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Acids, Bases and Salts

Classification of Common Substances into Acids and Bases

You must have noticed that baking soda is bitter in taste and lime juice is sour in taste. Do you know the reason for this?

Lime juice contains chemicals that belong to the family of acids. Acids are substances that are sour to taste. Presence of these acidic chemicals makes lime juice sour. On the other hand, baking soda belongs to the family of bases. Bases are the substances that have a bitter taste.

Here, we will learn about acids, bases, and their properties.


Acids are substances having a sour taste. Orange, tamarind, raw mango etc. are sour in taste. Therefore, these substances are acidic in nature.

The given table lists some acids that are present in common substances.



Acetic acid


Citric acid

Lemon, orange

Tartaric acid

Tamarind, grapes

Ascorbic acid

All citrus fruits

Lactic acid


Properties of acids:
  • They are sour in taste.
  • They contain hydrogen ion (H+) as a main constituent.
  • They react with metals to form hydrogen gas.
  • They react with carbonates and liberates COgas.
  • It turns blue litmus red.
Acids are found naturally in various substances however, they have found widescale application in various fields. They are used in the production of chemical fertilizers, explosives, oil purification etc. Acids like HCl are used in the preparation of chloride salts.


Now, we know that acids are sour to taste. There is one more class of compounds that is bitter to taste and soapy to touch. These chemicals are known as bases. For example, soap, limewater, baking soda etc. are basic in nature.

The given table lists some bases that are present in common substances.



Ca(OH)2 (Calcium hydroxide)

Lime water

NaOH (Sodium hydroxide)


Mg(OH)2 (Magnesium hydroxide)

Milk of magnesia

KOH (Potassium hydroxide)


We should not taste or touch any unknown substance. It may be harmful.

Properties of bases:

They have a bitter taste.
They are slippery in texture.
They contain hydroxide ion (OH-) as the main constituent.

You must have noticed that baking soda is bitte…

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