Is Sodium Carbonate Soluble In Water?

Sodium carbonate is readily soluble in water.

When in water, it dissociates into positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged carbonate ions which bind to the partial negatively charged side of the polar water and the partial positively charged side of the polar water, respectively.

This article will discuss the substance called sodium carbonate and highlight helpful information regarding the solubility of this substance in water.

Is Sodium Carbonate Soluble In Water? (Explained)

What is Sodium Carbonate?

Sodium carbonate is a weak organic base that has the chemical formula Na2CO3.

It is also known as calcined soda or soda ash.

Unlike most carbonates, sodium carbonate is a water-soluble substance.

Chemical Properties of Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate exists in four different forms.

The forms include one anhydrous salt and three hydrated forms based on their water content.

Thus, the framework sodium carbonate formula (Na2CO3) remains constant, the difference being the number of water molecules added to the parent molecule.

  • Anhydrous sodium carbonate (calcined soda): formed from heating the hydrates.
  • Sodium carbonate monohydrate (thermonatrite), Na2CO3·H2O. Also known as crystal carbonate.
  • Sodium carbonate heptahydrate, Na2CO3·7H2O.
  • Sodium carbonate decahydrate (washing soda), Na2CO3·10H2O, quickly loses nine water molecules to form the monohydrate.

Physical Characteristics of Sodium Carbonate

All forms of sodium carbonate are solid white and odorless salts that dissolve in water to yield alkaline solutions.

The anhydrous form has a water-solubility of 48.69g/100mls at a temperature of 34 °C.

It has a melting point of 851 °C with a density of 2.54 g/cm3.

The hydrated forms start to decompose at much lower temperatures.

Sodium carbonate also has hygroscopic properties.

Thus, it can absorb moisture and odors from the atmosphere.

Uses of Sodium Carbonate

It has a wide range of uses in many industries due to its properties.

It is an essential component of detergents and soaps.

Sodium carbonate also has water-softening properties.

Furthermore, it is a chemical reagent in laboratories, leather tanning factories, and glass casting.

In addition, it remains an essential substance for the production of paper, cosmetics, and food products where it serves as a leavening agent.

It fastens the bonds between paint pigments and textile fibers.

What is water solubility?

Solubility can be defined as the ability of a substance to be dissolved.

Solutes are compounds that get dissolved.

These solutes can exist in solid, liquid, or gaseous states.

The compound in which the dissolving occurs is called the solvent and is usually liquid.

Thus, to extrapolate this, water solubility is defined as the ability of a solute to be dissolved in water.

This solubility is in g/100ml of water for a specific temperature.

For any given substance, higher values indicate more solubility.

Factors affecting solubility

Three main factors affect the solubility of a solute in water.

They include polarity, temperature, and pressure.

Polarity is essential in the solubility of solvents in water.

Molecules are polar when they have positive and negative ends.

The presence of these ends means that they have electric poles.

Molecules that do not exhibit this feature are non-polar.

That said, polar solutes dissolve better in polar solvents while non-polar solutes dissolve better in non-polar solvents.

Raising the temperature of water leads to more active molecules.

Higher activity levels lead to more interaction with other molecules, thus increasing solubility.

Pressure plays a lesser role in the solubility of solid solvents in liquids.

It is mainly a factor in the involvement of gaseous solutes and solvents.

Some ionic molecules are inherently soluble or insoluble.

Carbonates are generally insoluble. However, salts that contain sodium, potassium, and lithium are soluble.

Importance of solubility

Solutes will usually dissolve in some known solvents.

A lot of solid solutes have a wide variety of biochemical functions.

However, most of them would not exert these effects in their de novo state.

Water is a universal solvent and will dissolve the majority of solutes.

Water-soluble solutes are highly effective in liquid form.

This form increases their active surface area, mobility, and effectiveness generally.

Is sodium carbonate a water-soluble substance?

Yes. Sodium carbonate is a water-soluble substance.

It possesses several chemical and physical properties that make it possible for sodium carbonate to become dissolved in water.

Even though carbonates-eg calcium and ferrous carbonates- are insoluble, sodium carbonate contains sodium, a group 1 element.

The presence of sodium confers the water-soluble feature of sodium carbonate.

More importantly, sodium carbonate is a polar molecule.

It readily binds to the molecules of water, which are also polar.

It dissolves in water to form sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide. Na2CO3 + H2O = NaOH + CO2|.

The positively charged sodium ions bind to the negatively charged hydroxide.

What is the relevance of the solubility of sodium carbonate in water?

The relevance of sodium carbonate solubility is an important question to answer because, as a solid, sodium carbonate probably has limited value.

However, when dissolved in water, the uses of this compound are magnified.

Thus, the solubility of sodium carbonate makes it essential for use in several instances.

Identification: Salts of carbonate present in a solution get detected by adding a diluted acid solution. Following this, bubbles of carbon dioxide gas are confirmatory.

Uses: Sodium carbonate can serve as a washing additive. Soaps or detergents containing sodium carbonate become effective as cleansers when dissolved.


Sodium carbonate is an organic carbonate salt that is readily soluble in water.

This water-solubility confers on it the ability to be used in many industries.

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Is Sodium Carbonate Soluble In Water