30 Chemical Reactions of Daily Life

The chemical reactions We can find them in daily life in a general way. This is the answer that could give a chemist without error to exaggerate.

And is that someone anxious in this matter will try to see things from the molecular or atomic point of view, will try to see reactions everywhere and molecules constantly transmuting.

Crying when cutting onions is a chemical reaction

People versed in chemistry can not avoid seeing things from this point of view, just as a physicist could see things from a nuclear standpoint or a biologist from a cellular point of view.

To justify the comment, I give 30 examples of chemistry present in everyday life.

Chemical reactions that go unnoticed in the home, in the kitchen, in the garden, on the street or even inside our own body. I hope with this to give light to the usual and routine that is the chemistry in the day to day.

30 chemical reactions you see every day in your life

Chemistry in the kitchen

1- Solubility reactions : When salt is dissolved in water ionic bonds are broken causing a solvation of cations and anions.

NaCl → Na + + Cl -

Technically, a solution of sodium chloride in water is prepared.

2- Phase changes : When water is boiled while cooking or preparing coffee or tea, a phase change occurs between liquid water and gaseous water.

H 2 OR (L) → H 2 OR (G)

3- Combustion Reactions : Gas kitchens use propane to produce a flame.

C 3 H Referring to Fig. + 5O 2 → 3CO 2 + 4H 2 OR

4- Chlorine : The chlorine used as a detergent is actually sodium chlorite which is a reducing agent. The stains of the clothes are denominated chromophores and they possess insaturaciones. Chlorine attacks these unsaturations by removing color from stains. Technically it does not remove the stain but it makes it invisible.

5- The soap : Soaps and detergents possess a polar part, usually a carboxylic acid, attached to a non-polar aliphatic chain which gives it the ability to form micelles. These micelles have the ability to surround dirt so it can be removed from clothing, dishes and our bodies.

30 Chemical Reactions of Daily Life Figure 1: image of a micelle. The polar part is solvated by water whereas the non-polar forms hydrophobic interactions with each other that are capable of dissolving greases.

6- Sodium bicarbonate : It is a weak base that upon reacting with acid like vinegar or water (which is slightly acidic) releases carbon dioxide.

NaHCO 3 + CH 3 COOH → CH 3 COONa + H 2 O + CO 2

This compound is the active ingredient of many antacids (C., 2015).

7- Medium term : The kitchen is a chemical change that alters the food to make them more tasty, kill the dangerous microorganisms and make them more digestible.

The heat of cooking can denature proteins, promote chemical reactions among ingredients, caramelize sugars, etc. (Helmenstine A. M., 10 Examples of Chemical Reactions in Everyday Life, 2017).

8- Artificial flavor and color : Many processed foods have chemicals that give it a specific flavor or color and help preserve it.

9- Cry for the onion : The onion contains molecules of amino acids sulfoxides. By cutting off the onion, the cell walls break free of these sulfoxides along with enzymes that degrade them to sulfenic acids, an organosulfuric compound of the formula R-SOH that is irritating to the eyes (Reactions, 2016).

Chemistry at Home

10- Batteries : Use electrodeochemical or redox reactions to convert chemical energy into electrical energy. Spontaneous redox reactions occur in galvanic cells, while non-spontaneous chemical reactions occur in electrolytic cells (Helmenstine, 2017).

11- LCD screens : LCD TVs contain molecules of helical crystals that have the property of orienting themselves according to an electrical signal and by making them change the tone or color provided by a LED bulb. Each molecule of glass represents a pixel on the television, the more molecules, the greater the resolution.

12- Old books that smell good : The decomposition of the cellulose of the paper of the books, gives that yellow color to the leaves and a smell of vanilla. If you have old books that smell good in your library it is due to lignin or vanillin molecules in it.

Medications and drugs : Some drugs are molecules that partially block the hormonal activity produced by a given stimulus (for example, stress medications or antiepileptics) while others are enzyme inhibitors such as analgesics.

30 Chemical Reactions of Daily Life 1

14- Shampoo : Like detergents and soaps, shampoos remove grease from the scalp forming micelles. The ingredient that is responsible for this, usually are sulfates such as dodecylsulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate or ammonium.

15- Deodorants and antiperspirants : The bad smell of the armpits, feet and breath is produced by bacteria that feed on the proteins and fats in the sweat that secrete the apocrine glands.

