Q:

Is water a solvent?

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Quick Answer

Water is an excellent solvent. It is known as the "universal solvent" because no other liquid is able to dissolve matter better. The chemical composition and molecular arrangement of water are responsible for this characteristic.

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Full Answer

Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In a water molecule, two hydrogen atoms are on one side, while a single oxygen atom is on the other. Hydrogen has a positive electrical charge, while oxygen's is negative. This combination causes water to be attracted to many substances. When water is very strongly attracted to the molecules in a substance, this interferes with the attractive forces that hold the substance together. As a result, the substance dissolves in water.

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