We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is identifying a chemical equivalent to be able to produce it?

This question is a follow up of another thread, where we are discussing Theresa May's accusation of the Russian government which is supposedly behind the recent chemical attack in the UK. Soon after ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Examples of non-volatile, but flammable liquids?

As far as I know, most flammable liquids are volatile. Are there flammable liquids that are non-volatile?
8
votes
2answers
16k views

What happens to the bleach after mopping?

At home, I clean the tiled floors by mopping with highly diluted bleach. After mopping, I let the floor dry. What happens to the acid in the bleach? Will it crystallize on the floor, stay there ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Methane seems to dissolve more readily in cold water. Why?

When you are diluting air in the system and/or properly evacuating it, you must consider water temperature. Methane is completely dissolved in water at 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 C) but can be ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Why do soft drinks fizz?

I know it has something to do with carbon dioxide, but what exactly happens and causes the characteristic sound we hear (especially after we shake the bottle)? How do we manage to dissolve a non-polar ...
8
votes
2answers
16k views

Is it possible to light a match by scratching it on hard surfaces, like they do in movies?

In movies cool guys don't need a matchbox − they just light a match by scratching it on whatever hard surface − concrete walls, wooden bar tables, leather belts, etc. Is it just a movie trick, or is ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does lavender oil dissolve plastic?

A few weeks ago I decided to harvest the lavender in my garden and put it through a still to extract the essential oils. The still in question is essentially just an air cooled condenser. I collected ...
8
votes
3answers
325 views

Clogged drain, commercial products are ineffective

I have a clogged drain from my shower. Commercial products like Savo or WC Net totally don't work. Is there any chemical substance which can be bought without permission or which can be made easily to ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does dry ice “dissolve” so quickly in water?

I just stumbled across an ancient video of some people putting a 60 pound block of dry ice in a swimming pool. Pretty cool stuff. It's pretty interesting to me that in the video, the dry ice ...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

Chemically removing rust without leaving any unwanted residues

I have this iron pan that got rusty from not being properly dried. Scrubbing it I was able to get rid of most of the rust, but there's still some I just can't remove. I thought I could chemically ...
8
votes
4answers
31k views

How can I separate the vinegar from a 5% white vinegar to make a more concentrated solution.

I was under the impression that if I put a semi full bottle of vinegar in the freezer the water would freeze but the vinegar would not until a lower temp. Therefore I could remove the bottle after ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

Diamond filtering - is it real or bogus?

I always hear that some big corporations use "diamond dust" to filter water seven times to make "diamond clear" vodka. I tried googling something about using diamonds for filtering, but I could not ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Can sodium bicarbonate be considered an acid?

I was reading about acids and bases today and finally decided to question the statement that "baking soda is a base." Let's start with the dissolving of baking soda, $\ce{NaHCO3}$. The equation to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Chemical reaction in homemade deodorant

Which ingredients in my homemade deodorant recipe are causing it to froth and overflow its container? Is there something I can add to stop this reaction? Ingredients: Magnesium oil (made from ...
8
votes
2answers
984 views

How to tell between carbon powder or graphite powder?

I have a black powder that I cannot reliably tell just by looking or touching whether it is graphite powder or charcoal powder. Are there any simple tests that I can perform to tell whether it is one ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Phenol smell from hands

It is a question which I faced when I was in Senior year in high school, I used my hands to handle phenol which has turned pink due to oxidation, I washed my hands with all kind of soaps but smell in ...
8
votes
2answers
377 views

Ozone is above, nitrogen is below

Ozone is heavier than nitrogen. Then why is ozone in stratosphere and nitrogen in troposphere?
8
votes
2answers
161 views

Standard list of odors?

Is there such a thing as a list of "standard" odors? In everyday context, there are various descriptions to odors such as "fruity" and "plastic-like". But are there more accurate and normalized ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the Mentos-Coke explosion work?

We all might have seen this in some videos or in real life. But how exactly does this work? What is the chemical reaction involved? And why is the reaction of Mentos with Diet Coke more vigorous? ...
8
votes
1answer
70k views

What is the white substance left behind after boiling down water

I was boiling down water in a stainless steel pot as an experiment the other day. When the water was completely vaporised, a white substance was left behind on the bottom of the pot. I tried rubbing ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do lipids in a cell hydrolyze into glycerol and fatty acids?

Most Lipids in a cell have ester bonds (made up of glycerol and fatty acids). I have learned in my chemistry class that we can hydrolyze an ester by simply adding water to it. $$\ce{CH3COOCH2CH3 + ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Why does heat solidify cake batter?

Increased vibration causes the atoms in an object to spread out farther away. Thus, with added heat, and object goes form a solid to a liquid to a gas (and then to plasma, with enough heat). Why is it ...
8
votes
1answer
256 views

Why Is This The Worst Beer Cup

My wife bought me a special cup for me to drink beer out of. The problem is that, if I pour any beer in it, it goes crazy with foam. I will get just a few ounces of beer in there and the rest of the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why oxygen leaks from tires faster than nitrogen?

In critical applications tires are inflated using pure nitrogen (link). Nitrogen molecules have a more difficult time escaping through the microscopic spaces that exist between a tire's rubber ...
8
votes
1answer
152 views

How can I find whether there is oxygen present inside a well of diameter 1 m at 50 m's deep?

How can one find whether or not there is enough oxygen for breathing present inside a (dry) well of diameter 1 m at a depth of 50 m? Many people in Nepal are killed while cleaning ...
8
votes
1answer
87 views

Retention of surface texture after combustion

Just some while ago I was burning a box of cardboard in my backyard and I saw a very curious phenomenon. I saw that as the cardboard box started burning it started to curl. Up after a while as I ...
8
votes
1answer
601 views

What Causes there to be a Maximum Amount of Salt which can be Dissolved in Water?

