baking soda in hot tubs

One of the most important things to maintain in your hot tub is a balanced pH level. However, as many hot tub owners know, the price of chemicals can be a lot to stomach, which is why so many hot tub owners look to regular home goods to get the job done.

Today, we’re going to look at whether or not you can use baking soda to raise the pH in your hot tub.

Continue reading to learn more.

Can You Use Baking Soda To Raise the pH In Your Hot Tub?

Yes, you may use baking soda to raise the pH of your hot tub’s water. However, to have a significant impact on the pH level of your hot tub’s water, you will need to add at least a pound or more of baking soda. Compared to alternate chemicals for boosting pH, the necessary quantity of baking soda is much higher.

There are much better alternatives out there if you want to raise the pH of your hot tub water, including magnesium oxide and Soda Ash.

Should I Use Baking Soda To Raise My Hot Tub’s pH Level?

All in all, you would need to add in 1.25 pounds of baking soda if you want to raise the pH level in your hot tub from 7.2 to 7.6, assuming that you had an average 600-gallon spa. In essence, the amount of baking soda that you would need to add to your hot tub’s water would depend on the volume of water that your hot tub holds.

Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, sits at around 8.4 on the pH scale. Anything that sits at 7 is regarded as pH neutral. You need to test out your hot tub’s water with a test kit to see where your pH sits before you add baking soda to your hot tub.

The other thing is, using 1.25 pounds of baking soda to raise the pH level in a hot tub is pretty impractical, as it can only raise the pH level by an insignificant amount. If you have a hot tub that has a pH level far below the neutral seven point, then you would need even more baking soda to raise the total alkalinity.

A whole number would require ten times the normal baking soda amount needed. So, as you can see, using baking soda to raise the pH level is not the best idea. However, if you are simply using baking soda to raise the total alkalinity, then that is a different story.

See our article titled: “What Causes High pH In A Hot Tub” if you’d like to learn why your water has a high pH.

How Much Baking Soda To Raise Alkalinity In Hot Tub?

If you’re looking to raise the total alkalinity in your hot tub, then baking soda works really well.

Let’s first make sure that you understand the difference between pH and alkalinity.

pH is a measure of how acidic your hot tub’s water is, while alkalinity measures the ability of your hot tub’s water to neutralize that acid. 

pH and alkalinity interact with one another, though they are very different.

The total alkalinity in your hot tub’s water is how resistant it is to sudden pH level changes. To make sure that your hot tub’s water is safe to soak in, you need to make sure that you are managing both the pH and alkalinity.

To make sure your hot tub’s water is safe, you want to keep the total alkalinity level between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm). Knowing how to raise & lower alkalinity in a hot tub is essential for all spa owners.

How much baking soda you will need will depend on how many gallons of water you have in your hot tub. The first thing that you will want to do is figure out your hot tub’s pH level by turning off the jets and measuring it with a test strip.

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to start if you have a small hot tub. This number may be bigger if you have more than 600 gallons of water in your hot tub. Once you have added the right amount of baking soda, you should turn the jets on and allow your hot tub water to circulate for around 2-4 hours.

Once your hot tub water has fully circulated, check the pH and alkalinity levels with a test strip.

For your hot tub’s pH, the number should sit around 7.2 to 7.8 parts per million, while the alkalinity should sit between 80 and 120 parts per million.

Do note that it is impossible to raise one without raising the other. If you’re looking to have minimal impact on your hot tub’s alkalinity while significantly raising the pH level, then we recommend using magnesium oxide powder.

Should I Use Baking Soda or Soda Ash To Raise My Hot Tub’s pH Level?

When it comes to raising your hot tub’s pH level, soda ash is a much better choice than baking soda, as soda ash has a pH level of 11.4.

Baking soda, on the other hand, only has a pH of 8.3, meaning baking soda added to a hot tub with pH levels higher than 8.3 would actually lower the pH.

Soda Ash is what we refer to as sodium carbonate, which is different than baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). 

If you need to drastically raise the pH levels and raise alkalinity, then soda ash is a great option. Of course, that means that soda ash has its problems. You may not want to raise alkalinity levels by a lot.

For a good in-between, we highly recommend magnesium oxide powder. Yes, magnesium oxide will raise alkalinity, though it is not nearly as strong as soda ash.

Plus, magnesium oxide is far more concentrated compared to sodium carbonate, meaning you don’t need to use as much in your water. The average hot tub will only need around 1/4 cup of magnesium oxide.

It is important to note that whenever you turn your jets on, your pH levels will go up. This is due to aeration.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to raise pH and alkalinity in your hot tub, then baking soda will certainly do the trick. What is more important to note, however, is that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) will have more of an impact on the alkalinity in a hot tub compared to the pH.

As we said before, how much baking soda you need will depend on how many gallons of water are in your hot tub. If you’re looking to raise pH levels and alkalinity in a hot tub, we highly recommend using soda ash instead. If you want to raise pH without having a major impact on alkalinity, we recommend magnesium oxide powder.

Overall, one tablespoon of baking soda per one hundred gallons of water should do the trick. Multiply one tablespoon of baking soda by however many hundreds of gallons of water are in your hot tub to get the exact amount.

Of course, make sure to use a test strip to test out the alkalinity and pH balance in your hot tub, as the last thing you want to do is create water that is too acidic or too basic. Hot tub water that is not balanced could lead to scale, bacteria growth, cloudy water, itchy skin, itch eyes, and damaged equipment. 

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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