A-Z Chemicals

windex, 409, simple green etc
wonderful non-toxic cleaning agent. containing both polar and non-polar moieties for aqueous or fatty messes.
anti-static agent too.

acetic acid
vinegar stinks, as do all short-chain fatty-acids!
Vinegar is extremely useful in Australia because it will instantly cure you of ant bites or bluebottle stings if applied in a timely fashion. Everyone should keep a good big jug of vinegar in their car. Besides, it's great in salad dressing!  Putrefactive bacteria produce stinky short chain fatty acids as respiration end products- non-aerobes???
Insects often attracted to these short fatty acids
Glacial acetic acid as photo-stop.  decent buffer etc etc
old fashioned nail polish remover, smells sweet

ammonium chloride
ammonium chloride makes little smokescreens when heated
Sal Ammoniac
ammonium hydroxide
confusingly named ammonia

Ammonia gas dissolved in water.  Ammonia is incredibly soluble in water. At room temperature (about 20oC) almost 500 g od ammonia will dissolve in a liter of water.  In reality the saturated ammonia solution available to industry and science is about 28-30% concentration.  This is in stark contrast to many other common gases which  may dissolve tenths of a gram in a liter of water.  Of course amminia freely escapes water as well owing to the punget odor of ammonia solutions.  When ammonia dissolves in water, the ammonia molecule takes a H+ from water molecule giving hydronium ion NH4+ and hydroxide  -OH.  What you have then is ammonium hydroxide.  In common terms people refer to this solution as ammonia even though technically it is ammonium hydroxide or ammonia dissolved in water. Confusing.

In the cupboards the cleaning ammonia people have is about 3% ammonia with a little soap or detergent mixed in.  Ammonia is a pretty good degreaser for an aqueous solution, meaning you can clean up greasy or waxy  substances wityhout the use of the more typical organice or volatile petroleum type solvents.  The downside to its "rinsability" is it overpowering and irritating odor.

Long ago when real wooden floors were waxed with actually waxes, strong ammonium hydroxide solution were used to strip the wax.

Curiously ammonium hydroxide is the active (only?) ingredient in those insect bite remedies.. 

 A small amount of ammonia is used in window cleaners, often along with 2-butoxyethanol such as Windex.

Gasous ammonia ( a base) can be used alongside gaseous acids such as HCl for form a coresponding salt (ammonium chloride) and water.  The crystaline salt will appear as a "smoke" where the two gases meet.

benzalkonium chloride
ubiquitious antiseptic

Most common quaternary ammonium antiseptic. Quaternary ammonium compounds have long been used as very safe anitseptics that may be used at very low concentrations.  Most spray type disinfectants such as modern Lysol spray are mostly a 50-90% solution of alcohol with a very small quantity (0.1%) of a quaternary ammonium disinfectant such as benzalkonium choride.


Benzalkonium chloride is most often found in antiseptic hand wipes and first-aid sprays for minor cuts.  It also finds much use in RV camping as a safe toilet waste disinfectant/deoderizer copared to the older formaldehyde based waste treatments.

4 carbon hydrocarbon lighter fuel
May be contained in a plastic container where as the 3 carbon propane must be held in steel.  The 4 carbon butane has enough intermolecular London forces to allow it to be held as a liquid at room temperature in a plastic container (disposable lighter)
calcium carbonate
egg shells, marble, and antique chalk

calcium chloride
sidewalk de-icer
Very hygroscopic. Draws humidity from the air. As found in Damp-rid dehumidifier.  The Damp rid product is nothing more than a small (or large) pail with a slotted tray of calcium chloride above it.  The calcium chloride draws up moisture so effectively that it forms a saturated solution which then drips below into the pail leaving the remaining undissolved salt behind to dehumidify some more.  Its great for a musty (moldy) basement or closet but not as a dessicant for storage.  The super-saturated calcium chloride sludge would just make a mess of things and corrode many metal items.
calcium sulfate
"modern-day" chalk, plaster of paris
most chalkboard chalk these days is calcium sulfate NOT the calcium carbonate of old.. Its denser and supposedly less "dusty". dessicent in drierite.   As the waterless anhydrate its knows as Plaster of Paris.  Mixing with water will liberate a fair amount of heat and the mixture will set as hardened plaster.  A similar process occurs with hygroscopic salts allowing them to form big gelled chunks in their containers making removal difficult.
The anhydrate is also sold as the product "Drierite" a dessicent used to absorb free moisture inside sealed containers where moisture may react with the stored item.
copper sulfate
septic tank root killer treatment
great for adding green color to any campfire/fireplace.  With a decent chlorine donor you get a beautiful blue flame.   Chemical battery electrolyte on old fashioned leclanche cells?
brake cleaner and former anesthetic
Binds hemoglobin to produce methemoglogin --methemoglobinemia.  Actually coverted in the liver to carbon monoxide!

non-flammable an quickly evaporates ideal as brake cleaner

Dihydroxyacetone is the active ingredient in sunless tanning sprays
maillard reaction
hand lotion skin protectant

ethyl acetate
non-acetone nail polish remover
Smells a bit like acetic acid (if you ask me) but others say it smells a little of pears.  Its basically an acetic acid molecule combined (as an ester)  with ethanol.  Ethanoic acid and Ethanol if you are counting carbons.
Truth be told, my claim that it smells like/of acetic acid may be due to its decomposition, as esters are prone to doing in the presence of moisture.
hydrogen peroxide
hydrogen peroxide makes your hair brittle, and bleaches the color away.
hydrogen peroxide is another excellent item: it works wonder on cat pee and other stenches and there is even evidence to indicate that drinking it will improve that state of your health.
magnesium carbonate
gym chalk, rock climbing chalk.

