what is a salt in chemistry?

What is a salt in chemistry ?

In chemistry,the term salt usually used for a chemical compound that is composed of

  • positively charged ions, called cations.
  • and negatively charged ions, called anions.

These ions are held together by ionic bonds, which are electrostatic forces of attraction between oppositely charged ions.

Properties of salts

some common properties of salts are given below:

  • Solubility
  • Melting and boiling point
  • Conductivity
  • Crystal structure
  • Reactivity
  • Hygroscopicity
  • pH:


salts are usually soluble in water, although some salts did not show this ability. The solubility of a salt affected by factors such as

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • and the presence of other substances.

Melting and boiling point

Salts usually have high melting and boiling points, because of the strong ionic bonds among the positively and negatively charged ions.


When dissolved in water, salts can conduct electricity because of the mobility of ions which carry electrical charges.

Crystal structure:

Many salts create well-defined crystals with geometric shapes, which can be used to

  • identify the salt
  • and its properties.


Some salts can interact with other substances, such as

  • acids
  • or bases, to form new compounds.


Some salts can absorb vapor from the surrounding environment, resulting in  their dissolution or becoming hydrated.


Some salts can change the pH of a solution they are dissolved in, depending on the

  • properties of their cation and anion.



Some important example of salts are given below

Sodium chloride

Magnesium sulfate

Potassium nitrate

Calcium carbonate

Sodium chloride

It is also known as table salt, it is a commonly used for  seasoning and preservative for food. It is composed of

  • sodium cations
  • and chloride anions.

Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium sulfate usually known as Epsom salt. it is often used in

  • bath salts
  • and as a laxative.

It is composed of

  • magnesium cations
  • and sulfate anions.

Potassium nitrate

Potassium nitrate known as saltpeter, it is used in

  • Fertilizers
  • Fireworks
  • and as a food preservative.

It is composed of

  • potassium cations
  • and nitrate anions.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate commonly found in

  • Limestone
  • Chalk
  • and seashells.

it is used in the manufacturing of

  • cement
  • ceramics and as a dietary supplement.

It is composed of

  • calcium cations
  • and carbonate anions.