Dimethyl sulfoxide - C2H6OS

What is Dimethyl sulfoxide?

Dimethyl sulfoxide also known as DMSO is a colorless highly polar organic liquid with the chemical formula C2H6OS that was discovered in 1866. DMSO was first synthesized by Russian scientist Alexander Saytzeff in Kazan in central Russia. It has a high dielectric constant and therefore exhibits exceptional solvent properties for both organic and inorganic chemicals. It’s better stored in glass containers and protect from light and moisture because it is highly hygroscopic.

Other name – methylsulfinylmethane, methylthiomethane


Dimethyl sulfoxide


1.1 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

78.13 g/mol

Boiling Point

189 °C

Melting Point

19 °C

Chemical Formula


Dimethyl sulfoxide Structure

Physical Properties of Dimethyl sulfoxide – C2H6OS




Colorless liquid



Specific Gravity

1.101 at 20oC

Hydrogen Bond Acceptor



Miscible in organic solvents as well as water.

Chemical Properties of Dimethyl sulfoxide – C2H6OS

  • Dimethyl sulfoxide is readily reacts with hydrogen peroxide formning thioglycolic acid and water. The chemical reaction is as below.

C2H6OS + 2H2O2 → C2H4O2S + 3H2O

Uses of Dimethyl sulfoxide – C2H6OS

  • Used as a nonmedicinal Industrial solvent for resins, fungicides, dyes, pigments.
  • Used as reactant for chemical synthesis Antifreeze Hydraulic fluid, Paint remover, Medicinal Anti-inflammatory agent.
  • It was reported that DMSO penetrate through the skin and produce analgesia, decrease pain, and promote tissue healing.
  • DMSO is an abundant relatively cheap byproduct of the wood pulp industry with a primary use as an industrial solvent.