INSTRUCTOR: When an ionic substance, such as sodium chloride, is placed in water, water molecules interact with the ions on the surface. If the salt is soluble, the attractive interactions with water molecules overcome the ionic attractions within the lattice. The solvated ions move off the surface and become separated in solution. Notice that water molecules cluster about the anions with the hydrogens directed toward the negatively charged ion. On the other hand, water molecules interact with the positively charged cations through the lone pairs of electrons on the oxygens.