For a reaction like HCl + H2O → Cl- + H3O+, why is this reaction heavily favoured to the right in water? I've heard explanations that the products on the right are stabilized by the polar water molecules (considering aqueous solution). I'm just struggling to fully understand this because the reactants on the left seem much more stable since they are all neutral and have stable octets (or 1s orbitals full for the hydrogens). I just don't quite see why the products that are charged would be favoured since charge leads to a molecule in a more reactive and higher energy form... Any explanations to help better understand this concept would be greatly appreciated! Also, just to confirm, would this reaction be more favoured to the left given a nonpolar solvent? I've heard relative acidities always stay the same (i.e. HCl will always be more acidic than CF3H). Is this statement true and absolute for all compounds and mediums? I can't help but think that there are exceptions where the solvent could possibly react with various compounds differently, giving different acidic properties.