Is ZnCl2 Soluble in Water? (+ 3 Things You Should Know)

Yes, zinc chloride (ZnCl2) is soluble in water. 1 2 It readily dissolves in water to form a clear, colorless solution. This solubility is due to the strong electrostatic interactions between the zinc cations (Zn2+) and chloride anions (Cl-) with the water molecules.

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Key Takeaways: Is ZnCl2 Soluble in Water?

  • ZnCl2 is soluble in water due to its ionic nature, dissociating into Zn2+ and Cl- ions when in contact with water.
  • Factors affecting its solubility include temperature (higher temperature enhances solubility), pressure (changes in pressure have minimal impact), and the presence of other solutes (competition for hydration sites can affect solubility).
  • The solubility of ZnCl2 is utilized in various applications, such as galvanizing, chemical synthesis, wood preservation, textile dyeing, and laboratory procedures.

Why is ZnCl2 soluble in water?

ZnCl2 is soluble in water because it is an ionic compound that dissociates into Zn2+ cations and Cl- anions when it comes into contact with water. 3 These ions are surrounded by water molecules due to their strong attraction to the polar water molecules, allowing the compound to dissolve.

When ZnCl2 is added to water, the polar water molecules interact with the ionic bonds between the Zn2+ and Cl- ions, breaking them apart. The partially positive hydrogen atoms in water molecules are attracted to the chloride ions (Cl-) while the partially negative oxygen atoms are attracted to the zinc ions (Zn2+).

This process, known as hydration or solvation, stabilizes the ions and prevents them from recombining. The resulting solvated ions become dispersed throughout the water, forming a homogeneous solution.

Zinc chloride (ZnCl2) is highly soluble in water due to the strong electrostatic interactions between the polar water molecules and the charged ions. These interactions overcome the attraction between the Zn2+ and Cl- ions and allow them to separate and mix uniformly with the water molecules.

As a result, ZnCl2 readily dissolves in water, forming a clear and colorless solution.

What factors affect the solubility of ZnCl2 in water?

The solubility of ZnCl2 in water can be influenced by several factors:

  1. Temperature: Generally, an increase in temperature enhances the solubility of most solid compounds, including ZnCl2. 4 As the temperature rises, the kinetic energy of the particles increases, promoting the breakdown of crystal lattice and facilitating the dissolution process. Therefore, ZnCl2 tends to be more soluble in hot water compared to cold water.
  2. Pressure: Unlike gases, the solubility of solid compounds like ZnCl2 is not significantly affected by changes in pressure. 5 Thus, variations in pressure typically have a negligible impact on the solubility of ZnCl2 in water.
  3. Presence of other solutes: The presence of other solutes in the solution can affect the solubility of ZnCl2. 6 Common ions that share a similar charge and ionic radius with Zn2+ or Cl- can compete for the hydration sites, reducing the solubility of ZnCl2. On the other hand, the presence of complexing agents or ligands that can form stable complexes with Zn2+ ions may increase the solubility of ZnCl2.

It’s important to note that while these factors generally influence the solubility of ZnCl2, the specific conditions and concentrations can also play a role in determining its solubility in water.

How is solubility of ZnCl2 used in various applications?

The solubility of ZnCl2 in water finds utility in various applications, some of which include:

  1. Galvanizing: ZnCl2 is used as a flux in the galvanizing process, 7 where it helps remove oxidation from the surface of metals, such as steel or iron, before they are coated with zinc. The solubility of ZnCl2 allows it to dissolve easily in water and form a solution that effectively cleans the metal surface, promoting adhesion of the zinc coating.
  2. Chemical synthesis: ZnCl2 is commonly employed as a catalyst or reagent in various chemical reactions. 8 Its solubility in water enables it to be easily incorporated into reaction mixtures, facilitating the desired transformations. For example, it can be used as a Lewis acid catalyst in organic reactions like Friedel-Crafts acylation or as a dehydrating agent in the formation of ethers.
  3. Wood preservation: The solubility of ZnCl2 in water makes it suitable for wood preservation treatments. 9 10 ZnCl2 solutions can be applied to wood to protect it from decay caused by fungi and insects. The solution is absorbed into the wood, and as it dries, the ZnCl2 ions remain, acting as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.
  4. Textile industry: ZnCl2 can be used as a mordant in textile dyeing processes. 11 As a soluble salt, it helps fix dyes to fabric by forming coordination complexes with the dye molecules. This enhances the colorfastness and durability of the dyed textiles.
  5. Laboratory applications: ZnCl2’s solubility in water makes it useful in various laboratory procedures. It can be employed in solution preparations, electrolyte solutions, and as a source of zinc ions in biological and chemical experiments.

These are just a few examples of how the solubility of ZnCl2 in water is utilized across different industries and research fields, showcasing its versatility and practical applications.

Further reading

Is AgI Soluble in Water?
Is Bronze Magnetic?
Why is Galvanized Steel Magnetic?
Is Tungsten Magnetic?
Is Pyrite Magnetic?

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  1. Zinc chloride. (n.d.). Zinc Chloride.
  2. P. (n.d.). Zinc Chloride. Zinc Chloride | ZnCl2 | CID 5727 – PubChem.
  3. Team, E. W. (n.d.). zinc dichloride (CHEBI:49976). Zinc Dichloride (CHEBI:49976).
  4. Solubility. (n.d.). Solubility.
  5. 13.4: Effects of Temperature and Pressure on Solubility. (2013, November 24). Chemistry LibreTexts.
  6. Solubility – Wikipedia. (2015, April 22). Solubility – Wikipedia.
  8. H., Datta, B., & Pasha, M. A. (2013, December 16). Silica-ZnCl2: An Efficient Catalyst for the Synthesis of 4-Methylcoumarins. Silica-ZnCl2: An Efficient Catalyst for the Synthesis of 4-Methylcoumarins.
  9. Laboratory, F. P. (n.d.). Preservation of timber with zinc chloride by the steeping process | US Forest Service Research and Development. US Forest Service Research and Development.
  10. Wood Preservatives and Termite Attacks. (1944, July). Nature, 154(3896), 13–14.
  11. Kadam, A. A., Lade, H. S., Lee, D. S., & Govindwar, S. P. (2015, January). Zinc chloride as a coagulant for textile dyes and treatment of generated dye sludge under the solid state fermentation: Hybrid treatment strategy. Bioresource Technology, 176, 38–46.

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