Solute vs Solvent: Solvent and Solute are parts of a solution. A matter that is dissolved in any solution or a mixture is known as solute. While on the other hand, a gas or liquid that dissolves another matter is called solvent.

Solute vs Solvent

These two terms are most commonly used in our daily life. Sometimes we get confused between them. In this article, you will get to know the definition and comparison with examples. So to learn the basic concepts read the article till the end.

Definition Of Solute

A substance that is dissolved in a solution is known as the solute. It can be solid, liquid or gas. However, mostly it is a solid compound.

Definition Of Solute

Although a smaller amount of solute as compared to solvent is added in the solution. But there lies a condition in the solution which is known as saturation. In this, the solvent is not able to dissolve the solute anymore.

Characteristics Of The Solute

  • Solute possess higher boiling points than solvent.
  • The solute can be solid, liquid or gas.
  • We can increase the solubility by increasing the surface area of the particles of the solute. In this method, the solid particles are broken into smaller pieces.
  • If the solute is gas then the solubility is affected by volume, pressure, and temperature.,


Example of a solute in a solution can be explained by considering a cup of tea.  Sugar and milk powder are dissolved in hot water. Here milk powder and sugar are solutes whereas hot water is the solvent.

Some other typical examples of solute are salt in seawater, sugar in water, and oxygen in the air.

Definition Of Solvent

A substance in which different matters or compounds are dissolved to make a solution is called solvent. Major portion of a solution consists of a solvent. Usually, solvents are liquids.

Definition Of Solvent

Characteristics Of The Solvent

  • The solvent has a low boiling point than solute and gets easily evaporate.
  • Solvent exists as liquid only however it can be solid or gaseous as well.
  • The commonly used solvents are called organic solvents because they contain the carbon element. While others are known as inorganic solvents.
  • Solvents have a characteristic color and odor.
  • Some of the most commonly used organic solvents are Acetone, alcohol, gasoline, benzene, and xylene. These solvents are of great importance in chemical industries.
  • Solvents are also used in order to regulate the temperature in a solution, to absorb the heat generated during some chemical reaction or to enhance the speed of the reaction with the solute.


Water is said to be the most common solvent in everyday life and is called a universal solvent. This is because it has the capability of dissolving substances in any form.

Solute Vs Solvent

Here is the comparison between solute and solvent in terms of meaning, boiling point, physical state, dependability.

Solute Vs Solvent


  • Solute: In a solution, thee substance that gets dissolved in the solvent is called the solute. It is present in a lesser amount than the solvent.
  • Solvent: The substance that dissolves the solute in it o a solution is called the solvent. It is present in a higher amount than the solvent.

Boiling Point

  • Solute: Boiling point of solute is higher than the solvent.
  • Solvent: Boiling point of solvent is lower than the solute.

Physical State

  • Solute: Present in solid, liquid or gaseous state.
  • Solvent: Mainly in the liquid state, but can be gaseous as well.


  • Solute: Solubility depends on the properties of the solute.
  • Solvent: Solubility depends on the properties of the solvent.

Solutes and solvents are the substances which are not only used in chemical laboratories, but they are part of the day to day life. A solution contains only two components, which are solute and solvent. The solvent dissolves a solute in a solution.

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