Science, Tech, Math › Science How to Prepare Common Acid Solutions Share Flipboard Email Print Acid solutions are vital in chemistry labs. John Smith / Getty Images Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated July 14, 2019 Common acid solutions can be prepared using the handy table below. The third column lists the amount of solute (acid) that is used to make 1 L of acid solution. Adjust the recipes accordingly to make larger or smaller volumes. For example, to make 500 mL of 6M HCl, use 250 mL of concentrated acid and slowly dilute to 500 mL with water. Tips for Preparing Acid Solutions Always add acid to a large volume of water. The solution may then be diluted with additional water to make one liter. You'll get an incorrect concentration if you add 1 liter of water to the acid. It's best to use a volumetric flask when preparing stock solutions, but you can use an Erlenmeyer flask if you only need an approximate concentration. Because mixing acid with water is an exothermic reaction, be sure to use glassware capable of withstanding the temperature change (e.g., Pyrex or Kimax). Sulfuric acid is particularly reactive with water. Add the acid slowly to the water while stirring. Recipes for Acid Solutions Name / Formula / F.W. Concentration Amount/Liter Acetic Acid 6 M 345 mL CH3CO2H 3 M 173 F.W. 60.05 1 M 58 99.7%, 17.4 M 0.5 M 29 sp. gr. 1.05 0.1 M 5.8 Hydrochloric Acid 6 M 500 mL HCl 3 M 250 F.W. 36.4 1 M 83 37.2%, 12.1 M 0.5 M 41 sp. gr. 1.19 0.1 M 8.3 Nitric Acid 6 M 380 mL HNO3 3 M 190 F.W. 63.01 1 M 63 70.0%, 15.8 M 0.5 M 32 sp. gr. 1.42 0.1 M 6.3 Phosphoric Acid 6 M 405 mL H3PO4 3 M 203 F.W. 98.00 1 M 68 85.5%, 14.8 M 0.5 M 34 sp. gr. 1.70 0.1 M 6.8 Sulfuric Acid 9 M 500 mL H2SO4 6 M 333 F.W. 98.08 3 M 167 96.0%, 18.0 M 1 M 56 sp. gr. 1.84 0.5 M 28 0.1 M 5.6 Acid Safety Information You should always wear protective gear when mixing acid solutions. Be sure to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a lab coat as well. Tie back long hair and make sure your legs and feet are covered by long pants and shoes. It's a good idea to prepare acid solutions inside the ventilation hood because the fumes can be noxious, particularly if you are working with concentrated acids or if your glassware isn't absolutely clean. If you do spill acid, you can neutralize it with a weak base (safer than using a strong base) and dilute it with a large volume of water. Why Aren't There Instructions for Using Pure (Concentrated) Acids? Reagent-grade acids typically range from 9.5 M (perchloric acid) to 28.9 M (hydrofluoric acid). These concentrated acids are extremely dangerous to work with, so they are usually diluted to make stock solutions (instructions included with the shipping information). The stock solutions are then further diluted as needed for working solutions. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Prepare Common Acid Solutions." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/how-to-prepare-common-acid-solutions-608133. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 26). How to Prepare Common Acid Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-prepare-common-acid-solutions-608133 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Prepare Common Acid Solutions." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-prepare-common-acid-solutions-608133 (accessed October 25, 2021). copy citation Watch Now: What are the Differences Between Acids and Bases? How to Make Chemical Piranha Solution List of the Strong Acids and Key Facts Dilution Calculations From Stock Solutions Phosphate-Buffered Saline or PBS Solution How to Make a 0.1 M Sulfuric Acid Solution How to Prepare a Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH Solution Sulfuric Acid and Sugar Demonstration How to Make a Phosphate Buffer Solution List of Strong and Weak Acids Calculating Concentrations with Units and Dilutions How to Make 10X TBE Electrophoresis Buffer How to Make a Phosphate Buffer Get Bismuth Metal from Pepto-Bismol Antacid Tablets How to Make a Red Cabbage pH Indicator Names of 10 Common Acids Do You Add Sulfuric Acid to Water or Vice Versa?