Lab Handout: Identifying  Acids and Bases


Acids ? a substance that donates _______ when dissolved in water        

Examples and Uses of Acids:

  • Sulfuric Acid – car batteries
  • Hydrochloric Acid – adjusting swimming pools
  • Citric Acid – candies (sour taste)


Bases ? a substance that donates _________ when dissolved in water

Examples and Uses of Bases:

  • Potassium Hydroxide – making soap
  • Calcium Hydroxide – making cement
  • Pyridine – Vitamins and Medicines


  Record your data and observations in the table below.








(pH = 7)

Lemon Juice





Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)










Italian Salad Dressing





Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)





Baking Soda





Orange Juice





Distilled Water





Listerine Mouthwash





Baking Powder





Soft Drink (Diet Coke)





Tap Water





White Vinegar





Hand Soap





Dishwashing Liquid





Laundry Detergent





Aspirin (Tylenol)





Ibuprofen (Advil)





Table Salt





Table Sugar





Alka-seltzer (tablet antacid)





Milk of Magnesia

 (liquid antacid)





Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)





Soft Drink (Sprite)






pH Scale:       Indicate the color indicated by the cabbage paper below the pH scale.

                   ?     More Acidic               Neutral                   More Basic ?

0       1            3       4       5       6          7                   10      11      12      13      14




            The pH of an acid ranges from _________________

            The pH of a base ranges from __________________

Post Lab:

Use your results and prelab to answer the following questions.

1) What substances are acids? How did you determine this?




2)  What substances are bases? How did you determine this?



         3) Rank the following in order of increasing basicity: Drain Cleaner (pH = 14), Antacid (pH = 8), Baking soda (pH = 9)





         4) Rank the following in order of increasing acidity: Battery Acid (pH = 0), Black coffee (pH = 5), Stomach Acid (pH = 3)

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