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Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances, which is why it is called the "universal solvent" , also it it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. This is important to every living thing on earth. It means that wherever water goes, either through the air, the ground, or through our bodies, it takes along valuable chemicals, minerals, and nutrients.

This has to do with the polarity each water molecule. The hydrogen side of each water (H2O) molecule carries a slight positive electric charge, while the oxygen side carries a slight negative electric charge. This helps water dissociate ionic compounds into their positive and negative ions. The positive part of an ionic compound is attracted to the oxygen side of water while the negative portion of the compound is attracted to the hydrogen side of water.

Despite its name as the "universal solvent" there are many compounds water won't dissolve or won't dissolve well. For example, most of the hydroxide exhibit low solubility in water. Also, nonpolar molecules don't dissolve very well in water, including many organic compounds, such as fats and waxes

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