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Updated by Rose Garalde on Jan 17, 2021
Headline for Adding Baking Soda To Clear A Cloudy Pool
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Adding Baking Soda To Clear A Cloudy Pool

Having a pool in your house has its own perks and privileges. A small reservoir of water can make weekends and get-togethers with friends and family a little more excited. If not many of your acquaintances and loved ones have a pool, somehow, it puts a feather in your cap. Also, your kids instantly fall in love with you.


Can You Use Baking Soda To Clean Your Swimming Pool?

Even after reading the previous lines of this article, you are still in limbo. You think it is just a rumor, maybe a housewife tale to capture your imagination. So, we’ll start by dissipating rumors.

In strict terms, baking soda does not “clean” the water of your swimming pool. This would be a work of detergent or other cleaning agents. What baking soda does best is that it keeps your pool healthy by maintaining its pH. Your pool water needs to be a specific level in order to prevent damage, both to the swimmers’ health and the lining and tiles of the pool.

So, baking soda does not clean the pool but keeps the pH balance. However, baking soda scrub can be used to clean the tiles of the swimming pool. So, you can clean your pool by using baking soda but this article explores the bigger picture.


pH Levels & Alkalinity of A Swimming Pool

If you are set to clean your pool, you will be considering many factors that should be fulfilled in order to declare a pool clean and safe for swimmers. The list could go on for both visible and invisible items. While you are at it, keep in mind that the pH of water is one of the fundamental factors that you need to count to clean your pool.

If you do not know basic chemistry, pH goes from 1 to 14. When a solution shows pH between 1 to 6, it is acidic. The higher the number on the pH scale, the less acidic a solution is. On the other hand, 7 to 14 marks on pH paper would be basic or alkaline.

• When water gets acidic, it causes problems for both swimmer and the pool itself. Having acidic water in the pool leads to drying out of skin, eyes, and hair. It may cause corrosion in pool tiles and other fixtures like boards and stairs.

There are many factors that come into play while maintaining the pH of pool water. For instance, if the rain comes around 4 to 5 levels of on the pH scale, it can alter the chemistry of your pool as well. It can cause serious damage to your pool which could lead to repairing or a remodeling of your swimming pool altogether.

There are also a number of things that can alter the pH of your pool water. It includes:

• Organic Debris

• Body Fluids

• Chlorine

This stresses the importance of keeping the pH level of your pool in check to ensure the well-being of swimmers and the pool itself. Otherwise, you need to pay a hefty price for this negligence.

Since water in the swimming pool goes up in acidity at the slightest change in the balance, there are chemicals that can be used to counter this effect, such as alkalizing agents.

In simple terms, alkalinity is a rough standard that shows how much acid a sample of water can absorb. Water does this by absorbing hydrogen and turns it into neutral bicarbonate ions.

By combining both terms of acidity and alkalinity, pH levels indicate to the level of acidity in your pool water in real-time while alkalinity gauges the water’s ability to decompose that acidity into unharmful substances.

On the pH scale, you need water of your pool around 7.2 to 7.8, with 7 being neutral on the pH scale. The slight alkalinity helps in the decomposition of acidic compounds.


How To Use Baking Soda To Clean Your Pool Water At Home

If you ask your doctor about the wonders of baking soda, he would tell you that it can reduce the acidic levels in your body, thus reduces heartburn and other related complications. Cleaning the pool with baking soda would be the last thing on his mind, but you can steal the key idea from medicine.

Because of its acid-neutralizing abilities, you can masterfully use baking soda in your pool in order to purify it from acidic substances. This, in turn, becomes alkaline products that do not pose any harm to the health and wellbeing of swimmers as well as to the physical integrity of the pool fixtures.

So, you can stop your pool from being corrosive and irritating by adding some baking soda to it.

It is not the intention to exaggerate the effects of baking soda in acidic water. But what it can do includes:

  1. It helps to clear cloudy water and restore the sparkle to water that is both healthy and pleasant to look at.

  2. It treats algae and other growing microbes.

  3. It makes the water go soft on your skin.

  4. It keeps the pool equipment and articles in the best condition and prevent untimely corrosion.

  5. It complements with chlorine by adding to the general hygiene of the pool water.

The pH of baking soda is around 8.3 which means it is highly alkaline. The bicarbonates found in the baking soda are of two types and has both positive and negative charges accordingly. When you add baking soda in acidic water, it can attract free ions and form stable compounds. These stable compounds in turn will settle outside of the water.

Due to the presence of both positive and negative ends in baking soda helps it in accepting acidic and alkaline ions. So, it all depends on what level of pH you are going for with your pool water.

Simply put, baking soda can act both as an acid or a base. It entirely depends on which kind of environment you are introducing it to.


How Does Baking Soda Complement The Work Of Chlorine?

Chlorine is a widely used chemical that is used to purify artificial water bodies of all sizes. Naturally, it is found in a gaseous state and has a characteristic pungent smell. Due to its versatile and cleansing nature, chlorine can be used to clean swimming pools with low pH levels. Still, it works best when the pool water is slightly alkaline.

In order to keep your pool in prime condition, keeping tabs on the chlorine levels will not yield the best results. An acidic pool usually has many chloramines which makes it uncomfortable to swim in because of eye-stinging. It can also cause what is generally termed as pool smell. So, it is a primary task to keep pH and chlorine levels at the optimum to make your swimming pool comfortable.

What Are The Risks Of Using Baking Soda In Your Swimming Pool For Cleansing?