Deodorants have a chemical called triclosan which is a powerful antibacterial and fungicide. On the other hand antiperspirants have aluminum salts that get into the pores and prevent sweating.

16- Cosmetics and make-up : Are chemicals and pigments that stick to the skin. They are usually non-polar compounds such as waxes and oils.

Chemistry in the garden

17- Photosynthesis : Is the process by which green plants make their own food. This occurs in the presence of sunlight and other raw materials, namely carbon dioxide and water. The chlorophyll pigment collects light energy from sunlight, which is converted into glucose (Crystal, 2017).

6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + hν → C 6 H 12 OR 6 + 6O 2

18- Oxidation Reactions : An oxide coating is often noticed on unpainted iron surfaces which gradually leads to the disintegration of iron. This is a chemical phenomenon called oxidation.

In this case, iron is combined with oxygen in the presence of water resulting in the formation of iron oxides (Chemical Reactions in Everyday Life, 2016).

Fe + O 2 + H 2 O → Faith 2 OR 3 . XH 2 OR

19- Organic decomposition : The decomposition of organic food or even living things are oxidation reactions produced by bacteria that degrade biochemical macromolecules in simple molecules such as nitrites, nitrates, CO 2 And water (Helmenstine, Chemical Change Examples, 2017).

One of the methods of preserving food is through freezing

20- Fertilizers : Potassium, nitrates, phosphates and sulfates are used in soil to provide nutrients to plants and are able to grow.

21- Pesticides : Are chemicals used to fumigate crops or gardens. They are usually neurotoxins that affect bacteria or insects that consume the crops.

Chemistry on the street

22- Gasoline combustion : Cars use gasoline as fuel through controlled explosions that move the pistons of the engines.

23- Smoke from cars : It produces free radicals that are very reactive compounds and attack the skin or hair making them dry and brittle without mentioning that they are carcinogenic.

24- Acid Rain : The excess of sulfur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere produced by factories and automobiles dissolves in the water of the clouds producing sulfuric, sulfuric and nitric acid which precipitates in the form of acid rain.

30 Chemical Reactions of Daily Life

25- Buildings : Cement and other materials used in the construction of houses such as paints, plaster and many others are the products of chemistry. In particular, the cement is made of calcium hydroxide molecules, also called quicklime.

Chemistry in your body

26- Digestion of food : Digestion is based on chemical reactions between food and acids and enzymes to break down molecules into nutrients that the body can absorb and use.

27- Aerobic respiration : The main process that produces energy in the body is aerobic glycolysis. Here, respiration helps break down glucose (a source of energy) into water, carbon dioxide, and energy in the form of ATP. C 6 H 12 OR 6 + 6O 2 → 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + Energy (36 ATPs)

28- Anaerobic Respiration : Due to overexertion, sometimes our body cells run out of oxygen and breathe anaerobically. This causes the synthesis of lactic acid. Anaerobic respiration is seen in some bacteria, yeasts and other organisms. The equation of anaerobic respiration is:

C 6 H 12 OR 6 → 2C 3 H 6 OR 3 + Power (2ATP)

29- Muscular movement : The tension or relaxation of the muscles is due to the conformational changes of skeletal muscle proteins. These changes take place thanks to the phosphocreatine that when losing a phosphate releases energy for the process.

30 Chemical Reactions of Daily Living 2

30- Thought : It is a complex biochemical process where difference of ionic potential create the electrical impulses of the neurons (Ali, 2013).


  1. Ali, A. (2013, April 20). Chemical reaction in our daily life . Recovered from meritnation: meritnation.com.
  2. , G. (2015, December 27). What are some examples of chemical reactions in everyday life? Retrieved from socratic.org.
  3. Chemical Reactions in Everyday Life . (2016, August 3). Recovered from buzzle.com.
  4. Crystal, M. (2017, April 25). How Are Oxidation-Reduction Reactions Used in Everyday Life? Retrieved from sciencing.com.
  5. Helmenstine, A. (2015, August 15). What Are Some Examples of Chemistry in Daily Life? Retrieved from sciencenotes.org.
  6. Helmenstine, A. M. (2017, March 28). 10 Examples of Chemical Reactions in Everyday Life . Retrieved from thoughtco.com.
  7. Helmenstine, A. M. (2017, March 29). Chemical Change Examples . Retrieved from thoughtco.com.
  8. Reactions. (2016, June 7). Why Do Onions Make You Cry? . Retrieved from youtube.com.

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