What does it mean if a substance has a neutral pH?
A substance that is neither acidic nor basic is neutral. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral.
The neutral substances that are the most well known are: water, table salt, sugar solution and cooking oil. We have learnt about three classes of substances: acids, bases and neutral substances. But, we cannot tell whether a substance is an acid, base, or a neutral substance, just by looking at it.
- Actually, milk has a pH of around 6.5 to 6.7, which makes it slightly acidic. Some sources cite milk as being neutral since it is so close to the neutral pH of 7.0. Milk contains lactic acid, which is a hydrogen donor or proton donor.
- You can find acidic substances in any household, for example:
- Lemon juice, pH of 2.
- Vinegar, pH of 2.
- Coca-Cola (aka Coke), pH from 2 to 4.
- Battery acid, pH of 0.
- Black coffee, pH of around 5.
- The pH scale
Increasing pH (Decreasing Acidity) Substances 0 (most acidic) Hydrochloric acid (HCl) 1 Stomach acid 2 Lemon juice 3 Cola, beer, vinegar
Updated: 11th October 2018