Baking soda is a common household item used for many different purposes, including cleaning and baking. Surprisingly, it’s also a popular, cost-effective way to raise pool water’s pH and alkalinity levels.
Pool owners choose to use baking soda over commercial chemicals because it’s a natural product that won’t harm swimmers or the environment. It’s also very effective at raising pH and alkalinity levels. This helps with stability and clarity and prevents staining and scale buildup.
While baking soda is an excellent way to raise the pH and alkalinity of your pool water on a budget, it’s important to keep in mind that it can only do so much. If your pH and alkalinity levels are very low, you may need to use a commercial chemical product in addition to baking soda.
Can you use regular baking soda in your pool?
The short answer is yes, you can use regular baking soda in your pool.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, regular baking soda is not pure sodium bicarbonate. It also contains other ingredients, like cornstarch or trisodium phosphate. These ingredients can affect the pH and alkalinity of your pool water, so it’s important to use a pure sodium bicarbonate product.
Second, regular baking soda is not as concentrated as pool-grade baking soda. This means you’ll need to use more of it to raise the pH and alkalinity levels in your pool.
For these reasons, I recommend using a pure sodium bicarbonate product, like Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. It’s a pure, concentrated product that will raise the pH and alkalinity levels in your pool more effectively than regular baking soda.
How much baking soda do you need to add to your pool?
The amount of baking soda you’ll need to add to your pool depends on the size of your pool and the current pH and alkalinity levels. To raise the pH by 0.2, you’ll need to add about 2 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. For example, if you have a 20,000 gallon pool, you’ll need to add 4 pounds of baking soda.
To raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm, you’ll need to add about 1.5 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. For example, if you have a 20,000 gallon pool, you’ll need to add 3 pounds of baking soda.
If you’re not sure how much baking soda to add to your pool, I recommend starting with a smaller amount and testing the pH and alkalinity levels after 24 hours. You can always add more baking soda if needed.
I recommend buying a pool water test kit, so you can easily test the pH and alkalinity levels at home. Alternatively, many pool stores will test your water for free. Just don’t tell them you plan on using baking soda to raise your levels! Otherwise, they might not be so willing to give you a free test on future visits.
Will Baking Soda Clear a Green Pool?
No, not exactly.
A green pool is typically an indicator of algae growth. Algae grows in pools due to high levels of nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrogen. While baking soda can’t remove algae from your pool, it can help to raise the pH and alkalinity levels, which will make your pool less attractive to algae.
If you have a green pool, we recommend shocking it and running the filter for about 24 hours, then backwashing as needed. This will help clean a green pool fast by killing and removing the algae. Once the algae is under control, you can raise the pH and alkalinity levels with baking soda. Just be sure to test your water regularly and add more baking soda as needed.
About the Author
Stefan Schulz is the founder and owner of PV Pool Cleaner. He spent his college years working at Niagara Pools and Spas, one of the largest Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Dealers in the Eastern United States.
Today, he utilizes his background, experience as a pool owner, and the resources of his digital marketing agency, Orpical Group, to generate informative and engaging content for pool owners everywhere.