Chemistry in Everyday Life  

What is Chemistry in Everyday Life

Chemistry is everyday life is one of the easy chapters of chemistry. In this chapter, you will study the important drugs that we use in our daily life. There are various kinds of drugs that we use for therapeutic purposes like Zantac, brompheniramine, etc. Besides drugs, we also study food additives. Food additives are those substances that we add in our food for various purposes such as preservation and adding nutritive value. Another important aspect of this chapter is cleansing agents like soaps and detergents. For washing in normal water, we use soaps but these soaps do not work in hard water, thus we use detergents for washing in hard water. 

All these drugs, food additives and cleansing agents that we study in this chapter have various real-life applications on a daily basis.

  • For advanced diabetic patients, these people are not able to use the energy from the food and it was a very major problem. But insulin treatment solved this completely.

    Chemistry in Everyday Life Example

  • For artificial sweeteners, aspartame is one of the most common in use. It is used to control the calorific value but with a sweet taste. In many of the soft drinks like coca-cola, aspartame is used as an artificial sweetener.

    Chemistry in Everyday Life Examples


Important Topics- Chemistry in Everyday Life

  • Drugs and their classification
  • Drug-Target interaction
  • The therapeutic action of different classes of drugs
  • Chemicals in food
  • Cleansing agents


Notes for Chemistry in Everyday Life

In this section, you will study about the important topics of the chapter, overview, formulae and some important tips and guidelines for the preparation of the chapter at the best.


Overview of the Chapter

In this chapter, basically, you will study about three main topics in detail, i.e, drugs, food additives, and cleansing agents. Along with these insights, you will also get the proper tips and guidelines to prepare this chapter with perfection.

Drugs and their classification

Drugs are the chemicals that have the property of interacting with the macromolecular targets and thus produce some biological response. Drugs are classified mainly into the following categories:

  • On the basis of the pharmacological effect
  • On the basis of drug action
  • On the basis of chemical structure
  • On the basis of molecular targets

Drug-Target interaction

In the body, proteins act as enzymes in biological reactions and also act as receptors in the body's communication system. In biological reactions, proteins as enzymes facilitate the reaction of the substrate with the reagent. When the substrate comes closer to the enzyme then it binds to the enzyme and then with the help of reagent, chemical reaction happen and then the product is formed.

Drug-Target interaction 

Now, drugs inhibit this activity of the enzyme. Drugs itself bind to the active site of the enzyme and lock the space for the substrate to bind and thus the chemical reaction does not proceed. This inhibition by drugs is done two different ways:

(i) When the drug binds to the enzyme at the active site and thus no space available for the substrate and thus no chemical reaction proceeds.
(ii) When the drug binds to the enzyme at some different site also known as allosteric site, but due to this binding, the shape of the enzyme changes and thus substrate is not able to bind with the enzyme and thus no chemical reaction proceeds.

Therapeutic Action of Different Classes of Drugs
In this section, you will study, the various kinds of drugs and their therapeutic effect.

  • Antacids: Antacids are used for the treatment of acidity in the stomach. Traditionally, metal hydrogencarbonate and metal hydroxides were used for this treatment. Later on, a chemical was discovered known as histamine which was stimulating the secretion of pepsin and hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This was very helpful in the treatment of acidity and it was the largest selling drug in the world until a new drug was discovered 'Zantac'.
  • Antihistamines: Although histamine is used for the treatment of acidity but it has some allergic effects too, like it is responsible for widened of some vessels, nasal congestion, etc. Thus there are some synthetic drugs like brompheniramine and terfenadine which act as antihistamines. These drugs compete with histamines and reduce their activity.
  • Neurologically active drugs: These are those drugs that affect the message transfer between the nerve to the receptor. These drugs are of two types viz:
    (i) Tranquilizers
    (ii) Analgesics
  • Antimicrobials: Antimicrobials are the chemicals that prevent or inhibit the action of various pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, virus, etc. There are various kinds of antimicrobials available such as antibiotic, antiseptics, disinfectants.
    (i) Antibiotics
    (ii) Antiseptics
    (iii) Disinfectants
  • Antifertility drugs: Antifertility drugs were developed for the control of the population. These drugs contain the mixture of synthetic estrogen and progesterone. Norethindrone and ethynylestradiol are the two most widely used antifertility drugs.

Chemicals in food

There are some chemicals which are added to food for their preservation, colour and adding nutritive value. Some of the food additives are as follows:

  • Artificial sweetening agents: Artificial sweeteners are used in place of traditional sweeteners to provide control to calories but still have the sweet taste. Traditional sweeteners like sucrose are sweet in taste but they add to the calorific value which is not recommended especially for diabetic patients. Some majorly used artificial sweeteners are aspartame, alitame, saccharin, sucralose, etc.

  • Food preservatives: Food preservatives are those substances that are used for preserving the food from any kind of spoilage. Some of the most commonly used food preservatives include sodium benzoate, sugar, table salt, salts of propanoic acid, etc.

Cleansing agents

There are two types of detergents i.e, soaps and synthetic detergents which are used as cleansing agents. These cleansing agents are used to improve the cleansing properties of water.

  • Soaps: Soaps are basically the sodium and potassium salts of long-chain fatty acids. Soaps are formed by heating fat with aqueous sodium hydroxide solution, this process is known as saponification. Potassium soaps are softer to the skin than the sodium soaps.
    Soaps do not work in hard water because in hard water calcium and magnesium ions are present. These ions form insoluble scums in water and are useless for washing.

