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What do All Bases Have in Common?

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Acids and bases are two of the most significant groups of chemicals in chemistry. Several characteristics are shared by all acids: They all have a sour flavour and react with most metals to produce hydrogen gas (H2) and baking soda to produce carbon dioxide (CO2). Because acids create ions when dissolved in water, all acids colour blue litmus paper red, and their solutions conduct electricity. 

Several characteristics are also shared by all bases: They have a harsh taste, and their solutions are slick like soapy water. They also make red litmus paper blue (the opposite of acids). Base solutions transmit electricity because they, too, produce ions in water. Acids and bases are similar in that they both create a hydronium ion, H3O+ (aq), in water. Bases, on the other hand, all produce a hydroxide ion in water, OH (aq). These ions are responsible for the acidic and basic characteristics of acids and bases. The pH scale was designed to describe the concentration of hydrogen ions in solutions in a simple manner, and it is commonly used when discussing acids and bases.

What are Acids?

Those ionic compounds which produce hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water are called acids. The substance can be identified with its sour taste and litmus paper test as it changes blue litmus into red. They are electrolytes that conduct electric currents. They are strong dehydrating agents with their pH value ranging below 7.

Acids are a significant part of our body and daily life. The acid like hydrochloric acid  is produced in our body to digest food, some of them are used in industries, for medication, etc

Some of the different acids and their uses:

Name of Acid


Carbonic acid

Used to produce club soda, soft drinks, blood buffer, etc

Sulphuric acid

Used as a solvent in battery

Hydrochloric acid

Used to remove rust from metals

Nitric acid

Used in fertilizers, plastics, dyes, etc

Citric acid

Used as a preservative for food products

What are Bases?

Those ionic compounds which produce hydroxide ions (OH-) when dissolved in water are called bases. The substance can be identified with its bitter taste, soapy texture, and litmus paper test as it changes red litmus into blue. They also conduct electricity. Bases have a lower solubility level than acids. Their pH value ranges above 7.

Some of the different bases and their uses are:

Name of Bases 


Potassium hydroxide

Manufacturing of soaps and batteries.

calcium hydroxide

Manufacture of mortar and plaster

Magnesium hydroxide

Used as an antacid to neutralize acidity in the stomach.

Sodium carbonate

Used in detergents


Used as fertilizer

What do all bases have in common?

  • All bases release hydroxide (OH-) ions dissolving in water. For example, NaOH ⇢ Na+ + OH
  • All bases conduct electricity as they are good electrolytes.
  • All bases turn red litmus paper into blue at the time of indication.
  • Bases have a bitter taste with a soapy texture.
  • Bases have a pH value of more than 7.
  • Bases give pink colour when placed in phenolphthalein (indicator) and yellow with methyl orange.
  • Generally, bases do not react with metals. But some of the metals like Zn and Al react with bases to form hydrogen gas and salt. With Aluminium: 2Al + 6NaOH 2Na3AlO3 + 3H2. And with Zinc as Zn + 2NaOH Na2ZnO2 + H2

Sample Questions

Question 1: What are the uses of bases in daily life?


Some of the bases are used as detergents, cooking ingredients, to clean clogged drains, etc.

Question 2: How are bases essential for our body?


Magnesium hydroxide is an antacid that helps to neutralize stomach acid to reduce heartburns.

Question 3: Name the indicators used to detect base.


Bases are identified with indicators litmus paper, phenolphthalein, and methyl orange.

  • Litmus paper, red litmus turns blue.
  • Phenolphthalein, colorless turns into pink
  • methyl orange turns into yellow

Question 4: What are amphoteric metals?


Some metals like zinc and aluminum react with bases to produce salt and hydrogen gas. These metals are called as amphoteric metals.

 Question 5: Which base is used to revive an unconscious person?


Ammonia is used to revive an unconscious person.

 Question 6: Which base is used in antacid tablets?


Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) is used in antacid tablets to get relief of acidity.

Question 7: What do fire extinguishing cylinders contain?


Fire extinguishing cylinders are filled with sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3).

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Last Updated : 19 Oct, 2021
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