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Readers Respond: Chemicals and Where to Find Chemicals

Responses: 32


A Few More Commonly Available Chemicals

Tungsten can be obtained from welding suppliers. 2-propanol is rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Oxalic acid can be separated from the cleaning product Bar Keepers Friend (10% according to the MSDS). Many soluble ferrous salts can be obtained by dropping a steel nail in a solution of copper (II) [insert anion here]. They will be oxidized to ferric [insert anion here] if left exposed to the air. If you're looking for hydrofluoric acid, I've heard that it's used in the tire industry. Keep in mind that it dissolves glass.


inside thermotres........................................................................................................................
—Guest Gunnish1

Several chemicals found in stores

Hafnium is in the tip of plasma cutter torches. Hydrochloric acid can also be bought at a hardware store. Antimony can be extracted from pewter. Lead can be taken from old solder. Germanium is found in 1N34A, IN50, or ED50 diodes. Silicon is found in most diodes. Sodium bromide is found as a bromide source in pool and spa supply stores. Calcium hydroxide powder as pickling lime is found in Walmart. Certain precious elements like rhodium, ruthenium and palladium can be found in jewelry. Small amounts of platinum and iridium are found in some spark plugs. Liquid galinstan alloy is found in mercury-free thermometers. Niobium is used in some jewelry. Long-life lithium batteries can have thionyl chloride in them. Red phosphorus is found in toy explosive caps and in match strikers. A mixture of rare earth metals is found in cigarette lighters. Cobalt(II) chloride is found in Drierite as an indicator. Lithium is found in normal lithium coin cells.

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)

In Normal Soap you can dilute it with water to form sodium hydroxide solution to check it you can use red litmus, phenolphthalein, methyl orange or red cabbage
—Guest Rohit

Methylene Blue Dye

I found this at an exotic fish store. It is used as a water treatment, among other things.

Ammonium Nitrate

Is found in the instant cold packs, in most pharmacies.

Potassium iodide

I found potassium iodide at an organic health food market.

concentrated H2SO4

95% H2SO4 with inhibitors can be found at hardware stores under the name "Liquid Fire". It will work for making nitric acid from nitrate salts like potassium nitrate.
—Guest mhanes

Ammonium bicarbonate

You can find ammonium bicarbonate at many major supermarkets, usually in small glass jars near the baking soda.
—Guest chemguy

Food Grade Lime

Food Grade Lime (which I use in pickling) is available in supermarkets and drug stores as calcium pills. The pills contain calcium carbonate and can be crushed in a mortar to be dissolved in water.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is Damp Rid, found in the grocery store cleaning aisle or Walmart in larger sizes.

Sodium Silicate

Sodium silicate can be ordered through Walmart pharmacy. It is also found in the auto section called Stop Leak for leaky radiators. There are impurities in the bottom so you have to either pour the good stuff off the top or filter it.

hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric Acid listed as Muratic at pool supply stores.
—Guest fdfrick@att.net


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid is sold under various names as the tetrasodium salt. It is in crystalline granular form for purpose of chelating iron and copper from swimming pool water. Most pool supply retailers have it. It is quite alkaline in aqueous solution.


environmentally friendly (green) fishing line sinkers. Sports' Academy has them

Potassium Nitrate

Spectracide Stump Remover is potassium nitrate. I have found this in the garden supply section, usually near the garden insecticides.

methyl alcohol or methanol

Heet gas-line antifreeze and water remover, which is sold as an automotive supply, is essentially pure methyl alcohol or methanol.

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Chemicals and Where to Find Chemicals

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