As a dipolar aprotic solvent DMSO is recognized a superior solvent and has been referred to as the super solvent. A defining characteristic of this powerful solvent which distinguishes it from other dipolar aprotic solvents is safety and toxicology profile. In many cases DMSO is less toxic than other materials in the category.
Often DMSO can be used to directly replace a problematic solvent. While a superior solvent on its own, DMSO may need to be blended with other ingredients to mimic the solvency properties of other chemicals. This is valuable when a solvent should be replaced due to regulatory restrictions or to overcome commercial issues due to disruption of supply.
This section of the Gaylord Chemical Company website can be used to assist formulators in replacing a problematic solvent with a comparable DMSO blend which is safe and for which the DMSO is readily available.
In the list below click on the problematic solvent for assistance in using DMSO as a replacement.
DMF (N,N-Dimethylformamide) CAS [68-12-2]