Difference Wiki

Melting vs. Dissolving: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on November 23, 2023
Melting is the process of a solid turning into a liquid due to heat, while dissolving is a process where a substance becomes incorporated into a liquid to form a solution.

Key Differences

Melting is a physical change where a solid becomes a liquid due to heat application, as seen when ice turns into water. Dissolving, on the other hand, involves a solute (like salt) becoming incorporated into a solvent (like water), creating a solution without a change in physical state. While melting requires heat to break the bonds holding the solid structure, dissolving involves the interaction of the solute and solvent at a molecular level, creating a homogeneous mixture.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
In melting, the primary interaction is between the molecules of the substance itself, where added energy (heat) weakens the bonds, leading to a change in state. Dissolving, however, involves interactions between two different substances – the solute and the solvent. This process can either absorb or release energy, depending on the nature of the substances involved. In melting, the identity of the substance remains unchanged, whereas dissolving leads to a mixture where the original form of the solute is no longer visible.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
Melting is generally a reversible process, as the substance can return to its solid state upon cooling, like melted wax solidifying again. Dissolving can be reversible or irreversible, depending on the solute-solvent combination. For instance, salt can be recovered from saltwater through evaporation, but not all dissolved substances can be easily separated from their solvents. Both processes, however, do not lead to new substances; they merely change the form or dispersion of the original materials.
Huma Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
Melting is a critical process in industries like metallurgy and chocolate production, where controlling the melting point is crucial for product quality. Dissolving is equally significant in fields like pharmaceuticals, where the dissolution of drugs into bodily fluids affects their efficacy. In daily life, melting is observed in cooking, like butter on a hot pan, and dissolving is seen when making coffee or tea. Both processes are integral to various scientific, industrial, and everyday activities, each with its unique set of principles and applications.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023
Melting involves a phase change from solid to liquid, a transition that occurs at a specific temperature for pure substances, known as the melting point. Dissolving, however, does not entail a phase change; instead, it involves the dispersion of one substance within another, often leading to the creation of a solution. The process of melting is solely dependent on the nature of the substance and external temperature, whereas dissolving also depends on the properties of both the solute and the solvent, such as polarity and temperature.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Phase Change

Solid to liquid
Solid, liquid, or gas into another liquid
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Key Factor

Heat, reaching melting point
Interaction between solute and solvent molecules
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Change in Composition

No chemical change, retains composition
Composition changes, forming a solution
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Reversibility

Generally reversible (freezing)
Can be reversible or irreversible
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Physical/Chemical Change

Physical change only
Physical change, formation of a homogeneous mixture
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023
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Melting and Dissolving Definitions

Melting

Melting is the process of a solid turning into a liquid.
Ice cream left outside on a hot day began melting quickly.
Sara Rehman
Nov 17, 2023

Dissolving

Dissolving is the process of a substance becoming incorporated into a liquid.
Sugar cubes started dissolving as soon as they hit the water.
Huma Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Melting

In melting, intermolecular bonds in a solid weaken, causing a phase change.
The melting of glaciers is a concern in global warming studies.
Harlon Moss
Nov 17, 2023

Dissolving

Dissolving can create a homogeneous solution.
Dissolving dye in water resulted in a uniform color solution.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Melting

Melting occurs when a substance reaches its melting point.
The melting point of ice is 0°C or 32°F.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Dissolving

Dissolving is often a reversible physical process.
After dissolving, the substance can often be recovered through evaporation.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Melting

Melting is a physical change from a rigid structure to a fluid form.
Chocolate bars began melting in the summer heat.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Dissolving

In dissolving, the solute breaks into ions or molecules in the solvent.
The tablet began dissolving, dispersing medicine in the water.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Melting

Melting involves absorbing heat by a solid.
The metal started melting in the furnace.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Dissolving

Dissolving involves the dispersion of a solute in a solvent.
Salt dissolving in water is a common example used in chemistry.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Melting

To be changed from a solid to a liquid state especially by the application of heat.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Dissolving

To cause to pass into solution
Dissolve salt in water.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Melting

To dissolve
Sugar melts in water.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Dissolving

To reduce (solid matter) to liquid form; melt.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Melting

To disappear or vanish gradually as if by dissolving
The crowd melted away after the rally.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

FAQs

Is melting a chemical change?

No, melting is a physical change.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What factors affect dissolving?

Temperature, solvent type, and stirring can affect the dissolving process.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Can dissolving be a chemical change?

Dissolving is usually a physical change, but it can be chemical in some reactions.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

How is saturation related to dissolving?

Saturation occurs when a solvent can no longer dissolve more of a solute.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

What is a solute in dissolving?

A solute is the substance that dissolves in a solvent to form a solution.
Huma Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Is melting reversible?

Yes, by freezing, the process can be reversed.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What is the melting point?

The melting point is the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can all solids melt?

Most solids can melt, but some may decompose before melting.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Does pressure affect melting?

Yes, pressure can influence the melting point of substances.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

What is sublimation in the context of melting?

Sublimation is when a solid turns directly into a gas without becoming a liquid.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Can dissolving be endothermic?

Yes, some dissolving processes absorb heat, making them endothermic.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What is an example of melting in daily life?

Ice melting into water is a common example.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What is a universal solvent in dissolving?

Water is often called a universal solvent due to its ability to dissolve many substances.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

What is a supersaturated solution?

A supersaturated solution contains more dissolved solute than it would under normal circumstances.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

How does melting relate to the state of matter?

Melting transitions a substance from solid to liquid state.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What is an immiscible solution in dissolving?

In an immiscible solution, the solute and solvent do not form a homogeneous mixture.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

How does temperature affect dissolving speed?

Generally, higher temperatures increase the rate of dissolving.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

Is there a limit to how much a solvent can dissolve?

Yes, once the saturation point is reached, no more solute can dissolve.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Do all substances have the same melting point?

No, different substances have different melting points.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Why do some substances not dissolve in water?

Some substances do not dissolve in water due to their molecular structure and polarity.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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