Aluminium acetate

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Chemical formula of aluminum acetate

Aluminium acetate or aluminium ethanoate[1] (also "aluminum ~"), sometimes abbreviated AlAc,[2] is a chemical compound, a salt which can be produced by the reaction of aluminum hydroxide and acetic acid. The molecular formula is C6H9AlO6, and the compound formula is Al(C2H3O2)3.

Three such salts exist:

  1. Neutral aluminium triacetate, Al(C2H3O2)3
  2. Basic aluminium diacetate, HOAl(C2H3O2)2
  3. Basic aluminium monoacetate, (HO)2AlC2H3O2


The triacetate forms when aluminum sulfate is mixed with barium acetate. Another synthetic method is by bringing together aluminum hydroxide, acetic anhydride and glacial acetic acid in water, forming the basic aluminum monoacetate

The diacetate is prepared in a reaction of sodium aluminate (NaAlO2) with acetic acid.

Medicinal use[edit]

The diacetate is used as an antiseptic and astringent. It is used topically as wet dressing, compress, or soak for self-medication to temporarily relieve itching and soothe, particularly on wet or weeping lesions. It relieves skin irritation from many causes, such as insect bites, athlete's foot, urushiol-induced contact dermatitis from plants poisonous to the touch such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac,[3] and skin irritation due to sensitivity to soaps, detergents, cosmetics, or jewellery. It is also used to relieve swelling from bruises. Preparations are also used topically for the relief of a variety skin conditions such as eczema, diaper rash, acne, and pruritus ani. It is typically used in the form of Burow's solution, 13% of AlAc in water. In the USA medications containing aluminum acetate are sold under the brand names Domeboro Powder, Gordon’s Boro-Packs, and Pedi-Boro Soak Paks.[4] It is sold in gel form under the name TriCalm.[5]

Acetic acid/aluminium acetate solution can be used medicinally to treat infections in the outer ear canal. This medication stops the growth of the bacteria and fungus and beneficially dries out the ear canal.[6] US preparations for this purpose include Domeboro Otic, Star-Otic, and Borofair.[7]


Further reading[edit]