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Baking Soda in Pool: How to Use It and Why

Baking Soda in Pool: How to Use It and Why
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Effective swimming pool management requires a lot of dedication and attention to detail. Materials used to regulate pH levels in pools or address low pH levels usually come from the most unlikely places. One of the most effective materials used by swimming pool professionals and homeowners is baking soda — to give their pool a pH bounce.

But what are the effects of adding baking soda to your pool? What does using baking soda in pool do? How much acid does baking soda contain? Is it advisable? Are there any side effects you should be aware of? These are just a few of the questions first-time users will always have, and we are here to answer them one by one.

We will discuss the effects of baking soda in your pool water as well as how much baking soda you should add to raise the alkalinity.

What Does Baking Soda Do for a Pool?

Due to its natural alkaline content, baking soda is also called sodium bicarbonate. This powder has been used for baking foods for generations and remains an active baking ingredient. In addition, it has recently found its way into swimming pool management. How so, you may ask. 

Well, you will find it interesting to know that baking soda can raise the alkalinity levels and increase pH levels in your pool.

If your pool water has a naturally low pH level, you can use baking soda to spike the pH to acceptable standards. This practice has been ongoing for a long time as many have adopted soda as a viable material for pH management. Even today, many pool management products contain baking soda as an essential ingredient for raising alkalinity levels. Baking soda is used in pools for this purpose.

How Much Baking Soda to Raise PH in a Pool?

How much baking soda in pool is the next question you may want to ask now that you know what baking soda or sodium carbonate can do for you. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. To figure out how much baking soda to use to raise total alkalinity in the pool, you need to do a few things. We discuss the steps below.

Test Water

The first thing you need to do is do so many tests to check the water in your pool. Test daily to ensure that the total alkalinity is between 110-150 ppm (parts per million).

If you do the test and notice that it is below 80 ppm, you can add baking soda to raise the alkaline level. In addition to that, you need to test the pH levels. The ideal pH level should be between 7.2-7.8. So if pH is too low, you need to raise that too. The good news is that adding baking soda to the pool’s volume will raise the pH and alkalinity at the same time.

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Digital Water Test Kit for Pools and Hot Tubs
  • Features a photometer which gives you a digital reading of test results.
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Figure Out Much Baking Soda Is Needed

The next move to make is to figure out much baking soda pH is required in pool water. Again, getting the measurement right is an essential part of the process. On average, the measurement of pool chemicals is based on 10,000 water gallons.

So if your pool is much larger, you will need to adjust your calculation to make up for the extra gallons.  As a general rule, about 1.5 lbs of soda per 10,000 water gallons will raise the alkalinity levels of your pool by about 10 ppm. So, if your swimming pool has a pH level below 7.2, about 3-4 pounds of baking soda pH is what you need to raise it to acceptable levels.

If you have never used pool chemicals before, you may want to start by adding half of the required amount before retesting the water. Then, if more is needed, you can add a few more pounds of baking soda. However, adding too much baking soda will spike the pH more than necessary. 

Add Baking Soda to Pool

The next step is to add baking soda to the pool. Simply sprinkle baking soda pH or sodium bicarbonate directly into the pool. Make sure you spread it across the length and breadth of the pool surface instead of dumping it in one spot and hoping that it spreads to other parts.

Another thing you should be mindful of is the wind. If the wind is too strong, it may blow the soda away, and the pool will get very little of it. So ensure that the weather is not as windy but stable, so the baking soda pH does not go airborne. This move will improve the pool’s pH level.

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Arm and Hammer Baking Soda - 13.5 lb bag
Perfect for raising the pH in your Swimming Pool!

Circulate Baking Soda

After you have sprinkled the sodium bicarbonate in the pool, leave it to dissolve before switching on your pool’s circulation system so the powder will be dispersed appropriately. By doing so, you will ensure that the powder covers the entire surface.

Test Water Again

After proper circulation, leave the pool for a minimum of six hours and a maximum of 24 hours before retesting the pool’s pH scale for total alkalinity and pH. If the total alkalinity is below 110 and pH is below 7.2, repeat the steps.

How Much Baking Soda to Raise Alkalinity in Pool

To get started you’ll want to make sure you test your pool’s chemical balance. Your ideal pH level should fall between 7.2 and 7.8 with an alkalinity between 110 and 150 ppm (parts per million). If your alkalinity falls below 80, you should try to raise it.

To determine how to put baking soda in pool, a good guide is to use 1.5 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water, to raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm.

Avoid adding the baking soda to one spot, spread it evenly across the surface of your pool. Once you’ve added the baking soda, wait a few hours and turn on your pool pump to get the water circulating.

Repeat this process every day until your ideal alkalinity is achieved!

