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Common Chemicals found in the Home

This page is intended to help students of basic (school-level) chemistry with questions such as:

  • List the common names together with their chemical names and formulae of 20 household chemicals.
    OR
  • Identify 20 chemicals in everyday household items (which is a hint to read the "ingredients" labels on packets of cleaning materials, paints and other containers of substances in your home).

or other similar questions, which may ask for more or fewer examples.

The following table of the chemical names and molecular formulae of common chemicals is arranged in alphabetical order of the common (often "household" or "domestic") name of the chemical. If you are not sure what the molecular formulae mean you can look up the symbols by viewing the list of chemical elements (listed in alphabetical order of chemical symbol).
You can also read more about molecular formulae of organic molecules.

Common /
Household Name
Chemical Name2,3
Molecular Formula

Notes:

Alcohol

ethanol

C2H6O

Alka Seltzer*

sodium bicarbonate

CHNaO3

Antifreeze

ethylene glycol

C2H6O2

Antiperspirant

aluminum chlorohydrate

Al2Cl(OH)5

Aspirin®*

acetylsalicylic acid

C9H8O4

Baking powder

sodium bicarbonate

NaHCO3

Battery acid

sulphuric acid

H2SO4

Bleach (laundry)

sodium hypochlorite

NaClO

Boracic acid

boric acid

H3BO3

Borax

sodium tetraborate decahydrate

Na2B4O7⋅10H2O

Brass

alloy of copper and zinc

Cu and Zn

Bronze

alloy of copper and tin

Cu and Sn

Calgon®*

calcium hexametaphosphate

(NaPO3)6

Caustic soda

sodium hydroxide

NaOH

Chalk

calcium carbonate

CaCO3

Diamond

carbon

C

Drano*

sodium hydroxide

NaOH

Easy-off*

sodium hydroxide

NaOH

Egg shells

calcium carbonate

CaCO3

Epsom salts

magnesium sulphate

MgSO4⋅7H2O

Formalin

40% solution of formaldehyde+

CH2O

Glycerine

glycerol

C3H5(OH)3

Graphite

carbon

C

Gypsum

calcium sulphate dihydrate

CaSO4⋅2H2O

Lime

calcium oxide

CaO

Liquid paper*

titanium dioxide

TiO2

Magnesia

magnesium oxide

MgO

Marble

calcium carbonate

CaCO3

Margarine

partially saturated fatty acid

various

Milk of magnesia

magnesium hydroxide

Mg(OH)2

Moth balls

Traditionally: naphthalene

Modern: 1,4-dichlorobenzene

C10H8

C6H4Cl2

MSG

monosodium glutamate

C5H8NNaO4

Nutrasweet®*

aspartame

C14H18N2O5

Pewter

alloy of tin, copper, antimony, and lead

Sn, Cu, Sb & Pb

Plaster

calcium hydroxide

Ca(OH)2

Potash

potassium carbonate

K2CO3

Quartz

silicon dioxide

SiO2

Quicklime

calcium oxide

CaO

Rolaids®*

dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate

NaAl(OH)2CO3

Salt (Table Salt)

sodium chloride

NaCl

Sand

silicon dioxide

SiO2

Sani-flush®*

Sodium bisulphate, with sodium carbonate (and other ingredients)

NaHSO4
with Na2CO3

Silica

silicon dioxide

SiO4

Smelling salts

ammonium carbonate

(NH4)2CO3·H2O

Solder

alloy of tin and antimony

Sugar (Table Sugar)

sucrose

C12H22O11

Teflon®*

polymer of tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

(C2F4)n

Toluol (old name)

toluene

C7H8 or
C6H5CH3

Tums®*

calcium carbonate

CaCO3

Tylenol®*

paracetamol (British English); acetominophen (in USA)

C8H9NO2

Vinegar

acetic acid, ethanoic acid

C2H4O2

Vitamin C

ascorbic acid

C6H8O6

Washing soda

sodium carbonate decahydrate (hydrated sodium carbonate)

NaCO3⋅10H2O

Windex®*

ammonia plus detergents, dyes and fragrances.

NH3

See also more molecular formulae of common chemicals.

 

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