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Lab Activity No.

6
pH OF FAMILIAR PRODUCTS

OBJECTIVE: To determine the pH of common household products and classify each


based on its acidic or basic properties using the pH scale.

MATERIALS: stirring rod, spot plates or watch glass, 50 mL beakers, small test tubes,
distilled water, pH paper, at least ten (although you may bring as many as you wish)
different household products (preferably liquid), 0.1 M each of aqueous HCl, NaOH,
NH3, NaCl, ascorbic acid

Wear protective glasses and an apron at all times. Avoid skin contact with solids and
solutions. Read the labels on all products, record any warnings and take appropriate
precautions for handling. Dispose of all solutions in the containers provided by your
teacher. Wash your hands before leaving the laboratory.

PROCEDURE:

1. Obtain several strips of pH paper.


2. Arrange the strips so they are convenient to use during testing.
3. Set up an area for temporarily discarding the used test papers. (Do NOT throw
used pH paper into the drains or the sink!)
4. Transfer a few mL of your household product (one at a time) into a small beaker.
Dip a clean glass stirring rod into the product and transfer a drop to the pH paper.
For solid samples, scrape or take a few granules (about a pinch) into a test tube
and add about 3 mL of distilled water.
5. Observe the color change. Then match the final color to those on the chart to
estimate the pH value of the product.
6. Rinse and dry the stirring rod before each test.
7. Record the pH of each product.
8. For reference purposes, measure the pH of the 0.1 M solutions provided.

DATA ANALYSIS

1. Trade data with classmates who tested different products. Gather and tabulate data
on at least 20 products.
2. Formulate at least three distinct conclusions from your data. Look for any
similarities or differences among product pH values.
Group No. _____ Date: _______

Names: _____________________________
_____________________________
_____________________________

pH of FAMILIAR PRODUCTS

Table 1. pH measurements of consumer products and test solutions

Household Product (kind/brand) pH


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21. 0.1 M HCl
22. 0.1 M NaOH
23. 0.1 M NH3
24. 0.1 M ascorbic acid
25. 0.1 M NaCl

Items with asterisks indicate data measured by other groups.


CONCLUSIONS:

1.

2.

3.

QUESTIONS:

1. Classify the products and solutions tested into acidic, basic or neutral pH.

2. Are the pH values of the products tested consistent? Do they make sense? Why or
why not?

3. Predict the mouth - pH range most likely to promote tooth decay. Extra Credit:
Provide an answer from your dentist or one obtained through library research.

4. Look up the pH value or range found on human skin. Also try finding the
meaning of "pH balanced". (A skin-care book may be helpful.) Were any products
"pH balanced?" Which one(s)? Cite any reference(s) used.
5. State which, if any, pH values surprised you. Why were you surprised?

6. What did you like about this laboratory activity? Why? Did you dislike anything
about this activity?

7. Suggest improvements for this laboratory activity.

8. Do you have any questions about pH?

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