Course Icon

Chemical History of the Candle

Lab Assignment 7: Acids and Bases and Copper Plating

SO Icon

LAB: Acids, Bases, and Metals

Goal: To demonstrate the effect of acids on metals

Students taking Scholars Online AP Chemistry in the fall should consult with the instructor for additional AP lab instructions to use for this experiment.



  1. Pour about 1/4 cup of vinegar into the jar, and add a tablespoon of salt.
  2. Place 2-3 pennies in the vinegar solution.
  3. Tie one end of the thread to the iron nail. Tie the other end to the middle of the pencil or dowel and place the pencil across the top of the jar so that the nail hangs down into the jar, half in and half out of the vinegar solution.
  4. Check the nail at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 5 hours and 24 hours. Describe the condition of the nail.
  5. Pour out the vinegar solution and examine the pennies; report your observations.
  6. If you can, make multiple setups and suspend different types of metals (zinc, aluminum, tin) in the vinegar/salt/copper penny solution. Be sure to use a different setup for each type of metal so that the different metal reactions do not interfer with one another.


Devise a table to show the progress of the reaction over time.