Common chemicals
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Encyclopedia


Table of common chemical ingredients and where to find them

Chemical name Chemical formula Common name Where to buy Specific brand or product
Acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

CH3COOH + H2O 5% Solution: White vinegar Supermarket Any brand of white vinegar
Notes: In supermarkets, acetic acid is available in concentrations up to 31%.
Acetone
Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

CH3COCH3 Nail polish remover
Paint remover
Discount store Onyx, Cutex
Notes: While composition varies from product to product, paint removers will contain more acetone per volume than regular nail polish remover, and industrial grade (rather than consumer grade) paint removers used by professionals and sold in bulk will contain more acetone still. Some stores sell pure acetone as well.
Ammonium carbonate
Ammonium carbonate
Ammonium carbonate is a commercial salt with the chemical formula 2CO3. It is used when crushed as a smelling salt. It can be crushed when needed in order to revive someone who has fainted...

(NH4)2CO3 Bakers ammonia drugstores None
Notes: Baker's ammonia can be found in drugstores.
Ammonium hydroxide
Ammonium hydroxide
Ammonia solution, also known as ammonium hydroxide, ammonia water, ammonical liquor, ammonia liquor, aqua ammonia, aqueous ammonia, or simply ammonia, is a solution of ammonia in water. It can be denoted by the symbols NH3...

NH4OH 10% Solution: Household ammonia
27% Solution: Strong ammonia
Supermarket (for household ammonia)
Drug store (for strong ammonia)
None
Notes: Combine household ammonia and strong ammonia with water.
Boric acid
Boric acid
Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate or boracic acid or orthoboric acid or acidum boricum, is a weak acid of boron often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, as a neutron absorber, and as a precursor of other chemical compounds. It exists in the form of colorless crystals or a...

H3BO3 Boric acid Drug store None
Notes: Often sold as a roach killer
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

CaCO3 Chunks: Marble, limestone
Powder: Precipitated chalk
Builder's supplies (for chunk)
Drug store (for powder)
None
Notes:
Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. Common applications include brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and desiccation...

CaCl2 Laundry aid
Laundry salt
Road salt
Supermarket
Hardware store
None
Notes: Many chemicals are used to melt snow. Make certain that if you purchase road salt it is pure calcium chloride.
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca2. It is a colourless crystal or white powder and is obtained when calcium oxide is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It has many names including hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or...

Ca(OH)2 Slaked lime, garden lime Gardening Department None
Notes: Used to reduce the acidity of soil.
Calcium oxide
Calcium oxide
Calcium oxide , commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound. It is a white, caustic, alkaline crystalline solid at room temperature....

CaO Quicklime Builder's supplies None
Notes:
Calcium sulfate
Calcium sulfate
Calcium sulfate is a common laboratory and industrial chemical. In the form of γ-anhydrite , it is used as a desiccant. It is also used as a coagulant in products like tofu. In the natural state, unrefined calcium sulfate is a translucent, crystalline white rock...

(CaSO4) * H2O
CaSO4 * 2H2O
Plaster of Paris or
Gypsum
Hardware store None
Notes:
Copper(II) sulfate
CuSO4 Blue Vitrol
Cupric Sulfate
Hardware Store Zep Root Kill, Rooto Root Kill
Notes: Sold at Home Depot as Zep Root Kill or at Ace Hardware as Rooto Root Kill. Reacting the Copper II Sulfate dissolved in water with Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) will produce Copper Carbonate and CO2.
Glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

C6H12O6 + H2O Corn syrup Supermarket None
Notes: Glucose is a monosaccharide
Monosaccharide
Monosaccharides are the most basic units of biologically important carbohydrates. They are the simplest form of sugar and are usually colorless, water-soluble, crystalline solids. Some monosaccharides have a sweet taste. Examples of monosaccharides include glucose , fructose , galactose, xylose...

 that, as a sweetener, is commonly found as a syrup. It is generally produced from corn starch.
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

HCl + H2O 25% Solution: Muriatic acid Hardware store The Works
Notes: Commonly used to bleach concrete. Found in high concentrations in silverware cleaning solutions. It is also less frequently found in high concentrations in drain cleaners such as the works, however, drain cleaners also contain detergents which can introduce destabilizing impurities to chemical compounds.
Hydrofluoric acid
Hydrofluoric acid
Hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water. It is a valued source of fluorine and is the precursor to numerous pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine and diverse materials such as PTFE ....

