How water dissolves substances
Water is able to separate the particles of solubles substances and pull them apart.

Notice how the water molecules surround the chlorine atoms and the sodium atoms. The water molecules pull the atoms from their position in the salt crystal and surround them. The atoms of chlorine and sodium are so small that they become invisible when water separates them from the crystal. Plants rely heavily on the ability of water to dissolve nutrients in the soil.

Click to see an animation of how water molecules dissolve a soluble solid such as salt.

Explain why we can obtain solid salt when we let salt water dry out?
Click to see an animation of salt water as it is heated.

Why does a table spoon of salt dissappear as it dissolves in a cup of water?

A salt crystal made up of sodium and chlorine ions. Ions are charged particles.