The pH of Vinegar with Baking Soda Mixed

The pH of vinegar mixed with baking soda is approximately 7, which is neutral. This is because when vinegar (an acid with a pH of 2.4-3.4) is mixed with baking soda (a base with a pH of around 9), they react to form carbonic acid, water, and sodium acetate. Carbonic acid is very unstable and quickly decomposes into water and carbon dioxide, which causes the foaming reaction commonly observed.

Understanding the Reaction

When vinegar (acetic acid) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) are mixed, the following reaction occurs:

CH3COOH (acetic acid) + NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate) → H2CO3 (carbonic acid) → H2O (water) + CO2 (carbon dioxide)

The carbonic acid formed is unstable and quickly breaks down into water and carbon dioxide, which is what causes the fizzing and foaming reaction. This reaction neutralizes the acidic vinegar, resulting in a solution with a pH of around 7, which is neutral.

Achieving a Neutral pH

ph of vinegar with baking soda mixedImage source: Flickr

To create a mixture with a pH of 7, you need to mix vinegar and baking soda in a ratio of about 1:4 by volume. For example, for every 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, use 1 tablespoon of vinegar. However, it’s important to note that the pH of the mixture can vary depending on the specific concentration of acetic acid in the vinegar and the amount of sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda.

Here’s a table to help you determine the appropriate ratio of vinegar to baking soda:

Vinegar (Tablespoons) Baking Soda (Teaspoons)
1 1/4
2 1/2
3 3/4
4 1

Considerations for Consumption

When it comes to consuming this mixture, it’s not recommended to drink large amounts of it, as it can cause digestive issues due to the acidity of the vinegar. However, small amounts of it can be used as a home remedy for indigestion or heartburn, as the baking soda can help neutralize stomach acid.

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If you’re concerned about contaminants or chemicals in vinegar or baking soda, it’s important to choose high-quality products from reputable sources. Look for vinegar that is labeled as “distilled” or “white vinegar,” as these are typically the purest forms of vinegar available. For baking soda, look for products that are labeled as “pure” or “baking soda,” as these are typically sodium bicarbonate without any added chemicals or contaminants.

Safety Considerations

If you’re concerned about the safety of using vinegar and baking soda together, it’s important to note that they are both generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in food and cooking. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or trusted source before consuming any homemade remedies or mixtures.

Conclusion

In summary, the pH of vinegar mixed with baking soda is approximately 7, which is neutral. This mixture can be used in small amounts as a home remedy for indigestion or heartburn, but it’s important to choose high-quality products and consult with a healthcare professional before consuming it.

References:
Chemistry Stack Exchange: What ratio of bicarb to vinegar do I need in order for the result to be pH neutral?
The Kitchn: What Happens When You Mix Baking Soda with Vinegar?
YouTube: The Science Behind Baking Soda and Vinegar