Base Solutions

How to Prepare Common Base Solutions

Chemicals in Bottles
It's helpful to label bottles of base solutions in advance. Glass bottles with ground stoppers are a good choice. Ann Cutting, Getty Images

Prepare solutions of common bases using this handy reference table which lists the amount of solute (concentrated base solution) that is used to make 1 L of base solution. Stir the base into a large volume of water and then dilute the solution to make one liter. Use care when adding sodium hydroxide to water, since this is an exothermic reaction that generates considerable heat. Be sure to use borosilicate glass and consider immersing the container in a bucket of ice to keep the heat down.

Use solid sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide to prepare solutions of those bases. Use concentrated (14.8 M) ammonium hydroxide for those preparations.

Base Solution Recipes

Name / Formula / F.W.ConcentrationAmount/Liter
Ammonium Hydroxide6 M405 mL
NH4OH3 M203
F.W. 35.051 M68
 0.5 M34
 0.1 M6.8
Potassium Hydroxide6 M337 g
KOH3 M168
F.W. 56.111 M56
 0.5 M28
 0.1 M5.6
Sodium Hydroxide6 M240 g
NaOH3 M120
F.W. 40.001 M40
 0.5 M20
 0.1 M4.0