It's frequently possible to tell acids and bases apart from one another by some of their easily observed chemical and physical properties. A table of these properties is shown here:
|Taste||Sour (vinegar)||Bitter (baking soda)|
|Smell||Frequently burns nose||Usually no smell (except NH3!)|
|Reactivity||Frequently react with metals to form H2||React with many oils and fats|
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry © 2003 by Ian Guch. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.