STEPS FOR BALANCING EQUATIONS By Brooke Raupach and Christina Kovschak

1. Identify the products and the reactants and write the formulas for them and their correct subscripts.
2. Write the
formulas and their subscripts on the correct sides of the arrow.
2. Count the number of atoms of each element in the reactants and in the products.
3. Locate the elements that appear in only one reactant and in only one product. Balance those elements first.
4. If a polyatomic ion appears on the reactant side and the product side then handle it as a single unit in your calculations.
5. Balance atoms of one element at a time by adding coefficients.
6. As you work through the problem, count the atoms of each element frequently as you try different coefficients.
7. When you are finished writing in your coefficients make sure to double check that the number of atoms of each element are equal on both sides of the equation.