Predicting Solubility of Ionic Compounds in Water

Solubility is difficult to predict with confidence. The most reliable way to obtain a substances solubility is to look it up on a table of physical properties in a reference book. When that is not possible, you can use the following guidelines for predicting whether some substances are soluble or insoluble in water. They are summarized in the table below .

Category Ions Except with these ions Examples
Soluble cations Group 1 metallic ions
and ammonium, NH4+
No exceptions Na2CO3, LiOH, and (NH4)2S are soluble.
Soluble anions NO3- and C2H3O2- No exceptions Bi(NO3)3, and Co(C2H3O2)2 are soluble.
Usually soluble anions

Cl-, Br-, and I-


Soluble with some exceptions, including with Ag+ and Pb2+ CuCl2 is water soluble,
but AgCl is insoluble.
  SO42- Soluble with some exceptions, including with Ba2+ and Pb2+ FeSO4 is water soluble,
but BaSO4 is insoluble.
Usually insoluble anions CO32-, PO43-, and OH- Insoluble with some exceptions, including with group 1 elements and NH4+ CaCO3, Ca3(PO4)2, and Mn(OH)2 are insoluble in water, but (NH4)2CO3, Li3PO4, and CsOH are soluble.