Balancing reactions with oxidation numbers in acidic and basic solutions

Steps for acidic solutions:

Step 1: Assign oxidation numbers

Step 2: Break it down into your redox half reactions

Step 3: Balance everything but oxygen and hydrogen atoms

Step 4: Balance out the total electrons, if necessary

Step 5: Balance oxygen with H2O (add water)

Step 6: Balance hydrogen with H+

Step 7: Multiply each half reaction to get to lowest common multiple

Step 8: Combine both reactions and cancel out

Step 9: Double check and verify.

 

Steps for basic solutions:

Step 1: Assign oxidation numbers

Step 2: Break it down into your redox half reactions

Step 3: Balance everything but oxygen and hydrogen atoms

Step 4: Balance out the total electrons, if necessary

Step 5: Balance oxygen with H2O (add water)

Step 6: Balance hydrogen with H+

Step 7: Add same number of OH- to both sides and combine with H+ to form water

Step 8: Multiply each half reaction to get to lowest common multiple

Step 9: Combine both reactions and cancel out

Step 10: Double check and verify.