Dimethyl sulfoxide

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A dense, odorless, colorless liquid used as a solvent and a methylating agent. Dimethyl sulfoxide is obtained as a byproduct from the sulfite pulping paper making procedure. DMSO is used in paint and varnish removers. It is also used in the production of acrylonitrile fibers.



Chemical structure

Dimethyl sulfoxide.jpg

Synonyms and Related Terms

DMSO; dimethylsulfoxide; methylsulfoxide; sulfinylbismethane


  • Combustible. Flash point= 89C (192F)
  • Vapors and liquid may be absorbed through the skin causing irritation.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, benzene, acetone, chloroform.

Composition (CH3)2SO
CAS 67-68-5
Melting Point 18.5 C
Density 1.092 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 78.13
Refractive Index 1.476
Boiling Point 188 C


Properties of Common Solvents

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.476