How does salt dissolve in water?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how does salt dissolve in water” with an in-depth analysis of why salt dissolves in water. Moreover, we are going to discuss why the body needs sodium and chlorine and the different types of salts.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How does salt dissolve in water?

When salt is mixed with water, it dissolves because water’s covalent bonds are stronger than the ionic bonds in salt molecules. The positively charged side of water molecules is attracted to negatively charged chloride ions, while the negatively charged side is attracted to positively charged sodium ions. 

A tug-of-war ensues, with the water molecules emerging victorious. 

The sodium and chloride ions are pulled away by water molecules, breaking the ionic link that holds them together. After the salt molecules are separated, the sodium and chloride atoms are surrounded by water molecules. Thus, salt dissolves in water and resultantly we get a homogeneous solution.

Why does salt dissolve in water?

You can understand this concept by looking at the interaction of water molecules and sodium chloride at the molecular level.

Because of electrical charges and the fact that both water and salt are polar compounds, with positive and negative charges on opposite sides of the molecule, salt dissolves in water.

Ionic bonds exist in salt compounds because they both have an electrical charge; the chloride ion is negatively charged and the sodium ion is positively charged.

Similarly, when it comes to a water molecule, a covalent bond is present between hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, in water two hydrogen atoms with positive charges are positioned on one side of an oxygen atom with a negative charge. Moreover, adjacent water molecules are bonded with each other through hydrogen bonds.

Does the human body need sodium?

Yes, the human body needs Sodium to carry out various functions. Salt is one of the most important sources from which the body gets sodium.

Sodium maintains the body’s osmotic balance, preventing the two extremes, dehydration and overhydration. Furthermore, it is crucial in the contraction and relaxation of our body’s muscles. It also helps to send impulses throughout the body and regulates blood pressure.

Does the human body need chlorine?

Yes, the human body needs chlorine. The chlorine present in the salt also helps in various biochemical processes taking place in the body. 

It is a natural electrolyte that aids in the maintenance of the body’s electrolyte balance. Furthermore, it influences the pH of the body’s fluids, as well as blood pressure and blood volume.

Apart from that, chlorine plays a crucial role in the human immune system, which protects and aids the body in fighting off invading microbes.

What are different types of salt?

Salts can be categorized as acidic and basic or neutral. 

How to find if salt is acidic, basic, or neutral?

We can find out whether the salt is acidic or basic by checking its acidic and basic radicals which are cations and anions. 

We know that each salt is produced using an acid and a base. On the off chance that salt is produced using strong acid and a weak base, it is acidic salt, and if salt is produced using a weak acid and strong base, it is basic salt.

Last but not least, if salt is produced using strong acid and a strong base, it is neutral. If salt is made from a weak corrosive and a weak base it is neutral. 

You can read more about it here.

Does salt lower the freezing point of ice?

Yes, salt does lower the freezing point of ice. When you put the salt on ice, what happens is that salt gets mixed up in the thin layer of water on the outside of ice, it gets separated into its ions, sodium, and chloride particles that impede the water atoms and obstruct them from framing the rigid crystal lattice (ice). 

At the time when the temperature goes down, the particles interfere with the ability of the water molecules to shape a crystal structure (formation of ice), and the solution won’t change into strong (ice) until you cut down the temperature under the edge of the freezing point of pure water. Henceforth the freezing point diminishes (in any case the softening and freezing point of pure water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit). 

In this manner the more salt we add, the more sodium and chloride particles that will get in the arrangement of the water atoms and won’t allow them to tie together to form the rigid structure (ice). 

The new freezing point depends upon the amount of salt that is added to the ice, yet the most diminished it can go is – 21.1 degrees Fahrenheit or – 5.98 degrees Fahrenheit. This phenomenon takes place at the saturation point, and after this point, the addition of more salt won’t achieve any decrease in the freezing point of the ice.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how does salt dissolve in water” with an in-depth analysis of why salt dissolves in water. Moreover, we discussed why the body needs sodium and chlorine and the different types of salts.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.