Why does floor paste wax dissolve dried spray adhesive like Super 77 but solvents like MEK, Acetone and Denatured Alcohol have little to no effect?


Looking for some basic explanation or chemistry here. MEK usually eats all gooey stuff but dried spray adhesive it will not. Floor paste wax eats the spray adhesive like no buddies business/little effort. How is this possible?

In: 6

Wax is nonpolar. All the other solvents you listed have varying degrees of polarity – the alcohols being the most polar, followed by acetone, then methyl ethyl ketone. When it comes to dissolution, the rule is “like dissolves like” – the solvent with the most similar polarity to the solute dissolves it the easiest. Since the dried spray adhesive is likely nonpolar, wax is the best solvent in this scenario. For the record, cooking oil would probably work too.

Chemysterymajor’s answer is correct and well-put, it’s all about polarity of the molecules involved.

I just want to say “no buddies business” is possibly the best and most wholesome /r/BoneAppleTea moment I’ve ever seen. The phrase is ” like nobody’s business”.