How To Prepare a Solution

Basic Chemistry Stock Solution Preparation

Male scientist holding up and looking at flask in lab
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These are the steps to follow to prepare a chemical solution. Basically, this involves dissolving the solute in a smaller amount of solvent than your final volume and then diluting it to reach the final volume. For example, if you are preparing a liter of solution, you might dissolve the solute in about 800 milliliters of solvent and then add more solvent to reach 1 liter total volume.

Some solutes dissolve readily in solvent, but if you have to heat or stir the mixture to form the solution, it's a good idea to start making the solution in a sturdy piece of glassware.

You can transfer it to a volumetric flask or beaker (depending on how exact you need to be) after the solute is in solution. If you do transfer the solution, rinse the initial glassware with your solvent and add this rinse liquid to the final container. That way, you won't accidentally dilute the solution by losing solute.

  1. Calculate how much solute and solvent you need.
  2. Dissolve the solute in some solvent. If necessary, adjust the pH.
  3. Dilute the solution to its final volume.

Learn More

How To Make a Saturated Solution
How To Make a Dilution from a Stock Solution
How To Calculate Concentration