Around the House

BATHROOM
 baking soda
Sodium bicarbonate.  Neutralizes acidic odors in fridge formed by bacterial end products
 calamine lotion, diaper rash cream
Paste of Zinc Oxide and water or an oil as in the case of the diaper cream.
 drain opener
Most likely sodium hydroxide.  Strong alkaline solutions will hydrolyze the peptide bonds between amino acids in the hair protein. In essence adding  a water molecule back across the bond   Brand name Drano crystals contain small aluminum metal slivers which in turn react with the water and hydroxide releasing hydrogen gas and much heat.  This added heat hastens the hydrolysis reaction.  A similar hydrolysis reaction occurs with fat (saponification) which breaks fat molecules into its constituent fatty acids and glycerine. Excess sodium hydroxide neutralizes the fatty acids yielding a fatty acid salt -soap.  If potassium hydroxide is used a liquid soap results

Some potents drain openers contain concentrated sulfuric acid which is so strongly dehydrating that it rips water molecules away from organic matter, breaking it down into very simple molecules, if not carbonizing it completely.
SEE chemical serpent.
 hydrogen peroxide

 nair/hair remover/shaving powder
sodium thioglycolate. thiol (stinky egg) smell.  Sodium thioglycolate is a reducing agent.  It is combined with a rather alkaline solution to form chemical depilatories (hair removers.)  The thioglycolate reduces disulfide bridges between adjacent (in space) cysteine residues of the hair protein.  The helical alpha-keratin of hair derives much of its strength from the disulfide bridges between coils of protein.  Abolishing these bridges weakens the hair.  The alkaline nature of the product promotes this reduction reaction and also helps hydrolyze the proteins, much the way a drain remover would dissolve hair clumps in the drain.

A similar compound ammonium thioglycolate is used in hair permanents.  Reducing the cysteine bridges allows the hairs to be shaped into waves or curls.  Re-establishing the disulfide bridges  by oxidation (with weak peroxide) give the wave or curl and "permanent" placement.
 soap scum remover
Most likely a weak acid such as citric acid or dilute hydrochloric acid.  Soap scum is escentiially an insoluble salt of fatty acids and calcium or magnesium ions.  Soap on the other hand is a salt of a single long fatty acid and a sodium or potassium ion.  Divalent calcium or magnesium pull 2 marginally soluble fatty acids together yield a big unsoluble "soap" molecule.  Exposing the scum to a stronger acid will diplace the weaker fatty acid resulting in very soluble calcium/magnesium citrate, HCl etc. the free fatty acid is rinsed away.  The process sounds a lot more effective than it is. Some scrubbing is still involved.
 sunless tanning spray
Dihydroxyacetone. The Maillard reaction occurs between oxygen, proteiun and a simple sugar.  The products of maillard reactions are often brown in color.   In sunless tanning lotion the air provides the oxygen, the skin the potein and the DHA is the simple sugar.  A similar reaction occurs to cut apples and other fruit as they are exposed to air.

Sulfites are often added to dry fruit to react with oxygen in order to prevent browning.

 tincture of iodine

An alcoholic solution (tincture) of potassium iodide and iodine.  Iodide is poorly soluble in water but very soluble in alcohol.  Potassium iodide is not very soluble in alcohol.

Water solutions of potassium iodide readily dissolves elemental iodide

Lugols is aqueous only

 toilet bowl cleaner
Either a strong acid or a bleach product
Acid =Hydrochloric acid or Sodium Bisulfate (a "weakened" sulfuric acid)

 toothpaste
dentrifice mixture of calcium carbonate and or silicon dioxide as gentle abrasive (just like scouring powder)
titanium dioxide as a whitening agent.  Sometimes sodium percarbonate for peroixide.
Sodium bicarbonate as a gentle abrasive and to pH mouth.  vs acidic bacteria.

 
BEDROOM
 "glow in the dark" clock hands
Zinc sulfide with a phosphor coating.
 
GARAGE
 anti-freeze (green)
ethlene glycol or propylene glycol  which is less toxic since it does not form calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys when metabolized.  Occasionally pets will lap up puddle of the sweet tasting antifreeze and get poisoned.  Formerly phosphates were added to buffer the pH.  Sodium silicate often added to seal small coolant leaks.
 brake cleaner

methylene chloride.  An excellent degreasing cleaner which evapoartes with no residue which is exactly what you want on your brakes. Any oily solvent or other residue may interfere with the braking.