When you add salt to water and stir, after a while the salt will no longer dissolve. Why is this?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How does hydrogen gas build up in hot water lines?

Recently I was reading through the owner's manual of a washing machine; notably, the warnings in the front of the booklet. One warning stood out to me; it said that if the hot water in your house has ...
8
votes
1answer
732 views

How does brewing time and brewing temperature affect the flavonoid concentration of green tea?

I've searched a lot for this, but I still cannot find any good explanations for how these two factors affect flavonoid concentrations.
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Sunglasses that darken in sunlight

I have seen several of my (rich) friends and teachers having glasses that are colorless indoors, but take up a darker shade when exposed to sunlight. Upon searching for the chemistry of this, I did ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

Smoke alarm ion neutralisation

Smoke alarms are a necessary part of many modern day buildings, especially in laboratories and of course, the family home. According to the World Nuclear Association page Smoke Detectors and ...
8
votes
1answer
198 views

Is it not safe for health to finish a bottle of wine during a week [closed]

People said that wine is good for health. So I take a cup (less than 100 mL) of wine every evening. (Yes, wine is cheap where I live.) So to finish a bottle of wine (750 mL), it takes me a week. (Of ...
8
votes
1answer
740 views

What chemical can cause such a fire? [closed]

A friend of mine who thinks that she is under influence of black magic met an astrologer. The astrologer asked her to wear a t-shirt for three nights and then bring that to him. The astrologer then ...
8
votes
1answer
343 views

What is ideal water hardness for brewing coffee?

While procrastinatingworking, I am wondering whether it is optimal to use softened (or deionized) water for brewing coffee, rather than tap water which is in my area rather hard. My gut feeling is ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

How do chemists decide on which detergent to use?

I found betaine in my face wash. I think it is there because it has a hydrophobic (non-polar) end that can pick up grease, and a hydrophilic (polar) end that means it is attracted to polar solvents, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to fluorinate polyethylene?

I seek to put a layer of fluorine on a rotationally molded cross-linked polyethylene (XPE) plastic gasoline tank. I sell tanks and they will be more eco-friendly if I can accomplish this. I am an ...
8
votes
1answer
976 views

Does borax do anything more for “boosting” detergent than adding active oxygen would?

Borax, $\ce{Na2B4O7}$, is often marketed as a "laundry booster" under the brand "20 Mule Team Borax". The unit crystal of borax can be seen below. Other laundry products in the past have added ...
8
votes
2answers
953 views

Can I successfully use a humidifier to distribute caffeine to wake someone up without the usual morning drowsiness?

Would I have any success putting coffee in a humidifier? Or perhaps water mixed with caffeine powder? So I could wake up without a jolting alarm clock, feeling like I already had a cup of coffee? I ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why ginger reacts with sparkling water?

I think that the ginger ale is born this way. Anyway, if you put the ginger in a glass and add sparkling water, small drops splash out of the glass, the water is fizzier, more effervescent. Why? ...
8
votes
1answer
230 views

Stripeless cleaning of windows

Last week I was discussing with a friend how we thought the stripeless cleaning of windows is achieved when using a cleaner like Windex Glass Cleaner as opposed to just using hot water, in which case ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How does WD40 displace water?

How does WD-40 displace water? Or does it even displace water? WD40.com explains what WD-40 stands for: WD-40® literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That's the name straight out of ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Changing iron(III) acetate to iron(II) acetate

Is there a way simple way to turn iron(III) acetate into iron(II) acetate or vice versa? Edit (as per answer below): an oxidiser like hydrogen peroxide will turn iron(II) acetate into iron(III) ...
8
votes
2answers
649 views

Additives to allow wax to melt in the microwave?

I'm working with microcrystalline wax that I would like to be able to microwave to heat up. I've found that wax doesn't seem to microwave, with the most common answer I've come across for why being ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the behavior of a dilute strong acid the same as the behavior of a weak acid?

My assumption is yes, as the $\mathrm{pH}$ levels of each will be similar and thus they have the same acidity. Is this correct or am I missing something?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How much salt (or any other substance one can find in a kitchen) do I need to add to make water boil at 104 °C?

I've seen some formulas around in other questions and Google searches, but my chemistry is pretty much dead so I have no clue where to find the relevant values to calculate it myself. I just need to ...
7
votes
4answers
243 views

Protecting elemental Li from the atmosphere

I would like to make a small decorative object out of lithium, and keep it in an ordinary household (indoors) atmosphere. The making itself aside, what can I do to protect it long-term from reacting ...
7
votes
3answers
25k views

Why do other sugars melt whereas sucrose decomposes?

Sucrose decomposes at 186 °C. It doesn’t melt but when it reaches decomposition temperature, sucrose decomposes into fructose and glucose. After cooling and hardening it is no longer sucrose. Am I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the water in a Powerade bottle tastes a little like Powerade after many refills?

I have a bottle of Powerade and after probably around 20+ refills of water, the new water I put in still tastes/smells a little like Powerade. How does that happen?
7
votes
3answers
730 views

How to dissolve a spider with household chemicals?

Somehow a spider got into the little window that shows the water level on my electric kettle. The kettle doesn't come apart very easily, and it looks like I can't get this part off without breaking it....
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the main washing effect of soap come from foam?

I am curious if the main cleaning effect of soap comes from its foam (or, maybe, it is just a by-product). Here are some points, that might clarify what I mean: Does foam sort of "carry" dirt and ...