Insoluble Salts vs. Soluble Salts

What's the Difference?

Insoluble salts and soluble salts are two types of chemical compounds that differ in their ability to dissolve in water. Insoluble salts, as the name suggests, do not readily dissolve in water and form a precipitate when mixed with it. These salts have limited solubility and often have a low concentration in solution. On the other hand, soluble salts readily dissolve in water, forming a clear solution. These salts have high solubility and can exist in high concentrations in solution. The solubility of a salt depends on various factors such as temperature, pressure, and the nature of the ions involved.


AttributeInsoluble SaltsSoluble Salts
SolubilityDo not dissolve in waterDissolve in water
AppearanceOften appear as precipitates or solidsUsually appear as clear solutions
IonizationDo not ionize or dissociate in waterIonize or dissociate in water, forming ions
ConductivityDo not conduct electricity in waterConduct electricity in water when dissolved
pHDo not affect the pH of waterMay affect the pH of water depending on the ions formed
UsesUsed in various industries, such as pigments, ceramics, and constructionUsed in many applications, including medicine, agriculture, and food industry

Further Detail


Salts are compounds formed when an acid reacts with a base, resulting in the formation of positive and negative ions. These ions are held together by ionic bonds, creating a solid crystal lattice structure. Salts can be classified into two main categories based on their solubility in water: insoluble salts and soluble salts. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both types of salts and understand their differences.

Insoluble Salts

Insoluble salts are compounds that have very low solubility in water. When an insoluble salt is added to water, it does not readily dissolve and remains as a solid precipitate. The solubility of insoluble salts is typically less than 0.1 grams per 100 milliliters of water at room temperature.

One of the key attributes of insoluble salts is their limited ability to conduct electricity. Since they do not dissociate into ions in water, they do not form a conductive solution. This property makes them useful in applications where electrical conductivity needs to be avoided, such as in insulating materials.

Insoluble salts also tend to have higher melting and boiling points compared to soluble salts. This is due to the strong ionic bonds present in their crystal lattice structure, which require more energy to break and convert the solid into a liquid or gas state.

Furthermore, insoluble salts often exhibit low reactivity with other substances. Their lack of solubility limits their interaction with water and other solvents, making them relatively stable compounds. This stability can be advantageous in various industrial processes where a stable compound is required.

Examples of insoluble salts include silver chloride (AgCl), lead(II) sulfate (PbSO4), and calcium carbonate (CaCO3). These compounds are commonly found in nature and have various applications in industries such as photography, construction, and agriculture.

Soluble Salts

Soluble salts, as the name suggests, are compounds that readily dissolve in water. When a soluble salt is added to water, it dissociates into its constituent ions, forming a conductive solution. The solubility of soluble salts is typically greater than 0.1 grams per 100 milliliters of water at room temperature.

One of the primary attributes of soluble salts is their ability to conduct electricity. Since they dissociate into ions in water, they create a conductive medium that allows the flow of electric current. This property is utilized in various applications, including electrolysis, electroplating, and the functioning of batteries.

Soluble salts generally have lower melting and boiling points compared to insoluble salts. The weaker forces of attraction between their ions result in a lower energy requirement for breaking the bonds and transitioning from solid to liquid or gas state.

Moreover, soluble salts often exhibit higher reactivity due to their ability to readily interact with water and other solvents. The dissociation of soluble salts into ions allows for more extensive chemical reactions, making them useful in fields such as medicine, agriculture, and chemical synthesis.

Examples of soluble salts include sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium nitrate (KNO3), and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). These compounds are widely used in various industries, including food preservation, fertilizer production, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.


Insoluble salts and soluble salts possess distinct attributes that differentiate them from each other. Insoluble salts have low solubility, limited electrical conductivity, high melting and boiling points, and low reactivity. On the other hand, soluble salts readily dissolve in water, exhibit electrical conductivity, have lower melting and boiling points, and higher reactivity. Understanding these differences is crucial in various scientific, industrial, and everyday applications where the solubility and properties of salts play a significant role.

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