Q:

Is sodium chloride an electrolyte?

A:

Quick Answer

Sodium chloride, which is regular table salt, becomes an electrolyte, when it dissolves in water or another ionizing solvent. In its solid form, sodium chloride is not an electrolyte.

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Full Answer

An electrolyte is any substance that ionizes when mixed with water. Ionizing is the chemical conversion of a neutral atom or molecule into an ion when an electron is removed.

Ions have an imbalance of electrons and protons that results in either a negative or positive charge. When sodium chloride mixes with water, the compound splits into a separate positive sodium ion and negative chloride ion.

In the human body, both chloride and sodium regulate water levels and help the brain, muscles and nervous system communicate, according to MedicineNet.

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