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Chemistry for Kids

Solutions and Dissolving

What is a solution?

A solution is a specific type of mixture where one substance is dissolved into another. A solution is the same, or uniform, throughout which makes it a homogeneous mixture . Go here to learn more about mixtures.

A solution has certain characteristics: Example of a Solution

One example of a solution is salt water which is a mixture of water and salt. You cannot see the salt and the salt and water will stay a solution if left alone.

Parts of a Solution

A solution is a type of homogeneous mixture


A solution is made when one substance called the solute "dissolves" into another substance called the solvent. Dissolving is when the solute breaks up from a larger crystal of molecules into much smaller groups or individual molecules. This break up is caused by coming into contact with the solvent.

In the case of salt water, the water molecules break off salt molecules from the larger crystal lattice. They do this by pulling away the ions and then surrounding the salt molecules. Each salt molecule still exists. It is just now surrounded by water molecules instead of fixed to a crystal of salt.


Solubility is a measure of how much solute can be dissolved into a liter of solvent. Think of the example of water and salt. If you keep pouring salt into water, at some point the water isn't going to be able to dissolve the salt.


When a solution reaches the point where it cannot dissolve any more solute it is considered "saturated." If a saturated solution loses some solvent, then solid crystals of the solute will start to form. This is what happens when water evaporates and salt crystals begin to form.


The concentration of a solution is the proportion of the solute to solvent. If there is a lot of solute in a solution, then it is "concentrated". If there is a low amount of solute, then the solution is said to be "diluted."

Miscible and immiscible

When two liquids can be mixed to form a solution they are called "miscible." If two liquids cannot be mixed to form a solution they are called "immiscible." An example of miscible liquids is alcohol and water. An example of immiscible liquids is oil and water. Have you ever heard the saying "oil and water don't mix"? This is because they are immiscible.

Interesting Facts about Solutions

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More Chemistry Subjects

Solids, Liquids, Gases
Melting and Boiling
Chemical Bonding
Chemical Reactions
Radioactivity and Radiation
Mixtures and Compounds
Naming Compounds
Separating Mixtures
Acids and Bases
Salts and Soaps
Glossary and Terms
Chemistry Lab Equipment
Organic Chemistry
Famous Chemists

Elements and the Periodic Table
Periodic Table

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