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.


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!


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

Solution Source


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.


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!


The air that we feel around us is actually a solution to gasses. Nitrogen is the major component while oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and many more gasses. Some other examples of solutions are:


Commonly the term solution is used when the solvent is liquid.


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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  1. Solute and Solvent: https://www.ck12.org/c/chemistry/solute-and-solvent/lesson/Solute-and-Solvent-CHEM/. Accessed 28 Feb 2022.