Water is commonly referred to as the universal solvent, but what does that mean?
A solution is formed when one substance dissolves in another. Solvents dissolve other substances, solutes dissolve in a solvent. Use this animation to review this important vocabulary, Solutes, Solvents, and Solutions.
Generally, solvents dissolve similar things. Or like dissolves like. For example polar solvents dissolve polar solutes, and nonpolar solvents dissolve nonpolar solutes.