magnesium hydroxide
Milk of Magnesia
Neutalizes stomach acid and the poorly absorbed magnesium induces an osmotic purgative effect.  If you burn magnesium in air you get magnesium oxide.  If you try and dissolve this oxide in water you get magnesium hydroxide.  It works as a base to neutralize stomach acid for those who suffer from heartburn.  Magnesium is poorly absorbed from the intestines so its addition to the colons contents promotes the diffusuion of water into the colon via osmosis.  This addition of water to the colon then can help with bouts of constipation or in larger amounts as a complete laxative.
magnesium sulfate
Epsom salt- soak your feet and cures constipation

Most often used to soak ones feet in. Epsolm Salts.or bath salts.  The medicinal benefits of this escapes me.  Just like magnesium hydroxide, the magnesium of magnesium sulfate is poorly absorbed across the gut and leads to an osmotic laxative effect as water is drawn into the colon.

Curiously when administered intravenously it is a CNS depressant.  Veterinariun formerly used magnesium sulfate to eurthanize animals. .  In people small doeses of magnesium sulfate are used intravenously to treat pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in pregnant women.  Its CNS activity prevents seizures, as are found in eclampsia.

phosphoric acid
rust remover and cola drinks

polyvinyl acetate
Elmer's or white glue
good for making gak slime with borax
potassium hydroxide
potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soaps
In contrast to liquid Detergent which is not technically a soap.......
Clean drains
+CO2= carbonate
purple flame test

sodium bisulfate
Almost sulfuric acid

sodium carbonate
principle ingredient in dishwasher detergent
So called "washing soda" very alkaline substance. sometimes called soda ash.  It comprises the majority of dishwasher detergent, the balance being sodium phoshate and some soap.

Sodium carbonate is the other half of the various "Oxyclean" cleaners.
sodium chloride
sodium chloride is a horrible name for a child.
sodium chloride is one of my favorite things because no food is as good without it. Besides, it does great things in cleaning out itchy wounds and curing sore throats. And elephants need it.
sodium hydroxide
sodium hydroxide feels slippery and absorbs CO2 from the air
sodium hydroxide is caustic and will give you a very clean drain.
sodium hypochlorite
laundry bleach
chlorine for pools to.  Alkaline solution.
sodium nitroprusside
color reactive ingredient in glucose meter strips, Nitric oxide releasing acute anti-hypertensive

sodium perborate
the original colorsafe bleach
releases hydrogen peroxide in hot water.  often comingled with sodium carbonate
sodium percarbonate
oxyclean colorsafe bleach
The new and improved sodium perborate. Often comingled with sodium carbonate and sold as "Oxyclean" or its various competitors.

sodium silicate
kitty litter crystals
excellent dessicent.  can be dissolved in strongly basic solutions to form "waterglass"
sodium sulfite
reducing agent found in photodeveloper , dried fruit, and rust stain removers

sodium tetraborate
Sodium salt of boric acid.  Laundry additive.
sodium thioglycolate
sodium thioglycolate is used as a chemical delipiatory (hair remover)
Sodium salt of a three-carbon carboxylic acid thiol
smells eggy
reducing agent
reduces disulfide residues on cysteine
Nair, shaving powder etc...
Used to introduce "permanent" hair styles-- ie. the "Perm"

sodium thiosulfate
tap water conditioner for fishtanks
removes chlorine, creates chilled solutions upon dissolving
computer duster spray
Fluorine-carbon bonds extremely stable. Stable = non-flammable, non ozone depleting etc etc...
Where as the chloroflorocarbons (CFC's) will release chlorine over time,which in turn reacts with ozone, especially upon exposure to energetic UV light, the straight fluorocarbons simply enjoy the incredibly stable bond afforded by fluorine's tremendous electronegativity.

titanium dioxide
white paint pigment, white-out pigment

A white colored oxide of titanium most simply made by burning titanium in air.  Titanium oxide's insolubilty in water, its chemical inertness, and its fantastic opaqueness makes it usedfull as a paint pigment (white) and is other paint like cover-up operations such as white-out.  White out is little more than titanium oxide mixed with a volatile solvent.  The solvent evaporates leaving a crust of titanium oxide to cover your typos. Being insolble in many solvents be sure to mix your paint/white out thoroughly as the titanium oxide will eventually settle to the bottom of the container.
triethylene glycol
key ingredient in Oust and Febreeze odor spray
also ozium which pre-dates both Oust and Febreeze
cleans carburators and chokes, "Goof-Off" stain remover
Dimethyl benzene. Steric hindrance from the 2 methyl groups prevents it from intercalating DNA, therefore not carcinogenic/toxic as benzene. Though volatile it is a bit "oily" is its slowness to evaporate.
Dissolves polystyrene and therefore can be used as a plastic model cement., though this role has traditionally be held by toluene which dries faster.   1 drop will dissolve a considerable amount of styrofoam
of batteries and galvinized steel
sacrificial anode
zinc oxide
skin ptotectant, diaper rash cream, calamine lotion, heat conductive paste (computers)

The simple oxide of zinc found in a great many everyday products.  In the medicine chest you have the Gold Bond type body powers, certain baby powders, baby rash creams, opaque sun block and the old fashioned Calamine lotion which is little more than a suspension of zinc oxide in water.

In the home or office zinc oxide is often mixed with silicone oil or grease to form a heat conductive paste that you normally see on heat sinks where they attach tp processors or other large, heat producing componants.

Zinc oxide definitely helps sooth weeping wounds/rashes.  I don not know how this occurs.

testy test test test