PH paper, how to choose it at the best price?

November 2, 2021

Among the different types of laboratory materials we find racks , test tubes , flasks, mortar and in this case PH Paper. The latter being the one we will focus on in this case.

What is PH Paper?

As its name indicates, the PH Paper is related to the PH which is the alkalinity or acidity of a substance. If we have this in mind we can say that this instrument is used to measure the concentration of hydrogen ions in solutions, that is, the PH.

It is characterized by being a practical instrument that is disposable, which means that it can only be used once. We must mention that this paper is also called litmus paper and its purpose is to measure the PH of substances.

It is important to note that the PH refers to the level of acidity or alkalinity in each solution. So this is a tool where each solution is at a point on that scale, which is marked with colors, having a graduation that commonly ranges from 1 to 14.

We must point out that 1 corresponds to the most acidic solutions, while 14 corresponds to the most alkaline. On the other hand, we must bear in mind that in addition to the scales, there are also colors that indicate when it is an alkaline or an acid. It is important to indicate that with this tool we can also find neutral solutions.

It is an instrument impregnated with indicators, which react with substances indicating a color, which will depend on its PH level. This is because the papers are impregnated with indicators. Which undergo a process of protonation or deprotonation , when in contact with the solutions.

Characteristics of PH Paper

Regarding the characteristics of this device, we find that it has several commercial presentations in the form of strips or even rolls. Apart from this we can find a guide with several colors, this being the scale that you can use to rate the different types of substances once you have carried out the test.

On the other hand, we can say that this tool has different sizes, although these are not usually very large. In fact, little by little we can see how its distribution has been stabilizing, so it does not usually show significant changes.

To all this it is important to indicate that this paper has several colors. Where we can find indicators , which allow us to measure the concentration that we find in the hydrogen ions of the solutions. This is important, as this is how we can determine its level of acidity and alkalinity.

Typically this labware has methyl and phenolphthalein orange indicators. However, there are cases where we find some colors such as methylene blue, bromophenol blue, silver nitrate and other colors.

What is PH Paper for?

Regarding the use of this instrument, as we have been mentioning, it works to determine when a solution is acidic, neutral or alkaline . To do this, it uses a scale, which is specified as follows;

  • 1-6; they are acidic solutions.
  • 7 ; are the neutral solutions.
  • 8-14 ; they are the bases or alkalines.

It is important to add that there are various types of PH meters such as the PH-meter. This being an electrochemical sensor. Which is used when you want to have a more exact precision of what the PH levels are in the solutions.

It is a tool used in a great variety of places, since there are many solutions to which you must know what the PH is. Keep in mind that this does not correspond solely to the research field.

One of the places where this type of paper is used is the feeding field. Where it is used to determine the acidity in the production of wines and some foods, including cheese.

On the other hand, this is an instrument that can be used in other fields such as pool maintenance . We must bear in mind that in this case it is also necessary to determine the PH level of the water, because when it comes into contact with chemicals it may vary. Something that can end up affecting the user.

At the same time this instrument can be used in the agricultural field, being of special importance since it allows to check the acidity of the soils.

How does PH Paper work?

As we have mentioned, this instrument works to measure the PH of different elements. For its operation, this paper has a PH value scale, which starts from 0 to 14, each of these scales being the one that allows us to indicate if the PH is acidic, neutral or alkaline.

Before understanding how this paper works to measure hydrogen concentrations. We must know that it can only measure aqueous solutions. Basically these must have water, otherwise they cannot be measured, so what about the oils, can this paper be used to measure the PH of the oils? The answer is no, remember that only watery substances can be used.

On the other hand, we must be aware that there are substances that exceed the scale that goes from 0 to 14. That is, there are substances that exceed the level of acidity or alkalinity, some even have a negative value.

However, we must bear in mind that this is not usually so common. Besides, the PH Paper is not used specifically, but one of its types is used, which is the PH-meter.

How to measure the PH of a solution?

Moving on to what it would be like to measure what the PH is in a solution, we must make sure that we have an aqueous solution. Then we submerge the paper strip a little in the solution, for a few seconds, specifically 10 to 15 seconds to achieve that it is completely impregnated with the substance.

Then you must remove the PH paper, and wait to see the color change and then compare the scale. Keep in mind that this type of tool comes with samples of the colors, where the corresponding values ​​are included.

To all this we must add that when wanting to determine the PH of a gas, a slightly different procedure must be carried out. In this case, we must let the paper soak in distilled water, and then expose it to the gas in a way that dissolves in the water. In case the paper does not change color, this means that its PH value is neutral.

When it reaches a red, orange and yellow tone, it indicates that it has a high acidity. In the event that it reaches a green color, it means that the solution has a neutral PH. While the blue hue indicates that it is an alkaline solution.

Basically we can say that the scales of this tool go from red to blue, from 0 to 14. Where as we mentioned before, from 0 to 6 means that it is an acid solution, while 7 indicates that it is neutral and 8 and 14 tells us that it is a base or alkaline.

PH paper types

As we mentioned before, the different types of paper to determine the PH are those of red and blue color. In case the paper to measure the PH turns blue, it means that it is the origin of the current one. But when it comes into contact with an acidic substance, it turns red.

We must emphasize that we can also qualify them in litmus paper and PH paper. In the case of litmus paper, we can say that it is the counterpart of the previous one. In these cases, this color is adopted after adding sulfuric acid to the blue mixture (which contains potassium carbonate and ammonia). But that happens when it comes in contact with an alkaline solution.

We must bear in mind that the two PH papers fulfill the same function, and are reusable after drying. It should be mentioned that this feature is quite remarkable and useful.

Importance of PH paper

PH paper is one of the most widely used instruments not only in laboratories, but in various fields. It must be borne in mind that at present there are many advances that are being made in relation to tools to measure the pH of the solution.

Logically, some advances have also been made to the PH paper and the PH-meter, this has been done in order to make it more effective when using it. Keep in mind that the same applies in various areas. Among them chemistry, pharmaceuticals and other areas where high precision is required to measure PH.

It is important to mention that although there are other instruments that allow measuring the PH of other solutions, PH paper is still the most popular option. This is because it is a practical, inexpensive and useful tool, which is why it gives an accurate diagnosis.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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