Converts hemaglobin to methemoglogin.  Has anesthetic properties but not terribly useful as one since it induces a carbon monoxide type poisoning.-methmoglobinemia

 carburetor/choke cleaner
xylene/toluene combination that is effective at breaking up carbon deposits.  An effective solvent for all greasy or waxy substances.  Similar combinations were used in paste as plastic model cement.  Model airplanes, tanks etc.which are made of polystyrene and easily "welded" by xylene/toluene.  Not to be used to clean automotive brakes.  Though very volatile it evaporated slowly compared to other common organic solvents. Its is almost oily in appearance and a residue may be left.
 dry gas additive
methanol or isopropyl alcohol -100%  not as common today with ethanol added to gasoline. In cold weather water condenses on the fuel and settles to bottom of tank as water or ice. This may clog the fuel pump or get sucked into the engine where, as water, does not combust resulting in por performance of stalling, choking etc.   The alcohol with is miscible in both the fuel and water helps disperse the water throughout the entire tank allowing it to be drawn iinto the engine in small amounts.
 galvanized steel
steel coated with zinc.  Flat crystals of zinc often visible The zind acts as sacraficial anode and provides electrons to the oxygens of pesky rust inducing water molecules.  The zinc gets oxidized instead of the steel/iron
 lead-acid battery

 root killer (septic tank)
copper sulfate
 RTV rubber
acetic acid curing rubber
 rust remover
phosphoric acid
 septic tank root killer
Copper sulfate.
 Sharpening stone
Aluminum oxide of varius grit size formed into a block.
 starter fluid
diethyl ether plus other petroleum distillate
 wood glue
polyvinyl acetate just like Elmer's glue.  more concentrated and yellow color.
 
GARDEN
 bordeaux mixture
copper sulfate and calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime)  Anti-fungal agent
 garden lime
Powdered limestone/calcium carbonate.  To make acidic soil more alkaline.
 hydrated lime
calcium hydroxide-slaked lime  to reduce acidity of soil.
 white lithium grease
Lithium soaps
 
KITCHEN
 Alum
Aluminum ammonium sulfate.  creates acidic solutions
 baking powder
Sodium bicarbonate with an acid releasing agent such as Alum
 biodegradeable detergent
soap molecule lacks sidechains which would provide steric hindrance to bacteria which would degrade the detergent
 coffee maker cleaner
weak acid for  hard water and alkaloids
 dishwasher detergent
often a combination of sodium carbonate, sodium silicate, and a phosphate detergent.  Quite an alkaline combo.
 fire extinguisher
Potassium carbonate.  Not as hygroscopic or as clumpy as sodium carbonate or bicarbonate, but sodium carbonate is a common extinguisher filler too.
 knife sharpening stone
big block of aluminum oxide
 lemon juice
citric acid
 oven cleaner
sodium hydroxide, newer cleaners aren't as alkaline
 roach killer powder
boric acid or a similarly packaged diatomaceous earth (silica)
 stainless steel

 vinegar
acetic acid, about 3% concentration.  short chain fatty acids stink.
 
LAUNDRY
 "no phosphates" detergent
To prevent algae blooms.
 bleach
5.25% sodium hypochlorite
 borax
sodium tetraborate
 colorsafe bleach (non-chlorine bleach)
sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate with sodium carbonate.
 Laundry bluing
deep blue pigment of ferric cyanide.  Non-toxic.  One of the very first synthetic pigments, known as prussian blue.
Blueprints, pearls prussian blue reaction,

 
LIVINGROOM
 alkaline battery
steel can, manganese diodide and potassium hydroxide filler with a zinc powder anode in center
 heavy duty battery (dry cell)
old leclanche cell, zinc cup, manganese diodide and ammonium chloride filler with carbon electrode in center
 oust odor spray
triethylene glycol
 
OFFICE
 dry erase board cleaner
alcohol
 Duster spray can
tetrafloroethane.  hfc-134 refridgerant
 envelope mucilage
gelatin for hydrogen bonding
 india ink
A suspension of very finely divided carbon. Often derived from "lampblack" the soot collected on a surface from a poorly burning flame. India ink is used in the medical setting to detect cryptococcus (a fungal organism responsible for a form of meningitis) . A drop of ink is mixed with the suspect fluid and the clear capsule of the cryptococcus is seen against the black background of the ink.
 permanent marker

 rubber cement
latex rubber dissolved in hexane
 rubber eraser/bouncy ball
rotein)ln)latex rubber  coagulated with a weak acid
 White heat grease for computer processors/componants
Often a silicone oil/grease with zinc oxide mixed in as a heat conductant.  Sometimes alumina (aluminum oxide) is used. Ironically very similar in composition to diaper rash cream.