Science, Tech, Math › Science Solubility Rules for Inorganic Compounds Share Flipboard Email Print Portra / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Updated January 30, 2019 These are the general solubility rules for inorganic compounds, primarily inorganic salts. Use the solubility rules to determine whether a compound will dissolve or precipitate in water. Generally Soluble Inorganic Compounds Ammonium (NH4+), potassium (K+), sodium (Na+) : All ammonium, potassium and sodium salts are soluble. Exceptions: some transition metal compounds.Bromides (Br–), chlorides (Cl–) and iodides (I–): Most bromides are soluble. Exceptions: salts containing silver, lead, and mercury.Acetates (C2H3O2–): All acetates are soluble. Exception: silver acetate is only moderately soluble.Nitrates (NO3–): All nitrates are soluble.Sulfates (SO42–): All sulfates are soluble except barium and lead. Silver, mercury(I), and calcium sulfates are slightly soluble. Hydrogen sulfates (HSO4–) (the bisulfates) are more soluble than the other sulfates. Generally Insoluble Inorganic Compounds Carbonates (CO32–), chromates (CrO42–), phosphates (PO43–), silicates (SiO42–): All carbonates, chromates, phosphates, and silicates are insoluble. Exceptions: those of ammonium, potassium and sodium. An exception to the exceptions is MgCrO4, which is soluble.Hydroxides (OH–): All hydroxides (except ammonium, lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium, rubidium) are insoluble. Ba(OH)2, Ca(OH)2 and Sr(OH)2 are slightly soluble.Silver (Ag+): All silver salts are insoluble. Exceptions: AgNO3 and AgClO4. AgC2H3O2 and Ag2SO4 are moderately soluble.Sulfides (S2–): All sulfides (except sodium, potassium, ammonium, magnesium, calcium, and barium) are insoluble.Aluminum sulfides and chromium sulfides are hydrolyzed and precipitate as hydroxides. Table of Ionic Compound Solubility in Water at 25°C Remember, solubility depends on the temperature of the water. Compounds that don't dissolve around room temperature may become more soluble in warm water. When using the table, refer to the soluble compounds first. For example, sodium carbonate is soluble because all sodium compounds are soluble, even though most carbonates are insoluble. Soluble Compounds Exceptions (are insoluble) Alkali metal compounds (Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+) ammonium ion compounds (NH4+ Nitrates (NO3-), bicarbonates (HCO3-), chlorates (ClO3-) Halides (Cl-, Br-, I-) Halides of Ag+, Hg22+, Pb2+ Sulfates (SO42-) Sulfates of Ag+, Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+, Hg22+, Pb2+ Insoluble Compounds Exceptions (are soluble) Carbonates (CO32-), phosphates (PO42-), chromates (CrO42-), sulfides (S2-) Alkali metal compounds and those containing the ammonium ion Hydroxides (OH-) Alkali metal compounds and those containing Ba2+ As a final tip, remember solubility is not all-or-none. While some compounds completely dissolve in water and some are almost completely insoluble, many "insoluble" compounds are actually slightly soluble. If you get unexpected results in an experiment (or are looking for sources of error), remember a small amount of an insoluble compound may be participating in a chemical reaction. Continue Reading How to Balance Net Ionic Equations Ionic Solids in Water and Solubility Rules Predict Whether a Precipitate Will Form in a Chemical Reaction What Is a Net Ionic Equation? Review Your Chemistry Concepts What Is a Double Displacement Reaction? What Do You Need to Know About Inorganic Chemistry? An Introduction to Qualitative Analysis Double Replacement Reaction Definition and Examples What Is a Mineral Acid? Definition and List Review the Properties of the Element Barium Understand the Difference Between Organic and Inorganic What Is Soap Made of and How Does It Clean? Definition of Precipitation Reaction How Does Water Work as a Universal Solvent? What Is the Common-Ion Effect? Ever Wonder Why Soft Water Doesn't Rinse Off Soap as Well?