wikiHow to Distinguish Between Acids and Bases

Seven Methods:By Blue LitmusBy Red LitmusBy PhenolphthaleinBy TurmericBy Beetroot JuiceBy Red Cabbage JuiceBy pH Paper

Have you ever wanted to distinguish between acids or bases(alkalies)? Are you afraid of touching them due to their corrosiveness? Here is how to do this safely.

Method 1
By Blue Litmus

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 1
    1
    Add a liquid to the litmus or litmus paper.
  2. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 2
    2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Litmus turns red
    • Bases-Litmus remains blue
    • Neutral Liquids-Litmus stays blue

Method 2
By Red Litmus

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 3
    1
    Add a liquid to the litmus or litmus paper.
  2. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 4
    2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Litmus stays red
    • Bases-Litmus turns blue
    • Neutral Liquids-Litmus stays red

Method 3
By Phenolphthalein

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 5
    1
    Add a liquid to the phenolphthalein.
  2. 2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Phenolphthalein remains colorless
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 6Bullet1
    • Bases-Phenolphthalein remains Magenta
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 6Bullet2
    • Neutral Liquids-Phenolphthalein stays colorless

Method 4
By Turmeric

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 7
    1
    Add a liquid to the turmeric.
  2. 2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Turmeric remains yellow
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 8Bullet1
    • Bases-Turmeric turnsbrick red
    • Neutral Liquids-Turmeric stays yellow

Method 5
By Beetroot Juice

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 9
    1
    Add a liquid to the beetroot juice.
  2. 2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Beetroot Juice turns pink
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 10Bullet1
    • Bases-Beetroot Juice turns pale yellow
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 10Bullet2
    • Neutral Liquids-Beetroot Juice stays red

Method 6
By Red Cabbage Juice

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 11
    1
    Add a liquid to the red cabbage juice.
  2. 2
    Observe the effects:
    • Acids-Red Cabbage Juice stays pink/red
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 12Bullet1
    • Bases-Red Cabbage Juice turns green
      Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 12Bullet2
    • Neutral Liquids-Red Cabbage Juice stays red/pink

Method 7
By pH Paper

  1. Image titled Distinguish Between Acids and Bases Step 13
    1
    Add the liquid to the pH paper.
  2. 2
    Observe-The pH paper uses a scale of numbers to tell the acidity/basic of a liquid.
    • A 14-8 scale(red) paper means base.
    • A 7 scale(greenish) paper means neutral.
    • A 1-6 scale(blue) paper means strong base.

Tips

pH
Type Color
Acid 1
Acid 2
Acid 3
Acid 4
Acid 5
Acid 6
Neutral 7
Base 8
Base 9
Base 10
Base 11
Base 12
Base 13
Base 14

Warnings

  • Be careful with corrosive acids & bases.
  • Do not drink acids/bases.

Things You'll Need

  • pH paper
  • Litmus
  • Beet and red cabbage juice
  • Turmeric
  • Phenolphthalein

Article Info

Categories: Acids and Bases