How to Spot Treat Algae With Baking Soda

Now that you know how to raise pH in a pool with baking soda, the next thing we want to show you is how to spot and treat algae in your swimming pool. If you have an algae invasion in the pool, baking soda can be used as a remedy.

Here are the steps to take to stop algae from making your pool smell.

Use Algae Removal Product

There are different types of algae removal many commercial pool products today are sold online and at departmental stores. These products are very effective in checking the spread of algae. Simply apply the content to the affected part. If the pool has been overrun by algae, you will need to add it all over the pool.

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Make sure the algaecide circulates all across the pool. Use a circulation system if you have to so that the same sanitizing effect will be felt at the pool bottom.

Apply Baking Soda to Affected Area

The next step is to apply baking soda pH to the pool. Sprinkle it across the pool and ensure that it covers every region, including tiny crevices and stair lines.

Scrub With Pool Brush

Scrubbing the affected areas with a pool brush is also very effective. But if you want better results, we recommend that you apply baking soda first before scrubbing with the pool brush after some time. Doing this will rid your swimming pool of algae because the soda ash will act like a muriatic acid to rid the pool’s surface of algae growth. Baking soda scrub works just fine.

Risks of Using Baking Soda in Your Pool

What does baking soda ash do in a pool if you add too much of it? Well, if you add much baking soda ash you will raise the alkaline and pH levels to high levels, which will, in turn, have negative implications. High pH will cause scale deposits and a buildup of too much calcium. Even worse is the fact that your skin will bear the brunt of it all because exceedingly high pH and alkaline irritate the skin.

That is why you need to add the required quantity of soda ash and nothing more.

Common Pool Issues

Here are common pool issues you should be aware of if you want to maintain your pool all year long.

Cloudy Water

Is your water cloudy? Cloudy water is a common issue many pool owners encounter, and many factors could be responsible for it. In most cases, the problem may be caused by the filtration system. Adjusting the filtration system will rectify the issue.

However, if the water is hard because it contains a lot of materials, then you should stop using products that increase calcium and total alkalinity in your pool. The idea is to keep alkalinity at 110 ppm and pH at 7.2. Conducting water tests regularly will let you know if the products you use are responsible for cloudy water.


Algae growth is another common issue with pools. How do you know if you have algae in your pool? You will notice that the walls and pool surface are slimy, and the water will have a dull green color. In some areas, algae may appear blue or yellow. To eliminate them, use an algaecide. 

After applying the algaecide, use baking soda to raise the pH level. 


If you notice corrosion on your ladders and pipes or even the pool liners or pits, the alkaline in your pool may be very low. Using baking soda and other pool management products will raise the level.

Baking Soda in Pool FAQ

What Is the PH of Baking Soda?

The pH level in baking soda is about 8.3. Therefore, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is used as a treatment solution for alkaline boosting and raising pH levels.

Does Baking Soda Lower PH in Pool?

Baking soda contains natural alkaline, so adding it to your pool will not lower pH; instead, it will spike it. Therefore, if you are looking for lowering pH in pool baking soda, baking soda is not the material to use.

Does Baking Soda Kill Algae in Pools?

Yes, it does. You can eliminate algae by applying it to the affected areas then scrubbing with a pool brush. Effectively scrubbing the area will eliminate algae permanently. Also, if you use baking soda more often, algae will hardly grow in your pool.

How Do I Add Baking Soda to My Pool?

If you are looking for how to raise pH in a pool with baking soda, the general rule is to add 1.5 lbs per 10,000 gallons of water. This will increase the ppm in your pool by 10 ppm. If your pool is testing below 7.2 pH, you need to add 3-4 pounds of baking soda.

Is Baking Soda Safe for Swimming Pools?

Baking soda is safe to use because it poses no threat to humans; it can raise ph level and clears up the cloudy pool water. However, it can cause skin dryness due to the effect it will have on body fluids.

Can You Put Too Much Baking Soda in Pool?

Putting too much soda in your swimming pool is unadvisable because doing so will raise the pH level and alkaline levels beyond the required level. Moreover, it will lead to calcium buildup, thereby making your water to be cloudy. Too much baking soda in your pool may spike pH and even clog your pool’s filtration system.

The Bottom Line: Baking Soda in Pool

Adding baking soda directly to the pool using the proper measurement can give you good results. Your pool will be crystal clear instead of becoming a cloudy pool, and algae will not form on the pool’s surface, pool tiles, walls, or stairs. Baking soda is also effective for raising pool water alkalinity and pH levels; however, be mindful of how much of it you use because too much may lead to filtration clogging, skin irritation, and pool equipment damage.

Now that you know how to make baking soda work, you have no excuse. Buy baking soda at a grocery store today and get to work.

Pricing on this page was last updated on 2024-05-27