Washing is almost always the act of taking an organic solvent layer (most likely the one that was obtained from the extraction of some previous aqueous solution) which usually contains product oil and mixing (washing) it with clean water then discarding the water. A solvent layer is often washed with a dilute acid or base salt solution to neutralize anything the solvent may have absorbed from previous extractions. These salt solution washings are then followed by clean water washings.

Since we're on the subject of clean water, this is as good a time as any to discuss what kind of water is used in all this chemistry. By clean water Strike means distilled water (dH20). All reactions are to use distilled water (dH20) only. All solutions and dilutions are to be made with dH20 as well. Distilled water sells for about $1 a gallon down at the supermarket. Tap water is an absolute no-no in chemistry except for cleaning the glassware.

Continue reading here: Drying

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