What is the pH Scale

You must have read the term pH on various face-washes and cosmetic products. But do you know what pH is and what is its significance? Knowledge of pH is very important to understand the acidity and basicity properties within a substance.

Substances that have the property of releasing H+ ions when dissolved in water are called as acids. Juice of lemon is a commonly used acid which is used to add sourness in a substance. It contains citric acid and tastes sour. On the other hand, substances that release hydroxyl ions or OH- ions when dissolved in water are called as bases. Do you remember about sodium bicarbonate? It is a well known base that we all have in our kitchens.

Acidity is the measure of content of acidic property in acid. Similarly, basicity is the measure of the basic properties within a base. This acidic and basic content within an acid and base respectively are determined with the help of pH scale. This scale ranges from 0 to 14 where 0 represents the most acidic character and 14 represents the most basic character. The midpoint of 0 and 14 i.e. 7 represents the neutral character of a substance. Pure water is neither acidic and nor basic and therefore has a pH of 7.

The knowledge of pH of a substance helps us in determining the acidic and basic content within a substance. Neutral face-washes have the balanced pH which range from 6 to 8 and thus determines the almost neutral character. Its knowledge is very important in determining the usage of cleansers. The cleansers having too low or too high pH can ruin surfaces. Therefore, it’s advised that you should first acquire the proper knowledge of pH before employing it for use. You should be at alert when mixing two pH solutions as mixing up of two substances having the extreme pH can prove to be dangerous.

For cleaning the surfaces which are heavily soiled with grease or are embedded with wax, require high pH substances for getting cleaned. However, you should not use extreme high pH substances as it may have harmful effects upon the floor. However, strong acids are recommended for cleaning toilet bowls but strong acids can also prove to be corrosive as they tend to eat them.

Proper knowledge of the pH is very necessary to avoid any dangerous results. You should first of all know the pH of a substance before touching and mixing them especially when working in a laboratory. It can be easily calculated from the pH strip which is just required to be dipped in the substance.