Analytical Chemistry

Measure Twice

How do you use pH paper?

Another way of measuring the pH of a solution is with pH paper. This is a paper strip that contains a chemical indicator that changes color depending on the pH of a solution, and it can be capable of determining a very wide range of pH values. To properly use pH paper, it should not be dipped directly into the solution, but rather a drop of the solution should be placed on the pH paper. It can then be held next to a gradient color scale to obtain a pH value. Since this relies on visible color changes, it isn’t the most accurate method of determining pH, but it can be a useful tool in the lab for getting a quick estimate of the pH of a solution.


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