Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Common Household Acids and Bases Using Go Direct® pH

Follow along as our Chemistry Staff Scientist, Melissa Hill, PhD, walks through how to use Go Direct pH to measure the acidity of various household solutions. Instructions for this experiment are available in our Physical Science with Vernier lab book, and standards correlations are available on our website.

In this video, we will be exploring common household acids and bases with our Go Direct pH Sensor. Many common household solutions contain acids and bases. The acidity of a solution can be expressed using the pH scale. Acidic solutions have a pH value less than seven. Basic solutions have a pH value greater than seven. And neutral solutions have a pH value equal to seven.

The Go Direct pH Sensor can be connected via USB or via Bluetooth to your platform. Your platform can be a Chromebook, a Mac computer, Windows computer, iOS, or Android device. To get started, make sure you have downloaded the free, Graphical Analysis 4 app from our website or the appropriate app store.

Since I will be taking data via Bluetooth, I will first turn on my pH sensor. Then I will launch the Graphical Analysis 4 app, and select sensor data collection. I will then connect my pH electrode and select done. For this experiment, I want to be able to read the pH value from the sensor and record that reading in my laboratory notebook. This requires changing the screen to the meter screen. To do that, I tap on the square icon and change the view to meter.

Now that my software is set up, I want to prepare my pH sensor. I do that by first removing it from its storage solution and setting that aside. Then I want to use a wash bottle filled with distilled water to thoroughly rinse the tip of my pH electrode. The first solution I want to measure is going to be vinegar. I place the pH electrode in the vinegar and provide a little bit of stirring and monitor the pH reading. Once it's stable, then I'll record this pH value in my laboratory notebook. To switch to my next solution, I need to rinse the tip again. And then I will measure ammonia. That solution is definitely basic, so I will record that pH reading in my lab notebook.

The next solution I want to measure is a soft drink. And see the pH turn very acidic. My final solution is baking soda dissolved in some distilled water. Once that reading stabilizes, I'll write it in my laboratory notebook. There are several other household acids and bases that you can investigate with the Go Direct pH Sensor.

For more information about the Vernier Go Direct pH Probe, and our entire line of Go Direct Sensors, visit our website or email

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