Litmus paper is ideal for rapid pH testing. Natural substances, which impregnate colored strips, change the shade depending on the parameters of the acid-base balance of the environment into which they are placed.

Operating principle

Indicative litmus paper has a unique ability to change color when exposed to alkaline and acidic media. In the first case, the reagent gives a blue tint, in the second - red.

Litmus paper: application features

The litmus paper contains natural-coloring elements that act as the simplest chemical indicators. The litmus contains more than one and a half dozen individual substances and reagents. The main raw material for the synthesis of matter are plants, in particular some species of lichens.

In comparison with other common indicators, litmus paper allows to determine the nature of the tested medium with insignificant errors.

How is the pH test performed?

The process of determining the neutral, acidic or alkaline composition of liquid substances is quite simple. To begin with, litmus paper is purchased in the pharmacy. Then the test strips are placed for a few seconds in the medium, the indices of which need to be clarified.

Objective test results appear approximately after 20 seconds after the start of the procedure. The shade that manifested itself on paper is compared with the universal color scale presented on the indicator package. The coincidence of the shades indicates the nature of the liquid substance and a certain pH level.


Litmus paper is used:

  • chemical laboratories;
  • in the sphere of cosmetic production;
  • to determine the safety and quality of water;
  • when detecting harmful impurities in liquid substances;
  • for soil analysis;
  • if necessary to determine the composition of water in swimming pools, aquariums.

Litmus paper in everyday life

Household use of the indicator is associated with the analysis of the pH level of body fluids. The use of litmus paper is convenient, first of all, thanks to the ability to independently conduct necessary tests. The use of the indicator at home makes it possible to monitor the state of fluids in the body and determine the quality of food consumed.

Litmus paper for acidity test is effective in the presence of data on the normal parameters of the substances under study. For example, if there are chemical additives in the milk, the strips will immediately give the appropriate reaction, changing their own shade. To determine the level of safety of these or other products, it is sufficient to have information about their level of acid-base balance.

Features of work with the litmus indicator

Any tests concerning the determination of acidity level are recommended to be carried out using special laboratory glassware made of plastic or glass. Compliance with this condition contributes to obtaining objective results, since acidic and alkaline environments are distinguished by aggressive action on other substances and therefore are able to interact with certain chemical compounds.

Usually the litmus indicator is presented in the form of separate tear-off strips. The test product is produced in rolls, boxes, pencil cases, tubes. The scale of the acid-base balance can be on the package, applied directly to the strips or attached to the package as an information insert.

Advantages of litmus paper

Among the main advantages of the indicator is:

  • fast, objective result with minimal errors;
  • simplicity and ease of use;
  • economical consumption;
  • affordable cost;
  • protection of the skin from direct contact with chemical reagents.


Litmus paper indicators are extremely practical in everyday use. Such test tools help to monitor your own health and provide an opportunity to find out the reasons for the deterioration of the health of others.

Litmus paper is widely used to determine the pH level of food, water, soil, and all kinds of biological fluids. The indicator allows you to quickly select the appropriate safe soap, shampoo, shower gel, other personal care products in accordance with the indicators of acid-base balance of the skin. Among all available pH meters, litmus strips are the easiest to use in everyday life.

As a means to determine the acid-base balance in food products in the country or at home, when there are no other effective indicators at hand, an available paper test plays an irreplaceable role.