Acetone, also known as propanone, is a colourless, highly volatile, and flammable organic compound with the chemical formula C3H6O. It is one of the simplest and most commonly used ketones. Acetone is characterised by its distinctive sweet odour and is miscible with water, alcohol, and most organic solvents.

Chemical Structure

Acetone Chemical Structure


Acetone exhibits several important properties:

Physical State: Acetone is a liquid at room temperature.
Melting Point: -95.3°C
Boiling Point: 56.05°C
Density: 0.7845 g/cm³ at 20°C
Solubility: Highly soluble in water and many organic solvents.

Flammability: Acetone is highly flammable, and its vapour can ignite easily.

Uses at Home


Nail Polish Remover

One of the most common household uses of acetone is as a nail polish remover. Its ability to dissolve nail polish quickly and effectively makes it a popular choice in the beauty industry.

Paint Thinner

Acetone can also serve as a paint thinner or solvent for removing paint and varnish. It is particularly useful for cleaning brushes and other painting equipment.

In households, acetone is sometimes used as a cleaning agent for removing stubborn stains or adhesives from various surfaces. However, it should be used with caution as it can damage certain materials.

Adhesive Remover

Acetone is effective at dissolving adhesive residues left behind by stickers, tapes, or labels, making it useful for removing sticky residues from surfaces.

Where to buy?


Labtech Service & Supplies
97 Fairey Rd
South Windsor, NSW, 2756

Tel: 02 8064 2333



Chemical Manufacturing

Acetone is a vital raw material in the production of numerous chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It serves as a solvent in the synthesis of various compounds, including pharmaceutical drugs, plastics, and rubber.


In industrial applications, acetone is a widely used solvent due to its ability to dissolve a broad range of substances. It is utilised in the formulation of paints, coatings, and lacquers. Additionally, it plays a critical role in the extraction processes of fats, oils, and other organic compounds.

Production of Plastics

One of the major industrial uses of acetone is in the production of plastics, particularly polystyrene and acrylic plastics. It acts as a solvent in the polymerisation process and contributes to the creation of lightweight and durable materials.

Explosives Manufacturing

Acetone is an essential component in the production of explosives, such as nitrocellulose-based explosives. Its volatility and ability to dissolve nitrocellulose make it indispensable in the explosives industry.

Safety Considerations

While acetone has numerous valuable uses, it is essential to handle it with care due to its flammable nature. When using acetone, it is advisable to do so in a well-ventilated area, away from open flames or sparks. Protective measures such as gloves and safety goggles should be worn to prevent skin and eye contact. Moreover, it should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from incompatible substances.



1. Riedel, E. (2003). Organic Chemistry (Vol. 1). John Wiley & Sons.
2. Shinkai, S. (1997). Supramolecular Chemistry—Fundamentals and Applications. Springer.
3. “Acetone.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from
4. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. (2005). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

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