What Is Glycerin?


Quick Answer

Glycerin, or glycerol, is a thick, odorless, colorless liquid that is often found as part of pharmaceuticals. Glycerin also tastes sweet and, in most cases, is safe to consume.

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What Is Glycerin?
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Full Answer

One of its qualities is that it can pull water out of the air, or is hygroscopic. It can be used as a skin softener when diluted with water. It can also be dissolved in alcohol. Glycerin itself can be used as a solvent, as many substances will dissolve into it more easily that they will in alcohol or water. While glycerin is manufactured synthetically, it is also a by-product of soap making. Glycerin is also used in the manufacture of the explosive nitroglycerin.

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