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How to Measure for Acidity or Alkalinity

by
author image Adam Cloe
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How to Measure for Acidity or Alkalinity
Model of the human body running. Photo Credit selensergen/iStock/Getty Images

If you have too much of either acidic or alkaline substances in the body, it can disrupt the way your proteins work, affecting every cell in your body. Your body has a number of different ways it controls the pH of your body, but small imbalances can still occur, particularly if you eat an unhealthy diet. Measuring the acidity or alkalinity can help you determine if you need to make changes to what you eat.

Step 1

Purchase a roll of pH paper calibrated for the range 5.0 to 8.0. Ideally, your paper will be able to measure every 0.2 pH units.

Step 2

Prepare the liquid that you will be testing. If you are measuring the pH of your saliva, do not eat or drink anything for 2 to 3 hours to keep your saliva from being contaminated. The best time to test your pH is immediately after waking. Fill your mouth with saliva, swallow it, and fill and swallow again to get the best results. Fill your mouth a third time with saliva. Spit into a small cup or spoon. For urine testing and other liquids, put a small amount of liquid in a cup or other container.

Step 3

Pull out between 1.5 and 2 inches of pH paper from the dispenser. If possible, wear gloves or otherwise avoid touching the paper with your hands to prevent contamination. Be sure that you only touch one end of the pH paper strip.

Step 4

Dip the pH paper into the liquid you are testing. Avoid touching the paper to anything else to help prevent contamination. Do not touch the paper to your tongue or mouth, as the chemicals on the paper can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. The paper only needs to be briefly dipped into the liquid. Remove. Let it sit for 3 to 5 seconds before reading the pH level, indicated by a color code.

Step 5

Compare the color of the wet area of pH paper to the color chart provided with the paper. When you dip pH paper into a solution, chemicals on the surface of the paper react with the acidic or alkaline substances in the liquid to produce a color change.

Step 6

Record your pH based on the color change.

Step 7

Graph your results each day. This will allow you to track the pH of your saliva or urine over time. CNM Wellness has a graph template you can use for tracking your pH over the course of several days.

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