Calculating chemical equations is an important skill in chemistry. Now let's look at the steps to balance the chemical equation.

Steps to balance chemical equations

Step 1

Find each element in the equation. Once in equilibrium, each atom on both sides of the chemical equation must have the same number of atoms.

Step 2

What is the net charge on both sides of the chemical equation? Once balanced, the net charges on both sides of the equation must be the same.

Step 3

If possible, start with an element found in a compound on both sides of the equation. Change the coefficient (the number in front of a compound or molecule) so that the atomic number of elements on both sides of the chemical equation is the same. Remember, to balance the equation, you have to change the coefficients, not the subscripts in the formula.

Step 4

Once you balance one element, do the same thing with the other. Continue until all elements are balanced. The simple way is to put the pure elements last.

Step 5

Check your work to make sure that the charges on both sides of the equation are also balanced.