Where to find Household Chemicals

backyardchem Aug 12, 2007 Hobbies
This tutorial will give you all the sources I know of for household chemicals in the United States. This excludes chemical suppliers and ebay. A good majority of these household items are impure sources of chemicals, so in order to obtain just the desired chemical you will have to do some separation.

Note: Neither I nor this site is responsible for anything dangerous you do with these chemicals. Also, these are just the chemicals that I know off and can personally confirm buying/seeing in stores. Everything here is from first hand experience. That being said, you may be able to find more or less chemicals than me depending on how hard you look and where in the U.S. you live.

 

Acetic acid- vinegar

 

Acetone- certain nail polish removes; hardware stores as all-purpose solvent

 

Aluminum- aluminum foil, pipes, soda cans, etc.

Powdered aluminum can be found inside an etch-a-sketch and in some metallic paints.

 

Aluminum sulfate- sold in gardening stores

 

Ammonium nitrate- in certain "instant" cold packs

 

Ammonium phosphate- sold in gardening stores as a fertilizer

 

Ammonium sulfate- sold in gardening stores as a fertilizer

 

Argon- industrial gas supply shop

 

Aqueous ammonia- household ammonia in grocery stores; industrial janitorial versions are more concentrated

 

Bismuth- use in lead free hunting shot or fishing weights

 

Benzoyl peroxide- in acne creams

 

Boric acid- solid sold as insect repellant in hardware stores; very dilute solutions sold as eye wash

 

Butane- camping fuel

 

Cadmium- inside Ni-Cd batteries 

 

Calcium Carbonate- chalk, eggshels

 

Calcium Chloride- sold for use in pools and humidifiers

 

Calcium Hydroxide- sold as slaked lime in gardening stores

 

Calcium Hypochlorite- sold for use in pools

 

Calcium Sulfate- plaster of paris; gypsum for gardening

 

Carbon- BBQ briquettes, graphite rods in batteries, pencil lead, activated charcoal at aquarium stores, charcoal for drawing at art stores

 

Carbon Dioxide- dry ice at grocery stores

 

Copper- wire, pipes

 

Copper sulfate- sold in some hardware stores as a root killer

 

Cyclohexanone- in PVC primer

 

1,4-Dichlorobenzene- in some mothballs

 

Ethanol- wine, vodka, denatured ethanol

 

Ethyl acetate- some nail polish removers

 

Ethylene glycol- most anti-freezes

 

Gold- jewlery

 

Glycerine- pharmacies

 

Hydrochloric acid- sold as muriatic acid at hardware stores

 

Hydrogen peroxide- 3% solutions for medicinal purposes

 

Iodine- tincture of iodine for medicinal purposes

 

Iron- anything steel

 

Iron(III) chloride- solutions of it are sold in electronic stores as PCB etchant

 

Iron(II) sulfate- sold as a fertilizer in gardening stores

 

Lead- lead solder; lead shot for hunting; lead weights for fishing

 

Lithium- lithium batteries

 

Magnesium- firestarters at camping stores

 

Magnesium citrate- solutions of it are in some grocery stores

 

Magnesium hydroxide- milk of magnesia at grocery stores

 

Magnesium sulfate- Epsom salts at grocery stores

 

Manganese(IV) oxide- alkaline batteries

 

Mercury- thermometers, barometers, etc.

 

Methane- natural gas

 

Methanol- some anti-freezes

 

Methyl ethyl ketone- sold in hardware stores as a general solvent

 

Naphthalene- in some mothballs

 

Neodymium- neodymium-iron-boron magnets found in hard drives

 

Nickel- some coins; Ni-Cd batteries

 

Nitrocellulose- ping-pong balls

 

Nitrogen- liquid nitrogen at industrial air supply shops

 

Nitrous oxide- whipped cream containers

 

Oxalic acid- sold as wood bleach for decks in hardware stores; in some stain removers

 

Oxygen- industrial air supply shops

 

Platinum- jewlery; some esoteric old razor heads; in a powdered form pasted on a ceramic substrate in catalytic converters in automobiles

 

Potassium chloride- sold as salt subtitute at grocery stores

 

Potassium nitrate- sold as stump remover at some gardening stores

 

Propane- fuel sold in grocery and camping stores

 

Propan-2-ol- sold as isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol in grocery stores

 

Propylene glycol- some anti-freezes

  

Silicon dioxide- sand, quartz

 

Silver- some old coins, silver solder, jewlery

 

Sodium borate- borax in grocery stores

 

Sodium bicarbonate- baking soda 

 

Sodium bisulfate- sold as pool chemical

 

Sodium carbonate- sold as a pool chemical

 

Sodium chloride- table salt

 

Sodim hydroxide- sold in some drain cleaners

 

Sodium hypochlorite- bleach

 

Sodium percarbonate- OxyClean in grocery stores

 

Sodium phosphate- sold as TSP in most hardware stores

  

Strontium nitrate- in red road flares

 

Sucrose- table sugar

 

Sulfamic acid- used in some toliet bowl cleaners

 

Sulfur- sold as powder at gardening stores to prevent insects from eating plants

 

Sulfuric acid- some drain cleaners (concentrated), battery acid (dilute), some pool chemicals (even more dilute)

 

Tin- lead solder

 

Toluene- in some hardware stores as a solvent; also sold in some hobby shops for removing glue

 

Tungsten- light bulb filaments

 

Water- duh

 

Xylenes- in hardware stores as a solvent

 

Zinc- inside of pennies; alkaline batteries

 

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