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What Substances Turn Red Litmus Paper Blue?

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❶Most litmus paper and other types of pH indicators are sold through scientific supply houses. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data.

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Red Litmus Paper Properties

You may have worked in your chemistry lab with litmus papers as acid-base indicators. They are normally used in experiments that determine the nature of a chemical substance whether acidic or basic. An acidic solution turns blue litmus red and a basic solution turns red litmus blue. Litmus is a dye obtained from plant-like life forms called lichens.

The lichens are slightly different from the ordinary plants in a way that they are actually composed of two plants — a fungus and an alga living in close association for the benefit of each other. The algae are the food producing agents that supply fungus with food. Fungus absorbs moisture that is needed by algae and keeps it anchored to the surface by root like structures.

The lichens are crushed and fermented in a mixture of ammonia and potash. The fermented mixture is blue in color. This is mixed with chalk to form a paste that is dried and powdered. The mixture is absorbed onto a filter paper to turn it into an absorbent litmus paper. Red litmus is made by adding acid. The commonly used lichen in making litmus papers is rocella tinctoria.

Sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda, has a lower pH level still, at around 8. Other examples of substances that turn red litmus paper blue include sodium hydroxide caustic soda , calcium hydroxide limewater and alkaline soils.

Red litmus paper is dipped into a solution to establish whether a substance is acidic or alkaline. In an acidic or neutral solution, red litmus paper remains red. In an alkaline solution, red litmus paper turns blue. When an alkaline compound dissolves in water, it produces hydroxide ions, which cause the solution to become alkaline.

Red litmus paper can also be used to test the pH of a water-soluble gas by dampening the paper and exposing it to the gas. While red and blue litmus papers can reveal whether a substance is acidic or alkaline, they cannot tell you the exact pH value of that substance. However, litmus papers are easy to handle and use. They give instantaneous readings and provide accurate results most of the time.

Claire is a writer and editor with 18 years' experience. She writes about science and health for a range of digital publications, including Reader's Digest, HealthCentral, Vice and Zocdoc. By Claire Gillespie; Updated April 11, Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.


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The paper used to make litmus paper must be free of contaminants that could change the pH of the system it is measuring. Like most paper, litmus paper is made from wood cellulose. The wood is treated with solvents prior to paper manufacturing in order to remove resinous material and lignin from the wood.

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You can make paper test strips to determine the pH of an aqueous solution by treating filter paper with any of the common pH indicators. One of the first indicators used for this purpose was litmus. Litmus paper is paper that has been treated with a specific indicator - a mixture of natural dyes obtained from lichens (mainly Roccella tinctoria) that .

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Litmus paper/pH test strip bundles. Save % over buying separately. See below for more details. The Litmus Paper Test. Dip red litmus paper into lemon juice, nothing happens or dip blue litmus into milk of magnesia, nothing happens. Switch papers and you will see a change. This basic litmus test should confirm whether something is an acid . Jan 24,  · Best Answer: "Litmus is a natural dye made from small plants called, "lichens". These plants are of several varieties and grow in abundance in the Netherlands. When lichen called Rocella Tincotoria is allowed to react with ammonia, potassium carbonate and lime it gives a blue-color material, which is used Status: Resolved.

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Mar 25,  · Now that you have your litmus paper strips, it is now time to experiment. Dip a strip of litmus paper into the substance. If it turns red, that substance is an acid. If it turns blue, that substance is a base. If it stays the same, that substance is neutral. Example: Let's take lemon juice for example. Dip a litmus paper strip into the lemon The indicators infused into the paper are predominantly weak acids. These acids react by changing color when they encounter substances with a certain pH value. For example, litmus, which is a natural indicator, turns red when it contacts something acidic and blue with alkaline materials.