Deoxycholic acid

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A naturally, occurring bile acid. Deoxycholic acid has been used as a natural cleaner because it attaches readily to fatty acids, thereby increasing the solubility of many oils and greases in alcohol and Acetone.

Synonyms and Related Terms

desocholic acid; (3 alpha,5 beta,12 alpha)-3,12-dihydroxy-5-cholan-24-oic acid

Chemical structure

Deoxycholic acid.jpg


  • Harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in acetone, alcohols and alkalis. Partially soluble in chloroform and ether. Insoluble in water and benzene.

Composition C24H40O4
CAS 83-44-3
Melting Point 172-178 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 392.57

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 2946
  • Teri Hensick, contributed information, 1998
  • Gordon Hanlon, contributed information, 1998