Will Baking Soda Lower Chlorine Level in Pool?

Chlorine is an essential element in a pool for safe swimming. But excess use of chlorine will make the pH level unstable and reduce the alkalinity. And the people have to suffer from adverse effects. Some people may think of using baking soda to control chlorine levels but will baking soda lower chlorine level in pool?

Baking soda can’t reduce the chlorine level in the pool directly, but it can increase the alkalinity of the pool, which is the same thing as lowering chlorine levels. So, it has indirect effects to reduce the chlorine level. 8 to 9 pounds of Sodium Bicarbonate, which is baking soda, is enough for 10,000-gallon pool water.

Despite having some side effects, baking soda is a pretty good option to lower chlorine levels. It’s imperative to know how to make it work in your pool.

Will Baking Soda Lower Chlorine Level in Pool

Why Baking Soda?

You might be thinking, why not use some chlorine neutralizer, Hydrogen Peroxide, or Ascorbic acid to lower the chlorine level? But baking soda can easily be found in your kitchen. If not, then go to the nearest store and buy some.

But the chlorine neutralizers, Sodium thiosulphate, or Hydrogen Peroxide are not always available in the stores, and they are a bit costlier than other options. Moreover, baking soda increases the effectiveness of Hydrogen Peroxide so that the Peroxide can reduce the chlorine level quickly.

The baking soda speeds up the process by producing chlorine gases. Then the pH level will get higher gradually. However, some smells of chlorine gases will remain, but it’s not a significant problem.

How Does Baking Soda Reduce Chlorine Level?

As baking soda doesn’t work directly, how does it act to lower chlorine levels? We know chlorine sanitizes the pool and reduces the risk of swimming by killing germs. But using too much chlorine imbalances the pH and makes it acidic by lowering the total alkalinity.

The baking soda is mainly Sodium Bicarbonate which is an alkaline product. When the water pH gets lower than 6, baking soda can increase the pH to 7 or 8. If the amount of chlorine gets higher in the pool, you can add some baking soda to it. The Sodium Bicarbonate reacts with chlorine and creates chlorine gas to vaporize.

So, the chlorine gases fly away, and the total chlorine level starts to reduce gradually. On the contrary, the baking soda increases the alkalinity so that the pH level goes to neutral again and makes the pool secure to swim.

You can even apply Hydrogen Peroxide as a neutralizer, but the process becomes slower. So, adding some baking soda with it makes the process significantly fast.

How to Add Baking Soda to the Pool?

Now you know how baking soda helps to reduce excess chlorine in the pool. But you can’t just throw some soda in the pool and expect it to work magically. You need to follow some guidelines while applying the baking soda in the pool.

Step 1: Test Alkalinity

Before you decide to add baking soda, you need to know your pool’s current pH and alkalinity. The ideal pH range is 7.2 to 7.6, and the ideal alkalinity range is 110 to 150 ppm.

You need to apply chlorine neutralizers when you notice the pH is below 6 and the alkalinity is less than 80 ppm. Then you have to use the baking soda to increase alkalinity and pH level.

Step 2: Purchase Enough Amount

After you confirm the excess chlorine level, you need to buy some baking soda. The amount should be bulk, like 3 pounds to 10 pounds depending on the level of alkalinity.

Usually, a container of 5 pounds is enough to reduce the chlorine level. But if the chlorine level is too high or you used excess chlorine to an unbearable amount, you may have to use about 8 pounds of baking soda.

Your pool size also matters like if your pool contains 10,000 gallons, you would need 10 pounds of soda to neutralize the chlorine level.

Step 3: Calculate How Much to Add

You have to calculate the amount of soda that you need to apply in the pool. It’s imperative to know the amount, or else you can accidentally make your pool too much alkaline.

Typically, the container has suggestions about the amount, but it’s better to start with a low amount than the recommendations.

Step 4: Add Soda

Mainly, the baking soda stays in power form in the container. So, it’s better if you use them in powder form. If you use 1.5 pounds in any pool size, it will increase the alkalinity level by about 10 ppm for 10,000 gallons.

If the alkaline level is below 7.2, you need to add 3 to 4 pounds of soda but not all at a time. You have to start with one-fourth of the total amount and gradually mix them. 

It’s better if the level remains low and there’s more to add. If the alkaline level gets higher, you may need to add some acidic compounds to keep the water neutral.

Step 5: Retest After 6 Hours

You have to wait for 6 hours to run a test because the soda needs time to dissolve in water. You don’t have to do anything during the period. But it’s not wise to wait more than 24 hours. Otherwise, the Sodium Carbonate will lose its effectiveness.

Step 6: Dilute If Extra Dense

Sometimes solutions can be more basic than desirable because of some miscalculations. So, it would be better if you dilute the soda first and then use it in your pool.

You can also follow the user manual instructions and see if there are any recommendations for diluting the solution.  

Step 7: Repeat the Process

You need to run a test after completing the neutralizing process. Check the pH level and alkalinity level and see if they are in the standard range or not.

If you see the pH is below 7 and the alkalinity is below 110 ppm, you need to repeat the process till the water is in the standard range.

Problems with Baking Soda That You Need to Know

There’s no serious problem with baking soda if you use them to lower the chlorine level in your pool. But you would notice some harmful chlorine smells after 24 hours of applying baking soda.

The smells come from chlorine gases that were earlier produced by reacting with Sodium Bicarbonate. People may misunderstand that excess chlorine is used to shock the pool. But it’s just the gases. 

If you use excess soda, you may increase the pool scaling and make the water too hard. Hard water is not ideal for swimming either.

But don’t take these cons discouraging because there are also some advantages. Baking soda helps to deal with the algae and the corrosion problem inside the pipes.

Final Words

It’s essential to maintain the chlorine level of the pool for a safe swim. You won’t have to spend extra money on that if you can reduce the excess chlorine level by adding baking soda.

So, keep your pool in standard conditions so that you can enjoy a free swim. Wish you a happy summer!

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