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Titrating Common Household Chemicals

In this experiment, students will do two titrations. In part I, students will titrate an acid with a strong base (NaOH). They will determine what volume of base is required for neutralizing an acid (white vinegar). Using this data, they will be able to determine the concentration of the acid. In part II, students will titrate a base (laxative-milk of magnesia) with an acid. As in part I, they determine the amount of acid required to titrate the base and use this volume to calculate the molarity of milk of magnesia.

Chemicals (for part I):

1. 1M Standardized NaOH

2. Indicator-Phenolphthalein or Red cabbage indicator

3. White Vinegar

Chemicals (for part II):

1. Tartaric Acid *

2. Indicator-Phenolphthalein

3. White Vinegar

4. Milk of Magnesia (Giant Brand)

*Note: Citric acid, oxalic acid, or ascorbic acid can be used instead of Tartaric Acid. If using one of these acids, make sure to adjust the amount of weighed acid.


1. 50 mL Buret

2. Graduate Cylinder (10 mL, 50mL, and 250mL)

3. Stirring rod

4. Flask or a beaker

5. Balance

*Tip: Milk of Magnesia is a thick substance that will adhere to the sides of the flask or beaker. Be sure to use a dilute solution before titrating, to ensure that no volume of milk of magnesia is lost. Directions on diluting are in the methods*

Methods (Part I): Determining the Molarity of White


1. Fill the 50 mL buret with approximately 40 mL of standardized NaOH

2. Measure approximately 20-25 mL of white vinegar and transfer this volume to a 250 mL flask.

3. Add 3 drops of an indicator to the white vinegar flask (either indicator mentioned above can be used).

4. Titrate the white vinegar with (NaOH) from the buret. Titrate until the acid has been neutralized (a distinct color change should be visible).

5. Repeat this titration three times.

6. When the titrations have been completed, calculate the average molarity of the white vinegar.

Data Collection:

NaOH Buret Reading:

Initial volume: _______________

Final volume: _______________

Change in volume: _____________

Methods (Part II): Determining the Molarity of Milk of


1. Weigh approximately 4.0 grams of tartaric acid and place it in a 250 mL flask.

2. To dilute the tartaric acid, add 200 mL of distilled water to this flask.

3. Put 2 mL of milk of magnesia into another 250 mL flask and dilute with 20 mL of distilled water (As you add the distilled water, make sure the rinse the sides of the flask to ensure that all of the milk of magnesia is in solution).

4. Add 3 drops of phenolphthalein indicator to the milk of magnesia flask.

5. Titrate with tartaric acid into the milk of magnesia flask, until a clear solution color is observed.

6. Perform 3 titrations and calculate the average molarity of the milk of magnesia.

Data Collection:

Volume of Tartaric Acid used to neutralize the milk of magnesia: ________


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