Acids and Bases: Definition, Properties, Uses, and Examples

In this blog, we will learn about acids and bases, their definition, properties, and uses. We will also discuss various examples of acids and bases. We all are familiar with the taste of table salt. Common salt is one of the essential nutrients of our diet. Its taste is termed salty.

Also, in our daily life, we usually use lemon in the form of lemon juice and lemon pickles. Lemons taste sour. The taste of lemon is different from that of common salt. Likewise, different food items have different tastes. Sugar, bananas, ripe mangoes, and jaggery are sweet. Tamarind, amla, unripe mangoes, and vinegar are sour. Baking soda is bitter.

It is very interesting to note that in the real world, We find that some substances taste sweet, some taste salty, some taste sour and some taste bitter. Let us understand what are acids and bases are?

Acids and bases

Acids: Substances such as orange juice, amla, and tamarind which taste sour are called acidic. These substances contain acids. The word acid is derived from a Latin word, Acere which means sour. Do you know? Milk contains lactic acid. Acids are also found in fruits and vegetables.

Let us learn about some of the acids, found in nature and their uses.

Acetic acid is found in vinegar, formic acid is found in Ant’s sting, citric acid is found in oranges and lemons, oxalic acid is found in spinach, ascorbic acid or vitamin C is found in amla and citrus fruits, tartaric acid is found in tamarind, grapes, unripe mangoes, etc.

Digestive fluids of most animals and humans also contain acids.

Properties of Acids

  1. Acids are sour in taste. Example: Lemon, oranges, and vinegar.
  2. Blue litmus is turned red by acids.
  3. Acids are corrosive in nature and thus they can corrode metals such as iron, and aluminum, this is the reason why acids are not stored in metal containers instead they are stored in glass containers.
  4. Acids are soluble in water.
  5. Acids react with metals to form salt and hydrogen gas.
  6. Acids react with bases to form salt and water.
  7. Acids react with carbonates to form salt and water.

Bases: Substances like baking soda which are bitter in taste and have a slippery or soapy feel when dissolved in water are called bases. Bases are generally named hydroxide.

Lime water contains calcium hydroxide.

Uses of Bases

  1. Window cleaner contains ammonium hydroxide, it is also used as a cleansing agent and used in manufacturing fertilizers.
  2. The soap contains sodium hydroxide or caustic soda, milk of magnesia contains magnesium hydroxide.
  3. Toothpaste and cleaning agents are also basic in nature.
  4. Sodium hydroxide, a strong base is used to clean drain as strong bases help in cleaning dirt.

Properties of Bases

  1. Bases are bitter in taste
  2. Bases turn red litmus to blue in color.
  3. Bases that are soluble in water are known as alkalis.
  4. Bases react with acids to form salt and water.
  5. Bases react with metals to form salt and hydrogen gas.

Read More- Acid and Base Reactions with Metal, Carbonates, Oxides, and Water

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