How to Dissolve Calcium Chloride

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Calcium chloride is a water-soluble ionic compound; its chemical formula is CaCl2. It's highly hygroscopic, meaning that it readily absorbs moisture from its environment, so it's sometimes used as a desiccant or drying agent. Its leading use, however, is as a de-icing agent for roads in wintertime, although it's also used in swimming pools, in the manufacture of canned foods, in beer brewing and for a variety of industrial applications. CaCl2 dissolves readily in water, so it won't need any special coaxing to dissolve; be forewarned, however, that it releases heat in the process, so the container will heat up as the compound dissolves.

    Measure out the amount of calcium chloride you would like to dissolve using the spoon.

    Add water to the container. The amount of water you'll want depends on how much calcium chloride solution you need (whether you are planning to add it to your pool or your aquarium).

    Spoon the calcium chloride into the water. It should begin to dissolve rapidly.

    Stir the solution if you need to speed up the process. Add more water if necessary.

    Warnings

    • Calcium chloride releases heat as it dissolves. As a general rule, it's best to dissolve calcium chloride in cold water rather than hot and use a heat-resistant container. Do not swallow solid calcium chloride; the compound could release enough heat as it dissolves to cause burns on the inside of your mouth. Although calcium chloride has negligible toxicity, swallowing large amounts of dissolved calcium chloride may cause an upset stomach or gastrointestinal irritation. Calcium chloride is a mild skin irritant; it's a stronger irritant when it comes in contact with moist or wet skin. Some metals may slowly corrode if left in contact with calcium chloride for a long time.

References

About the Author

Based in San Diego, John Brennan has been writing about science and the environment since 2006. His articles have appeared in "Plenty," "San Diego Reader," "Santa Barbara Independent" and "East Bay Monthly." Brennan holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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