Solubility Test

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In this activity, learners apply a dissolving test to known crystals to identify the unknown. Since the unknown is chemically the same as one of the known crystals, it should dissolve similarly. By dissolving each of the crystals in the same amount of water and comparing the amount of crystal left behind, learners will gain some information about the possible identity of the unknown. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Salt in cup
  • Epsom salt in cup
  • MSG (Accent®) in cup
  • Sugar in cup
  • Kosher salt in cup (unknown)
  • Masking Tape
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Permanent Marker
  • 5 clear plastic cups
  • 6 small plastic cups, 3½-ounce
  • Plastic teaspoon
  • Hot tap water
  • 10 Paper clips
  • Activity Sheet
  • Goggles


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kessler, James H. ; Galvan, Patricia M.


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2007