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Around the home ...

Krystal at home There are lots of minerals around your home.

Look around your home. Minerals are used in lots of everyday objects in your house.

Here are just a few household items made from minerals - can you think of any others?

Scroll down and find out more about the minerals you can find around the home.


Light bulbs
A light bulb Where would we be without light bulbs? In the dark!
Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals. Light bulbs can get very hot, so tungsten is a good metal to use to make the filaments in light bulbs.

Wolframite and scheelite are the main ores of tungsten.

Think about the properties of tungsten:

You can see why use tungsten in light bulbs.
Learn more about the minerals of tungsten


Pens and paper
Note pad and pen Without minerals you could not put pen to paper.
The writing tips of pens are made with a strong metal called tungsten which comes from wolframite and scheelite ores.

Think about the properties of tungsten:

You can see why we make pen nibs from tungsten.

Paper is usually made of wood pulp mixed with minerals like clays, mica, talc and baryte.

Learn more about the minerals we use to make paper and pens


Paints and pencils Pencils and paint
Lead pencils do not contain lead. The 'lead' is made of a mixture of clay and a mineral called graphite - a form of carbon.

Think about the properties of graphite:

You can see why we make pencils from graphite.

Rutile and ilmenite are the main sources of titanium metal, which is used to make a white pigment in paints. Housepaint used to contain lead, but now we know it is poisonous titanium is used instead.

Learn more about the minerals we use to make pencils and paint


Film and batteries
Batteries and photographic film To take a photo, cameras have to have a film in them. Photographic films are coated with different mineral salts. Silver, argentite and other silver-bearing minerals are often used in photography.

Think about the properties of silver:

You can see why we use silver in photography.

Cameras also need batteries to work. Nickel is used in rechargeable batteries. Pyrrhotite, pentlandite and garnierite are the main ore minerals of nickel.

Learn more about the minerals we use to make film and batteries


Flower pots
Flower pots Clay minerals are used to make ceramic flower pots. You may have used clay at school to make a pot or bowl. When it is dried and fired in a kiln, clay produces hardwearing pots.

Think about the properties of clay:

You can see why we use clay to make pots.

You can use another mineral to pot up your favourite plant. Vermiculite is a mineral which expands when it is heated. It is used as an ingredient in potting mixes to improve drainage.

Learn more about the minerals we use to make cans and tins


Find out about the minerals we use every day...
Krystal the quartz
Building a house
In the kitchen
Around the home
Transport and technology
Neat and tidy
Health and medicine

Finish by playing Mineral mix and match! or return to the Homepage