Acetone wash

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Acetone is a polar molecule. Lipids (like oils) are non-polar. That means fats dissolve in acetone. An acetone wash is used to remove fat soluble impurities from water-soluble substances. Often this results in a purified substance that is whiter and has less odor.




  • Acetone
  • Container: A sealed container that can withstand acetone. For example, a small cylindrical glass jar with silicone seal.
  • Something to soak up the lipid from the acetone wash with, examples:
    • Pipette.
    • Syringe and hypodermic needle.
    • Fold a toilet paper a few times, to make it joint shaped. Carefully dip an edge of the paper to soak the lipids.


  • Add the substance to the container.
  • Fill the container with 80% with acetone and shake it, wait 10 minutes for the acetone to dissolve the fat soluble particles. The substance will sedement in the acetone, and the lipids will float to the top of the jar.
  • Soak up the lipid (see equipment list).
  • If needed, repeat step 1 and 2 to get out the impure acetone that has been left in the substance during the first run.


  1. Shake the jar and pour the acetone/substance mixture in a large glass oven form. Add some isopropyl alcohol (smells less than acetone), or water (evaporates slowly), to the jar and shake it to rinse out the remaining residues. Repeat the procedure until the jar is completely empty.
  2. Let the solvents evaporate.
  3. Collect the substance. No scraper or razor blade is needed, since solvents doesn't stick them to the glass.