Solute vs. Solvent

The difference between Solute and Solvent is that the dissolved matter in any mixture or solution is called as the solute, wheres the liquid or gas which dissolves another liquid, gas or solid is called as the solvent.

A solution could be described as the homogenous mixture of two or more substances. In a solution, the substance that gets dissolved is solute, whereas the solvent is the substance in which the solute will dissolve. There are numerous products in day to day life ready by the mix of many solutes and solvents and form a solution. These products are medications, soaps, ointments, tea, coffee, lime juice, etc..

The homogenous mixture is the solution where the solutes dissolve completely and uniformly to the solution. While solubility is the capacity of the material to dissolve into another material. In this guide, we’ll discuss the difference and features of the solute and solvent.

Comparison Chart

Meaning The material that gets dissolved in
the solvent in a solution or mixture is known as the solute. Solute presents
in the lesser amount as compared to solvent.
The material that dissolves the
solute in a solution is called solvent; the solvent is present in the greater
level compared to solvent.
Boiling point The boiling point is greater than the solvent. It’s lower than that of solute.
Physical condition Located in solid, liquid or gaseous state. Mainly from the liquid state, but may be gaseous also.
Dependability Solubility depends on the characteristics
of the solute.
Solubility depends on the characteristics
of this solvent.

What is Solute?

A substance that dissolves in a solution is called as the solute. A solute may be solid, liquid or gas, however mostly it is a solid compound. Sugar in water, Salt in seawater, and oxygen from the atmosphere are the few typical instances of the solutes. The solute gets dissolved in the solvent only when the attractive forces between the two is more strong enough, which may
conquer molecular forces holding the particles, i.e. solute-solute and solvent-solvent particles together.

Even though the solute retains the minor amount from the solution, in comparison with the solvent. But there’s the condition from the solution called as saturation, where the solvent is unable to dissolve any further solute. Example of a solute and solvent can be clarified by considering a cup of tea. Milk powder and sugar are dissolved in warm water. Here warm water is the solvent and sugar and milk powder are solutes.

Characteristics of the Solute

  • Solute has  a higher boiling point as compared to solvent.
  • These can be solid, liquid or gas.
  • By increasing the surface area of the particles of the solute, the solubility increases. The solid particles get broken into small pieces.
  • In the event of gaseous solutes, the solubility is affected by the strain, aside from the quantity and temperature.

What is Solvent?

The solute is dissolved in the solvent. It may also be defined as the material in which different substances or chemicals dissolved to be a solution. Solvent occupies the significant part of a solution. These are typically liquids. Water is reported to be the most common solvent in everyday life as it has the capability of dissolving any (gas, liquid or solid ) substances and so also called as a universal solvent. The major thumb rule of the solubility is”like dissolve like”. Solvents can be split as Polar and Non-Polar.

Polar Solvent has high dielectric constant and has one or more electronegative atoms such as N, H or O. Ketones, Alcohols, carboxylic acids, and amides are the usual examples of this functional group found in polar solvents. Polar solvents are made from polar molecules and may dissolve polar compounds only. The Polar solvent is divided as polar protic solvents and polar aprotic solvents. Methanol and Water are polar protic molecules as they can form the hydrogen bond with the solutes. On the other hand, acetone is stated as a polar aprotic solvent since they can not form the hydrogen bond with the solute, but create dipole-dipole interactions with the ionic solutes.

Non-polar Solvent includes bonds with comparable electronegative atoms like H and C. These are composed non-polar molecules and may dissolve non-polar chemicals or solutes.

Qualities of the Solvent

  • Solvent gets the low boiling point and has readily evaporated.
  • Solvent exists as liquid only but may be solid or gaseous also.
  • The widely used solvents include the carbon component and hence called as organic solvents, while others are called inorganic solvents.
  • Solvents have feature colour and odour.
  • Acetone, alcohol, gasoline, benzene, and xylene are the commonly used organic solvents and are of great importance in chemical businesses.
  • improve the speed of the response with the solute.
  • Solvents are also utilised in regulating the temperature in a solution, either to absorb the heat generated during some chemical reaction or to

Key Differences between Solute and Solvent

  1. Solute can be defined as the material that gets dissolved by the solvent in a solution, while the material that dissolves the solute is called as the solvent. Thus the solute is present in the lower amount than the solvent.
  2. The solute is seen in the liquid, solid or gaseous state, while the solvent is mainly found in the liquid state, but may be solid or from the gaseous
  3. state also. The boiling point is greater of the solute compared to solvent. The properties of the solute and solvent are interdependent of one another.


Solutes and solvents will be the material not used just in chemical labs, but they are the portion of the day to day life. A solution contains only two elements, which can be solute and solvent. Solvent has the capability of dividing the solute in a homogenous solution. We discussed the features of the substances and concluded that in one solvent there can be different kinds of solutes and can produce a homogeneous solution.

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