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.
- Calcium chloride (available in flakes, pellets and powders)
- Cold water
- Glass container (preferably heat-resistant glass like Pyrex)
- Spoon to measure out calcium chloride
- Wooden stirring spoon (if desired)
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.
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.
Things You'll Need
- icy bridge image by Jon Le-Bon from Fotolia.com