What Is Acetone And How Is It Used?

What Is Acetone And How Is It Used?

What is Acetone? 

Acetone is a colorless organic chemical that is typical used as a solvent.  Due to its polarity, its quick evaporation time and its ability to dissolve completely in water, acetone is used widely as a solvent both in households and industrially.   

Acetone is found naturally in many trees, plants, volcanic gases, and even the human body as it is produced through the breakdown of fat!  While acetone is found in many natural products and the human body, it is not safe to consume.  In large amounts, acetone is poisonous.  However, this chemical is generally non-toxic if used correctly.  Due to the fumes produced by this liquid and its ability to be a possible irritant to the eyes, nose and skin, it is recommended to use this product in well ventilated areas and to wash off any skin the chemical may have come into contact with. 

How is Acetone Used?  

Acetone is used in many home settings as well as industrial settings.  Most commonly, acetone is known to be in nail polish remover.  It is a strong degreaser and solvent, meaning it is very effective at breaking down certain materials.  It is also found in many paint removers for the same reasons!   

Industrially, it is used as a degreaser for its ability to breakdown oils and varnish.  However, it is also used in production of car and furniture lacquers and plastics.   

Some other products this chemical is found in:  

  • Nail polish remover 
  • Laboratory glass cleaners 
  • Laboratory uses in chemical reactions 
  • Paint thinners 
  • Hair dye 
  • Baby wipes 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Furniture polish 
  • Oil removers 

Overall, acetone is a cheap, effective solvent that is non-toxic.  It has many uses both in homes and industrially.  

Want to learn more?

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