Solute and Solvent Study Guide

A homogenous mixture of two or more substances is called a solution, and it is made by mixing solute and solvent.

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Do you know that cleaning of wounds can also be done by saline solution? Saline solution is a solution of common salt and water. But what is a solution in chemistry? Let’s understand!

What is Solute?

Something that dissolves in a solution is called a solute. The amount of solvent in a fluid solution is always greater than the amount of solute. Salt and water are two of the solutes we encounter most frequently on a daily basis. Because salt dissolves in water, it serves as the solute. An object that a solvent may dissolve into a solution is referred to as a solute. A solution can take on several forms. It may exist in the forms of a solid, liquid, or gas.

What is Solvent?

The most plentiful component in a solution is referred to as the solvent. It is the substance that the solute has dissolved in. Typically, a solvent is a liquid. The most potent solvent, according to general information on the internet and descriptions in certain publications, is water. Because it can dissolve practically any material more effectively than any other liquid, it is also referred to as the "universal solvent." Water is a great solvent due to its polarity as well.


A homogenous mixture of two or more substances is called a solution.



A solution is formed by mixing a solute and solvent. So what are solute and solvent? A solute is a substance that is dissolved in a dissolving medium called a solvent.

For example, when we make a salt solution, salt is being dissolved in a dissolving medium that is water. Here, salt is solute as it is dissolved in dissolving medium water, which is solvent.

The same applies to a sugar solution. Sugar is solute, and water is solvent. Another thing to keep in mind is that solute is in limited quantity while the solvent is in excess.

Important Difference between Solute and Solvent

The fundamental distinction between a solute and a solvent is that one dissolves, while the other acts as a dissolving medium. Solutes are substances that are added to solvents to create solutions, which is the major distinction between them. During the creation of a solution, a solvent is a material that disperses the solute particles.

Parameter Solute Solvent
Meaning a substance that dissolves It is a dissolving medium
Boiling point Higher than solvent Lower than solute
Dependability Solubility depends on the properties of the solute Solubility depends on the properties of the solvent
Physical state Found in solid, liquid, or gaseous state Found mainly in the liquid state, but can be gaseous as well


When the solvent used to make a solution is water, the solution is called aqueous. The saltwater solution is an aqueous solution. The dissolved part that is solute can be in any state: solid, liquid, or gas. For example, acid solutions are acids dissolved in water like vinegar, seawater is a solution of many salts in water, and cough syrup is a solution of many drugs dissolved in water.

But is a solution only formed when the solvent is liquid? NO!

Types of Solvents

There are two categories of solvents based on polarity: polar and non-polar. A solvent's polarity determines whether it can dissolve any solute.

When water molecules are drawn to electrically charged solute molecules, the solute is said to be dissolved if the force of attraction is strong enough to break the solute molecules and distribute them uniformly throughout the solvent. Fats, oils, and greases are non-polar solutes that do not dissolve in water. They combine to generate an emulsion when combined. The same kinds of big non-polar solute molecules are drawn to non-polar solvents by the grouping of electrons on one side of the molecule. All non-polar solutes dissolve in non-polar liquids using this process.

Examples of Solution

• When we combine salt (often table salt) and water, we create salt water. The solvent in this instance is water, while the solute is salt. • By combining sugar and water, sugar water is created. • Mouthwash is made up of several chemicals that have been dissolved in water. • Iodine crystals are dissolved in alcohol to create an iodine tincture. • Sugar, carbon dioxide, colour, and other ingredients are found in soda.


A true solution is a homogenous mixture of two or more substances in which the particle size of solute dissolved is less than 1 nm. When we mix salt into the water, what happens after some time? Does the salt start setting at the bottom of the beaker? No, that doesn’t happen because it is a true solution. So, a true solution is one in which the solute doesn’t get separated out if it is kept for an indefinite time. Other examples of true solutions are sugar and water solution, air, etc.


  • Solution: A homogenous mixture of two or more substances is called a solution.
  • It is formed by mixing solute (smaller quantity) and a solvent (larger quantity). Solute and solvent can be in any state.


1. Do sand and water, when mixed, make a solution?

No, sand and water do not mix to make a homogenous mixture. So, they do not make a solution.

2. Is air an aqueous solution?

No, the air is not an aqueous solution; as for aqueous solutions, the solvent should be water. But the air is a mixture of gasses.

3. A solvent is the component of a solution that is present in a larger quantity. Is this statement right?

Yes, the solvent is present in larger quantities while the solute is present in smaller quantities.

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