It comes as no surprise that people who do not understand how baking soda works in acidic water, or those who haven’t tried it in real life, to be concerned about the potential side-effects.

Scientifically, there is absolutely no harm in using baking soda for pool cleaning. Thanks to its novel nature of acting both as an acid or a base, according to the medium it is in, you can tune the acidity or alkalinity of a water body, such as a swimming pool, without getting any harmful by-products.

The quantity is the key here. There are two possible outcomes if you do not the exact optimum level of baking soda:

• By adding too little will not make it react to the acidic medium. This results in almost no change in the pH of the medium before and after the introduction of baking soda.

• Contrary to this, if you add too much in the pool water, it would raise the levels of alkalinity to the undesired stage, where it would be harmful.

In extreme cases of alkalinity in the pool water, you will find calcium formation around the pool. The excessive amounts of calcium can cause cloudiness and scale in the water. These are the product of adding too much baking soda in the hard water and can cause issues like the blockage of pool filters and so on.

If you recall, we have earlier discussed in the article about how natural factors like rainfall and organic waste add to the acidity of the pool water. By keeping that thing in mind, you need to understand that you can only make pool water alkaline by adding too much baking soda to it.

According to the experts, you run preliminary tests and carefully note the results. Then, add the appropriate amount of baking soda and let it dissolve and react with the pool water in the course of at least one day (24 hours). After that, you can run the tests again and adjust the dose of baking soda in order to prevent cloudiness in your swimming pool.


A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Clean Swimming Pool Using Baking Soda

For your convenience, the following is a comprehensive guide on how to use baking soda as a cleaning agent for pool water.

Step One – Running Tests
The first step of every scientific process is running tests and this work is no exception to that. If your pH reading comes out less than 7.2 minimum of alkalinity, this is the clear indication of adding baking soda in the swimming pool that will help move its pH to a slightly alkaline state. This will help in removing acidic nature from the water that can cause serious damage to health and fixtures.

Step Two – Adding The Right Amount Of Baking Soda
After determining the existing pH level of water in the swimming pool, the next step is to find the perfect quantity of baking soda that needs to go in the water to bring the pH level around the desired territory of 7.2 to 7.8.

In number terms, the appropriate level of alkalinity in pH nomenclature is 100 ppm. As per standard, in a pool of 10,000 gallons, 1.25 pounds of baking soda is enough to raise the pH level by 10ppm. Do the rest of the math and you will come up with the right number.

Step Three – Time To Purchase Baking Soda
Now that you have done all the necessary preliminary tests, it is time to bell the cat or precisely, adding baking soda to your swimming pool. There are many avenues that you can pursue to get the desired amount of baking soda. Some of the sources are as follows:

• Suppliers – this may get you the best price.

• Manufacturers – they usually do not provide small quantities and deal mostly in bulk. But if they do, it would be the sweetest deal.

• Online Stores – you may incur hefty shipping charges after buying a hefty bag of baking soda at an online store.

In our opinion, the best way to get your hands on this amount of baking soda is by getting to your local grocery store. If they are packed with that much amount, head to a retail store. It is best to keep things low key, in order to save good bucks.

Step Four – Adding Baking Soda In The Pool Water
Getting to this part, you need to add the desired amount of baking soda to the swimming pool. To be on the safe side, it is always the best course to start with small quantities. Acting on your hunches and guesses may seem right at first, but when all the baking soda would get dissolved in the swimming pool, the pH level would deviate from the desired level with a long margin that would be hard to cover.

As a general rule of thumb, do not add more than 2.5 pounds of baking soda to your pool in a day. The best way to ensure every parameter remains where it should be is by adding only 1.25 pounds of baking soda at a time that would raise the pH of water by 10ppm.

There is no restriction as to how you add baking soda to the pool water. Either you can sprinkle it over the surface of the pool or you can use a skimmer to introduce baking soda in the swimming pool.

To prevent cloudiness and other formations in your crystal-clear water, you can stir the pool water in a circular motion so that baking soda can be dissolved in its entirety.

Step Five – Leave It To Rest
After you are done with stirring baking soda in the pool, give it some time to rest. For proper circulation and assimilation, your pool water may need around 8 to 12 hours, but it can vary based on the size of the pool. If you have a large pool, it may take more than the prescribed time and vice versa.

Step Six – Test, Add, Repeat
After adding each dose of baking soda, give it the appropriate time to rest and run tests. If you do not reach the desired level of pH, add some more. Repeat the process several times until you hit the optimum level.


How Baking Soda Can Spot-Treat Algae In Pool?

Not surprisingly, you will find black or brown spots around the pool now and then. These spots are the result of algae formation in the pool. There is no need to worry about how to remove such stains.

In the below, we will show you how to successfully spot-treat algae problems in the pool.

Step One – Purchase An Algae-Treating Agent
From your regular grocery store around the corner or from the internet, purchase any algae killing substance. Add it into your pool by following the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

Step Two – Give It Time To Circulate
Allow the product to circulate in the pool and take action against the algae. Once again, the time taken by the product to cover the whole swimming pool depends on its size and the amount of water in it. Generally, it takes around 6 to 10 hours.

Sep Three – Introduce Baking Soda To The Affected Area
After the algae-killing product takes its course, add baking soda in the pool and let it come in direct contact with the affected area. It means you need to sprinkle baking soda around the spots for effective action.

Step Four – Scrub
After adding baking soda to the pool, scrub it with your regular pool brush, and see how algae disappear.

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