When nail polish is dissolved in acetone, which substance is the solute, and which is the solvent?

1 Answer
Mar 18, 2016


The acetone is the solvent, the solute is a mixture of various polymers and resins.


Nail polish commonly contains nitrocellulose as the polymer that forms the basic film that is coated onto the nail surface. This on its own is somewhat lacking in tack and flexibility, so an additive is used to ensure that it adheres to the nail surface. A common one would be tosylamide-formaldehyde resin. Both of these dissolve in the acetone, and would be considered solutes, the acetone is the solvent.