Common Chemicals Used in Daily Life
There are many sets of common chemicals used in daily life on a routine basis.
A chemical is a substance which consists of a specific set of molecules or ions in it.
In nature, we find many substances or materials which are mixtures of a different set of molecules.
However, they can be isolated and extracted into different chemicals.
Of them, we use few chemicals in regular life on an almost daily basis which are listed below.
Common Chemicals Used in Daily Life
Salt (Sodium chloride): The table salt we use daily as part of the diet is pure sodium chloride sample. It has a formula of NaCl, i.e., an atom of sodium and chlorine are bound to each other. Chemically it is neutral and when added to water, the pH is 7. So it causes no harm as such within suitable quantities consumed. The molecule is made of ionic bond and when dissolved in water, dissociates to Na+ and Cl– ions.
Citric acid: It is obtained from lemon which is used as a vegetable to impart taste to food and also to make fruit juices. It is a weak acid with pH below 7 and in case of gastric acidity, it can be used along with sodium bicarbonate to relieve the gas from the stomach. It is also a preservative due to its acid properties.
Acetic acid (Vinegar): This is usually part of vinegar we use in the kitchen.
It can also be used to remove specific stains from clothes while washing. This is an organic compound and is acidic.
Sugar (Sucrose): Sugar is routinely used sweetening agent for tea, coffee, sweets, etc. It is obtained from sugar cane juice. It has pure sucrose molecules which are a combination of fructose and glucose.
It is a disaccharide and when consumed, it is broken down by the digestive enzyme amylase into glucose and fructose.
Glucose: Glucose is a monosaccharide which is an obtained from starch. It is one of the monomers of carbohydrates having six carbons in its chemical structure. When consumed, it gives instant chemical energy to our body. Hence, glucose is taken by athletes and fitness enthusiasts on a regular basis to gain extra strength.
Some even mix it with protein shakes before going for exercise or gym.
Baking soda: Sodium hydrogen carbonate is a white powdery substance used for baking. It is widely used in food making process to impart special characters as a leavening agent. Besides, when consumed it can reduce gastric acidity due to its alkaline nature. When dissolved in water, it produces a pH above 7 and is around 8.31.
This baking soda when mixed with lemon juice in a glass of water produces carbon-dioxide gas which when consumed immediately relives gas from the stomach. In combination with a tablespoon of sugar, it is a good antacid to relieve stomach pain when drugs are not available.
Phenol to clean floor: Phenols are organic acids used as antiseptic to kill germs in hospitals and other places requiring aseptic conditions. Though it is organic alcohols, it has acidic pH and can kill germs by destroying their cell membrane and other structures. However, it is carcinogenic to humans on long-term use. So, it should not be touched with bare hands.
Acids like HCl for cleaning bathrooms: Acids like HCl and others are used in dilute forms to clean bathroom and toilets to remove scars due to hard water (calcium stripes) and also to kill germs.
Acids for running batteries in automobiles: Sulfuric acid is used in automotive lead batteries to store current. Here, the sulfuric acid forms lead sulfate in the absence of current. When the battery is charged, this process reverses to form lead and concentrated sulfuric acid. This type of batteries is cheaper and efficient to produce instant current required for running of automobiles.
Glycerin: A hydrating and smoothing agent applied to the skin. It reduces skin dryness and cracks when applied on a regular basis. Chemically glycerin is three carbon hydroxy alcoholic compound.