Also known as zinc dichloride or zinc (II) chloride, this chemical compound appears in nine different forms, all of them crystalline and either colorless or white. Its appearance in nature is very rare.
Zinc chloride has a simple molecular formula consisting of a single zinc atom in an ionic bond with two chlorine atoms. However, this apparently simple arrangement can manifest various symmetries, such as tetragonal, monoclinic and orthorhombic forms.
This compound is excellent for attacking most metal oxides. Therefore, it is used to clean metal surfaces. Mouthwash companies also make use of this substance as an active ingredient. However, it is corrosive and should only be used when it is possible to clean it off completely.
Since this compound is an irritant on the skin and in the human respiratory system, users must take great care with it. It acts as an acid in concentrated form.