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Can Salt Water Conduct Electricity?

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Do you ever get tired of getting your water bottle mixed up with everyone else’s in the kitchen? I do too. In order to prevent this from happening most people like to spend money/ pay somebody else to personalize their water bottle. Well, instead I decided to try to personalizing my own by etching to see if it will come out the same way a professional etcher would do it.

Etching is a print produced by the process of etching. For my first trial process of etching, I used alligator clips, a Q-tip, salt water, a 9v battery, alcohol, electric tape, pen/pencil, clear nail polish, and my artistic ability to carve initials into my metal water bottle. To help the process go smoother, I made sure I wiped my water bottle down with the alcohol. I also made sure my other items such as my battery and alligator clips were working properly. I also went ahead and mixed the salt and water. I used one tablespoon of salt per cup of water. I find that warm water makes the salt dissipate faster.

Using my artistic abilities, I cut a square shaped piece of electric tape, and place it around the area I will be etching. Next, I used an Exacto knife to cut out the shape of the letter I want to be etched into my bottle. Then, I used my clear nail polish to paint over where I planned on etching. This takes time because I had to make sure all the little pieces of polish were out of the grooves I created.

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Next, I set up my etching device. First I took the red clip and attached it to the positive part of the battery. Then I took the other in and put it around the opening part of my metal water bottle. Then attach the green clip to the negative part of the battery. Next, I dipped a Q-Tip into the water making sure it’s wet enough but not to the point where it is dripping wet. Then I attached the remaining end of the alligator clip to the Q- tip head. You don’t need it on the very end, but it needs to be touching the wet part of the Q- tip.

Last but not least, etching. I placed the Q- tip’s head on the part of the water bottle I had set up for etching and start to move the Q-tip slowly over the part you had cut out to be etched. While etching, I noticed a small cloud of white smoke and an odd odor. For safety reasons, I did not breathe this air in. The head of my Q- tip started to change colors as I etched. I figured that this color change must be caused by the Q- tip picking up the metal from the bottle. Since the head of this Q-tip was getting dirty. I removed the clip from the Q-tip, dipped the other end in water, and attached it to the other head of the Q- tip.

My first etch into the water bottle did not come out successful. I repeated the same process over, except this time I didn’t clean the tools with alcohol or use warm water to dissipate the salt faster, and I repeated it on the other side of the metal bottle. As I repeated the same process over in the same order, nothing changed.

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Can Salt Water Conduct Electricity? (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from
“Can Salt Water Conduct Electricity?” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Can Salt Water Conduct Electricity? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Dec. 2022].
Can Salt Water Conduct Electricity? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from:
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