List of Common Household Acids & Bases

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Acids and bases are present in various household items. The pH scale is used to rate acids and bases. The scale runs from zero to 14. Bases are defined as having a pH above seven, whereas an acid has a pH below seven. Distilled water falls in the middle of the pH scale at seven. It is neutral.


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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that common household vinegar contain at least 4 per cent acidity. Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid in water. It is made from allowing herbs, fruits or rice products to reach fermentation. The benefits of having vinegar as a household acid are numerous. It is used for cleaning, disinfecting, treating acid reflux and for cooking.

Baking Soda

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Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a base used mostly for cooking. It is added to recipes that contain high acidic contents such as citric acid or buttermilk. Baking soda reacts and forms carbon dioxide gas. The gas cells expand and cause the batter to rise.


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Aspirin, or Acetylsalicylic Acid, is an acid found in most homes. It is a medicine used for the relief of headaches and muscle pain. Aspirin is helpful for reducing fever, swelling and inflammation in adults.

Cream of Tartar

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Monopotassium salt of tartaric acid, or cream of tartar, is a natural by-product left behind after fruit juice, such as grape or apple juice, ferments into wine. It is an acid that is used as an antioxidant and added to other foods to provide a sour taste.