Types of soaps: Basically, all soaps are made by following the same procedure as already described but they differ in the kind of raw material used in their formation.

  • Synthetic detergents: Synthetic detergents are powerful detergents and have all the properties of soaps. These detergents can be used in soft water as well as in hard water. These detergents can be classified into three categories:

    (i) Anionic detergents: These detergents are the sodium salts of sulfonated long-chain alcohols. These long-chain alcohols are treated with concentrated sulphuric acid to form alkyl hydrogen sulfates. Now, these alkyl hydrogen sulfates are neutralized by treating with alkali and thus form anionic detergents.  
    \mathrm{CH_{3}(CH_{2})_{10}CH_{2}OH\, \overset{H_{2}SO_{4}}{\rightarrow}\, CH_{3}(CH_{2})_{10}CH_{2}OSO_{3}H\overset{NaOH(aq)}{\rightarrow}\, CH_{3}(CH_{2})_{10}CH_{2}OSO_{3}^{-}Na^{+}}

    (ii) Cationic detergents: These detergents are the quaternary ammonium salts of amines. In the molecules of these detergents, the cationic part has a long chain of hydrocarbon and a positive charge on the nitrogen atom. One of the important cationic detergents is cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. 

    (iii) Non-ionic detergents: These are the detergents that do not contain any kind of ion on them. These detergents are formed by the reaction of stearic acid with polyethylene glycol.
    \mathrm {CH_{3}(CH_{2})_{16}COOH\, +\, HO(CH_{2}CH_{2}O)_{n}CH_{2}CH_{2}OH\, \overset{-H_{2}O}{\rightarrow}\, CH_{3}(CH_{2})_{16}COO(CH_{2}CH_{2}O)_{n}CH_{2}CH_{2}OH}
    These detergents remove grease and oil by micelle formation.


How to prepare for this chapter?

  • This chapter is part of the organic chemistry and possesses a very little weightage of marks in boards exams and other competitive exams like JEE and NEET. It is completely theory-based. You are not supposed to memorize any formula. 
  • For preparing this chapter, you are not required to learn any pre-requisite chapter. 
  • You are just supposed to memorize only some names of the medicines and some artificial sweetening agents because direct questions will be asked in the examination based on their names.


Prescribed Books

For this chapter, first, the NCERT book is best for initial level preparation as well as for board exams. Now, after this, if you want to prepare for competitive exams like JEE and NEET, then these are the best books for you - Morrison and Boyd and O.P Tandon. Meanwhile, in the preparation, you must continuously give the mock tests for the depth of knowledge. Our platform will help you to provide with the variety of questions for deeper knowledge with the help of videos, articles and mock tests.


Chemistry Chapter- wise Notes for Engineering and Medical Exams

Chapters No.

Chapters Name

Chapter 1

Some basic concepts in chemistry

Chapter 2

States of matter

Chapter 3

Atomic Structure

Chapter 4


Chapter 5

Chemical Thermodynamics

Chapter 6


Chapter 7

Redox Reaction and Electrochemistry

Chapter 8

Chemical kinetics

Chapter 9

Surface Chemistry

Chapter 10

General Principle and processes of Isolation of metals

Chapter 11

Classification of Elements and Periodic table

Chapter 12 


Chapter 13

p- block Elements

Chapter 14 

s-block Elements (Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals)

Chapter 15 

Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure

Chapter 16


Chapter 17

Coordination Compounds

Chapter  18 

Environmental Chemistry

Chapter 19

Purification and Characterisation of Organic Compounds

Chapter 20

Some Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry

Chapter 21


Chapter 22

Organic Compounds containing Halogens

Chapter 23

Organic Compounds containing Oxygen

Chapter 24

Organic Compounds Containing Nitrogen

Chapter 25


Chapter 26


Chapter 28

Principles Related to Practical Chemistry

Topics from Chemistry in Everyday Life

  • Chemicals in medicines - Analgesics, tranquilizers, antiseptics, disinfectants, antimicrobials, antifertility drugs, antibiotics, antacids, antihistamins - their meaning and common examples. ( AEEE, JEE Main, KCET, TS EAMCET, MET, MHT-CET, AP EAMCET, AP EAMCET Pharmacy, TS EAMCET Pharmacy, GUJCET Pharmacy, KVPY SA, KVPY SB/SX ) (270 concepts)
  • Chemicals in food - Preservatives, artificial sweetening agents - common examples ( AEEE, JEE Main, KCET, TS EAMCET, MET, MHT-CET, AP EAMCET, AP EAMCET Pharmacy, TS EAMCET Pharmacy, GUJCET Pharmacy, KVPY SA, KVPY SB/SX ) (42 concepts)
  • Cleansing agents - Soaps and detergents, cleansing action ( AEEE, JEE Main, KCET, TS EAMCET, MET, MHT-CET, AP EAMCET, AP EAMCET Pharmacy, TS EAMCET Pharmacy, GUJCET Pharmacy, KVPY SA, KVPY SB/SX ) (72 concepts)
  • Analgesics, tranquilizers, antiseptics, disinfectants, antimicrobials ( AEEE, JEE Main, KCET, TS EAMCET, MET, MHT-CET, AP EAMCET, AP EAMCET Pharmacy, TS EAMCET Pharmacy, GUJCET Pharmacy, KVPY SA, KVPY SB/SX ) (1 concepts)

Important Books for Chemistry in Everyday Life

  • Chemistry in Everyday Life Book
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life Book