and a shiny one. My question is: which one should I put in contact with food? Criteria are lowest risk of toxicity and best qualities for food preservation (...
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2answers
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Why is sugar syrup so sticky?

On the festival of Diwali, Indians exchange sweets and share their love. I did just that this very morning, but things don't always go the right way. I dropped a box of sweets and the sugary syrup ...
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3answers
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Does milk drinking prevent long-term chemical poisoning?

I have heard some rumors that drinking milk prevents chemical poisoning. I have done a bit research and some sources confirm that. Corrosive Poisons The best first aid is to dilute the poison ...
12
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1answer
515 views

Why does rain have that smell?

What chemical reactions in the soil cause that smell when it rains? In particular, what reactions in the soil causes the petrichor smell?
12
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2answers
895 views

Le Chatelier's principle: Are there any exceptions?

The way Le Chatelier's principle is presented in most introductory chemistry books (high-school) is as though it's an indisputable law of the physical world (in the sense that we're never shown an ...
12
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1answer
246 views

Why are snowflakes shaped as they are?

(It was the Winterbash icon that got me thinking on this.) Snow flakes take on a variety of intricate shapes, but what processes are responsible for this? (Got the image off of Wikipedia) I mean, ...
12
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3answers
11k views

Copper Chloride: neutralizing and disposal

I plan on etching some PCBs with hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide, which will therefore produce some kind of copper chloride (green color) which is highly toxic if released into the ...
12
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1answer
183 views

What are the chemical process responsible for the warping of wood?

Background: According to this Wikipedia article: Wood warping costs the wood industry in the U.S. millions of dollars per year. Straight wood boards that leave a cutting facility sometimes ...
12
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2answers
11k views

What is the smell of a glass of water in contact with fresh air?

When you pour water into a clean glass in a small confined room with no or little fresh air circulation, the only smells you perceive are those of the glass and the water (or the impurities from both ...
12
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1answer
105k 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, then letting it get back to room temperature. Can this process work, and if so, ...
12
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2answers
377 views

Why no thermal expansion for camping tents?

I know that solid materials expand when heated, which is called thermal expansion. But what is happening to tent square or tent canvas of (plastic?) camping tents? I have noticed, that during the day,...
11
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3answers
4k views

What does teflon give on decomposition?

I have read that teflon coatings undergo decomposition at temperatures above 300 degree Celsius. What do they decompose to? And what other conditions apply for the decomposition? Is this decomposition ...
11
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4answers
21k views

Does water have a smell?

I was washing my cup with hot water (without soap) and upon it nearing my nose, there was some sort of 'smell' (I lack a better word)- However the 'smell' was different compared to when I was ...
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2answers
14k views

If salt crystals make a cube shape, what is this 'X' marking?

I am an amateur, with very little professional chemistry knowledge. I was doing a demonstration / experiment with my 6 year old child. We took very warm normal tap water, and dissolved into it a ...
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2answers
55k views

How does propylene glycol/glycerin form formaldehyde/acetaldehyde when vaporized?

So apparently, e-cigarettes produce formaldehyde/acetaldehyde because they vaporize propylene glycol/glycerin. What is the chemical reaction through which propylene glycol/glycerin forms formaldehyde/...
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1answer
2k views

Is there a chemical reaction which could give off enough heat underwater to cook something?

The mer-people demand cooked food. They don't want to go on land to make it. Is there a chemical reaction they could use which would create enough heat to cook their food underwater in a safe manner?
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2answers
9k views

At what amount is digesting soap unhealthy?

Several of my friends, when they do the dishes manually, do not rinse the dishes after cleaning but merely dip them in the dishwater and then dry them (using a towel or a dish rack). I myself on the ...
11
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1answer
675 views

Urban air pollution and the smell of freshly cut lawn grass?

Recently, all the lawns in the apartment complex that I live in have had their lawns cut - giving that pleasant smell of freshly cut lawn. Now, I am aware that the smell arises from a chemical ...
11
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1answer
955 views

Cold-sensitive magic pen

Yesterday, I bought some "magic" rollerball pens (those with water-based ink), available in red, blue and black. They look and write like a normal pen, but have an eraser at the upper end, just like ...
11
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2answers
201 views

Why does paper crumble on getting wet?

Why does paper crumble on getting wet? This is something I have noticed hundreds of times but cannot think of an explanation. Does it have anything with water disturbing the intermolecular forces ...
11
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1answer
207 views

Is Acrylamide carcinogenic? Why?

Recently concerned with health effects by common chemicals existent in food I've been rather busy reading article after article; and just an interesting one came around: Acrylamide (or acrylic ...