Five Examples of Salts for Science Class

By EricC; Updated April 24, 2017
Sea Salt in wooden bowl with wooden spoon on tabletop.

Salts are ionic compounds commonly found in chemistry classrooms because of their availability and versatility. They come in many different colors and flavors (although you should never eat anything found in a science classroom or laboratory). They have a neutral charge since they have an equal charge of both positive and negative ions, or charged particles.

Sodium Chloride

Close up of salt granules

Sodium chloride, chemical formula NaCl, is the most common type of salt in a chemistry classroom. It is also known as table salt, and chances are you have some in your very own kitchen.

Potassium Dichromate

Orange salt refined from Himalayan salt.

Potassium dichromate, chemical formula K2Cr2O7, is an orange-colored salt composed of potassium, chrome, and oxygen. It is used as an oxidizing agent and is harmful to health.

Sodium Chromate

Colored salt for crafts.

Sodium chromate, chemical formula H2CrO4, is a yellow-colored salt made up of hydrogen, chrome, and oxygen. It is used as a dyeing agent.

Mercury Sulfide

Red salt on a spoon.

Mercury sulfide, chemical formula HgS, also known as cinnabar, is a red salt made up of mercury and sulfur. It is a common ore of mercury, meaning that an ore, or a rock, of mercury sulfide can be commonly found and separated into mercury. Mercury sulfide, because of the mercury content, is hazardous to your health to handle and especially to ingest.

Copper Sulfate

Blue salt close up.

Copper sulfate, chemical formula CuSO4, is a blue salt made up of copper, sulfur, and oxygen. Copper sulfate can be commonly found in crystal growing chemistry sets tailored for kids.