What Does Baking Soda Do For A Swimming Pool


Maintaining a clean and balanced swimming pool is essential for both the longevity of the pool and the health of those who swim in it. One commonly used product in pool maintenance is baking soda, which can help to stabilize pH levels and balance alkalinity in pool water.

Understanding the Chemistry of Pool Water

The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with 7 being neutral. In swimming pools, maintaining a pH range between 7.2-7.6 is ideal for ensuring safe and comfortable swimming conditions.

Alkalinity refers to the ability of water to resist changes in pH levels. It acts as a buffer against fluctuations in acidity or alkalinity, helping to maintain stable water chemistry.

The Role of Baking Soda in Pool Maintenance

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), is composed of bicarbonate ions that can act as a pH buffer when added to pool water. This means that it helps prevent drastic shifts in acidity or alkalinity by absorbing excess hydrogen ions (acid) or releasing them when needed.

In addition to its role as a pH buffer, baking soda also helps stabilize alkalinity levels by increasing them if they are too low or decreasing them if they are too high.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda in a Swimming Pool

Maintaining Optimal pH Levels

  • If the pH level is too low (below 7.2), adding baking soda can help raise it back into the ideal range.
  • Conversely, if the pH level is too high (above 7.6), baking soda can be used to lower it back into range.

Balancing Alkalinity Levels

  • When alkalinity levels are too low, adding baking soda increases them within an acceptable range.
  • On the other hand, if alkalinity levels are excessively high, using baking soda will help bring them down.

Preventing Corrosion and Scale Formation

  • Proper pH and alkalinity levels are crucial in preventing corrosion of pool equipment, such as metal surfaces or pool tile.
  • Baking soda aids in preventing the formation of scale on pool surfaces, which can lead to cloudy water issues and damage to the pool.

How to Use Baking Soda in a Swimming Pool

To use baking soda effectively in your swimming pool:

  1. Test the pH and alkalinity levels using a reliable testing kit.
  2. Determine the appropriate dosage of baking soda based on your pool size and current pH/alkalinity readings.
  3. Add the recommended amount of baking soda by pouring it slowly into a bucket with some water from your pool, stirring until fully dissolved.
  4. Distribute the solution evenly throughout the pool by pouring it around different areas while walking around its perimeter or using a brush if needed.

Other Considerations for Pool Water Maintenance

Importance of Regular Testing

Regularly testing and monitoring pH and alkalinity levels is vital for maintaining proper water chemistry balance. This will help you identify any chemical imbalances promptly.

Interaction with Other Pool Chemicals

It’s important to consider how other chemicals used in pools may interact with baking soda. For example, adding too much chlorine may cause an increase in pH level, which can be corrected using baking soda.

Tips for Maintaining Proper Pool Water Balance

In addition to using baking soda, there are other essential factors to consider for effective pool maintenance:
– Clean debris regularly from skimmers, filters, and baskets.
– Brushing walls and floors helps prevent algae growth.
– Shock treatments should be performed according to manufacturer instructions periodically.

FAQ Section

Q: Can I substitute other household items for baking soda?
A: While there are alternative options available like sodium carbonate (soda ash) or even plain washing soda (sodium carbonate), they might not provide similar benefits or have the same effectiveness as baking soda.

Q: How much baking soda should I use for my pool?
A: The recommended dosage of baking soda varies depending on your pool size and current pH/alkalinity levels. It is best to consult a pool professional or refer to product instructions for accurate measurements.

Q: Is it safe to swim in a pool with high alkalinity levels?
A: High alkalinity levels can cause cloudiness, scaling, or other issues in a swimming pool. While it may not be harmful to swim temporarily, maintaining proper balance is crucial for an enjoyable swimming experience.


In conclusion, incorporating baking soda into your regular pool maintenance routine can provide numerous benefits. By helping maintain optimal pH levels and balancing alkalinity, you can prevent corrosion, scale formation, and cloudy water issues. With its ease of use and cost-effectiveness compared to other chemicals on the market, baking soda proves to be an excellent choice for keeping your swimming pool clean and balanced. So go ahead and give it a try!


  • Baking soda: A common household item that can be used as a substitute for pool chemicals. It helps in maintaining the alkalinity of pool water and balancing the pH level.
  • Swimming pool water: The water contained within a swimming pool, which requires regular maintenance to ensure cleanliness and chemical balance.
  • Alkalinity increaser: A product or substance used to increase the alkalinity level of the pool water, often including baking soda as one of its ingredients.
  • Pool filter: Equipment used to remove debris and impurities from the swimming pool water by passing it through a filtering medium.
  • Chlorine level: The measurement of chlorine concentration in the swimming pool, important for sanitizing and preventing bacteria growth.
  • Cloudy pool water: Water that appears murky or hazy due to various factors such as improper chemical balance, high levels of contaminants, or algae growth.
  • Pool brush: A tool with bristles specifically designed for cleaning surfaces within a swimming pool, helping to remove dirt and algae buildup.
  • Muriatic acid: An acidic solution commonly used in pools for pH adjustment or cleaning purposes. It should be handled with caution due to its corrosive nature.
  • Green pool: A condition where excessive algal growth has turned the color of the swimming pool’s water green. Requires treatment and proper maintenance procedures to restore clarity.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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