Neutralizing Acids and Bases

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Learners use their knowledge of color changes with red cabbage indicator to neutralize an acidic solution with a base and then neutralize a basic solution with an acid. Use this as a follow-up activity to the related activity, "Color Changes with Acids and Bases." [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Red cabbage leaves
  • Cream of tartar
  • Powdered laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Zip-closing plastic bag (quart-size, storage-grade)
  • 4 Clear plastic cups
  • 2 Small cups
  • 4 Toothpicks
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • Permanent marker
  • White piece of paper
  • Student Activity Sheet


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kessler, James H. ; Galvan, Patricia M.


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2007