|Solvent||the liquid in which a solute dissolves||the water in sea water|
|Solute||the substance that dissolves in a liquid to form a solution||the salt in sea water|
|Solution||is the mixture formed when a solute has dissolved in a solvent||sea water|
|Soluble||describes a substance that will dissolve||salt is soluble in water|
|Insoluble||describes a substance that will not dissolve||sand is insoluble in water|
Water is a very important solvent but it's not the only one. Acetone is used to remove nail polish, turpentine to dissolve oil paints and good perfumes are solutions of the fragrance dissolved in ethanol. Dry cleaning fluid is an organic solvent used to clean clothes which would be damaged by detergent and water.
The molecules of a stain are similar to each other. They cling together (by intermolecular forces) and so they're difficult to remove. A dry cleaning fluid consists of molecules similar to the stain molecules so the intermolecular forces between stain and solvent are similar to those between stain and stain. This enables the stain molecules to separate from each other and dissolve in the solvent. They can then be carried away.
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