HF + H2O Automotive store Aluminum brightener & tire cleaner
Notes: Best known for its ability to dissolve glass. Found in high concentrations in commercial tire cleaning solutions. Professional grade tire cleaning solutions, such as those bought in bulk by car dealerships, are typically more concentrated than consumer grade products. Must be stored in polyethylene or Teflon containers, and is very hazardous.
Magnesium sulfate
Magnesium sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is a chemical compound containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate epsomite , commonly called Epsom salt, from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was distilled from the springs that arise where the...

MgSO4 *7H2O Epsom salts Drug store None
Notes:
Manganese dioxide
MnO2 Pyrolusite Hardware stores None
Notes: Pyrolusite can be extracted from certain types of batteries, called dry cells, but its use is becoming rare.
Naphthalene
Naphthalene
Naphthalene is an organic compound with formula . It is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at concentrations as low as 0.08 ppm by mass. As an aromatic hydrocarbon, naphthalene's structure consists of a fused pair of benzene rings...

C10H8 Mothballs Hardware store None
Notes: Mothballs may also be made of (para)dichlorobenzene.
Oxalic acid
Oxalic acid
Oxalic acid is an organic compound with the formula H2C2O4. This colourless solid is a dicarboxylic acid. In terms of acid strength, it is about 3,000 times stronger than acetic acid. Oxalic acid is a reducing agent and its conjugate base, known as oxalate , is a chelating agent for metal cations...

H2C2O4 + 2H2O Non-chlorine bleach powder cleanser Grocery, hardware, and large discount stores Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend is a powdered cleaning product made by SerVaas Laboratories in the United States. Invented by a Central Indiana chemist in 1882, it has since become the base of a line of cleaning products by SerVaas, who started producing and carrying the product under the Bar Keepers Friend...

Notes:
Potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula KNO3. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−.It occurs as a mineral niter and is a natural solid source of nitrogen. Its common names include saltpetre , from medieval Latin sal petræ: "stone salt" or possibly "Salt...

KNO3 Saltpeter, saltpetre Hardware store, garden center, supermarket Grants stump remover
Notes: Potassium nitrate is used as stump remover, fertilizer, and meat preservative.
Potassium sodium tartrate
Potassium sodium tartrate
Potassium sodium tartrate is a double salt first prepared by an apothecary, Pierre Seignette, of La Rochelle, France. As a result the salt was known as Seignette's salt or Rochelle salt....

NaKC4H4O6 * 4H2O Rochelle salt Drug store None
Notes:
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

NaHCO3 Baking soda, bicarbonate of soda Supermarket Arm & Hammer
Notes: Be careful to use only single action baking soda when sodium bicarbonate is required. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, but baking powder has other ingredients, such as potassium tartrate and sodium monophosphate. Double action baking powder contains single action baking powder, a 'high temperature acid' which is a gas formed at room temperature when moistened, and corn starch, which is added as a drying agent to prevent accidental activation.
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

Na2CO3 Washing Soda Supermarket Arm & Hammer
Notes:
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

NaCl Salt, table salt Supermarket None
Notes: Canning or pickling salts tend not to have iodine added, so are more pure.
Sodium hydroxide
NaOH Lye, caustic soda Hardware Store Drano, Rooto Drain Opener(100% Pure)
Notes: Keep out of eyes, can cause blindness.
Sodium tetraborate
Na2B4O7 * 10H2O Borax Drug stores, supermarket None
Notes:
Sucrose
Sucrose
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose with the molecular formula...

C12H22O11 Table sugar Supermarket None
Notes: Sucrose is the name for table sugar, which is made from sugar beets and sugarcane.
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the molecular formula . Its historical name is oil of vitriol. Pure sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid. The salts of sulfuric acid are called sulfates...

H2SO4 Sulfuric acid, vitriol Hardware store Pro Liquid Drain Cleaner
Notes: This is a very difficult chemical to find in concentrated form at a hardware store. Most chemistry experiments or processes require the use of sulfuric acid in concentrations above 85% for optimum results. Car batteries contain only 40% concentration, and depending on state of charge can contain large amounts of lead sulfate. Battery acid can easily be concentrated due to the much higher boiling point of the acid.
Zinc chloride
Zinc chloride
Zinc chloride is the name of chemical compound with the formula ZnCl2 and its hydrates. Zinc chlorides, of which nine crystalline forms are known, are colorless or white, and are highly soluble in water. ZnCl2 itself is hygroscopic and even deliquescent. Samples should therefore be protected from...

ZnClf + H2O Tinner's Fluid Hardware store None
Notes: Also called "killed acid," zinc chloride can be created by dissolving a small amount of zinc in hydrochloric acid. Used for cleaning copper.
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