This has been bugging me for quite some time, because I haven’t had Chem class in a while. Why does a salt solution (say, NaCl in water) retain its solute’s properties when the constituent ions (say, Na+ and Cl-)are dissociated by the polar water molecules?
A solution like NaCl can be considered as a mixture of Na+ ions (and Cl-) ions surrounded by water molecules (due to water being polar, it can totally surrond the ions in solution!).
Hence, the solution will still conduct electricity, as there are free electrons available, and when the water is removed the ions will reform into crystals.
This wikipedia article is very good, and goes into far more depth that I feel I can post into tumblr. :D