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Explore the wonders of Chemistry in everyday life

Team StoryWeavers|July 23, 2020|

The word ‘hack’ can have a lot of suspicious connotations, but when it is added with chemistry, it provides a lot of cool and time saving life hacks. Chemistry hacks not only come handy in the kitchen; these sciences-backed tricks also offer simple and easy solutions to a lot of everyday problems. So, without much ado, let’s explore these mind-blowing chemistry hacks, sitting somewhere in your cupboards that can be put to good use in your daily life.

After performing a set of wonderful chemistry experiments with eggs, it’s time to check if they are fresh! Fresh eggs are very hard to identify until you crack them open. But here is a sure-fire way to keep you from cracking rotten eggs! Place the egg in a cup of room-temperature water and observe the egg. If the egg sinks it is fresh, but if it floats, you would want to rethink eating it. Fresh eggs have round yolks and their white membrane is thick. This allows the egg to sink in the water and lie down horizontally. A slightly older egg has a thinner white membrane. This makes the egg tip up and sit upright in the water, but not quite float. A decaying or rotten egg will rise to the top of the water as it produces hydrogen sulphide. The gas makes the egg buoyant in the water and also produces a bad egg stench. 

Who doesn’t like to enjoy a sip of a chilled, refreshing, fizzy drink during the hot summer season? But did you know that your favourite cold drink has another purpose – it can be used to polish silvers and old coins? Cold drinks contain two main chemicalsphosphoric acids, which provide the sour ingredient and balances out the sugary taste of the drink and citric acid, which lowers the pH level of the drink. A low pH makes cold drink acidic enough to cut through hard water, soap, scum, and rust. When you dip a rusty coin in a glass of cold drink, the chemicals in it transforms the reddish iron (III) oxide into a yellow-toned ferric phosphate. This layer of iron phosphate removes the rust from the coins. Although it is time-testing as cold drinks have comparatively less phosphate than any other industrial-strength rust remover, it is an effective and cheaper method.

Gone are the days of chewing gum-induced clothes and haircuts! Here are some easy home remedies to remove these adamant gums from your shoes, clothes, carpets, and from your hair! 

Removing gum for hair

The age-old remedy to remove gum from hair, preferably without cutting a chuck of your hair, is to apply a spoon of peanut butter or mayonnaise into the gum. The peanut butter or the mayonnaise acts as an aggressive conditioner, making your hair greasy. This makes the gum lose its grip from the hair and smoothly slide off from the hair. In case you don’t have peanut butter or mayonnaise, you can also use vaseline or any cooking oil. Just make sure to not rub it into the gum too hard and use a comb to detangle your hair.

Removing gum from shoes or clothes

One simple way to remove gum from shoes is by rubbing some sand into it. Just pour a bit of sand into the gum and rub the shoes. You may need some more sand later on to remove the last remnants off. To remove gum from clothes, you can use the good old heating method to make the gum more pliable. To remove the gum successfully without damaging the cloth or the iron board, place a piece of cardboard between the iron board and your gum-stuck cloth. Now place the gum face-down on the cardboard, and iron on top of it until the gum gets stuck to the cupboard. 

Have you ever been forced to waste a cup of coffee because you found the taste to be like battery acid? Next time, reach out for the salt shaker instead. Here is the process. The bitterness of coffee comes from two antioxidant compounds- Chlorogenic Acid Lactones and Phenylindanes, apart from caffeine . The longer you brew your coffee, the more bitter it gets. Salt when added in coffee, releases sodium ions. Once you take a sip of the coffee, the sodium blocks the taste receptors of your tongue thus preventing you from detecting the bitter taste. The next your coffee is brewed too strong, make sure to sprinkle some salt grains into the coffee to neutralise its bitterness. 

Hope you enjoyed reading about these cool chemistry hacks! Do you know any other interesting solutions to such common problems that use chemistry? Tell us in the comments below.

Keep an eye out for more such science experiments!

About the Author


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Tanaya Goswami

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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