One of the most frustrating occurrences for any swimming pool owner is to have their pool water turn cloudy on them. Even though the pool water is most likely still OK to swim in, its cloudy appearance makes people apprehensive to go in the water.

So what can a homeowner do when their swimming pool water suddenly turns cloudy? For many people, the answer to that question is simply to add the proper amount of baking soda to their swimming pool.

What makes your pool water turn cloudy?

Swimming pools certainly are fun to own and use, but they, unfortunately, are not problem free. Cloudy water is one of those things that can be frustrating for any pool owner to have to correct. There are usually four main things that cause the water in your backyard swimming pool to turn cloudy. They are:

Low chlorine levels in the pool
pH and Alkalinity that are not properly balanced
Dead algae, dirt or debris
Poor filtration

The best place to start to determine what is causing the water in your swimming pool to become cloudy is to test your pool water chemistry. When you use a test kit to find out the pH and Alkalinity of your pool water, the pH should read between 7.2 and 7.8.

The Alkalinity of your pool water should be between 80 and 120 parts per million. If you find your pH and Alkalinity are out of balance to the low side, that’s when a box of baking soda can be your best friend.

It’s important to note that you should only use baking soda to increase your pH and Alkalinity if both of them are on the low side after testing your water. If your pH is low and your Alkalinity is fine, then it’s best to use soda ash to raise your pool water’s pH.

A great home remedy for cloudy pool water

Why is it important to keep your pH and Alkalinity properly adjusted? We have already told you that it causes your pool water to turn cloudy at times if your pH and Alkalinity are out of balance.

It has other negative consequences too. Most notably, if your swimming water is too alkaline or too acidic, that pool water will hurt your eyes as you swim and it will damage your pool filtration equipment over time also. So when your pool water pH and Alkalinity are to the low side, then baking soda offers an easy solution to this problem.

Will baking soda clear up a cloudy pool?

The answer to this question is absolutely, yes! If the cloudy pool water problem is being caused by the water in your swimming pool having a lower than recommended pH and Alkalinity.

Baking soda when added to a swimming pool always adds to the pH and Alkalinity of any swimming pool in incremental amounts. How much baking soda you need to add to a swimming pool to balance its pH and Alkalinity will be discussed next.

How to clear a cloudy pool with baking soda?

Just how does baking soda clear pool water? This is how it’s added to raise swimming pool water pH and Alkalinity.

Before you add any baking soda to your swimming pool, you also make sure you properly clean your swimming pools filtration system. That will definitely give you a boost as far as eliminating your pools cloudy water problem.

  1. Use a chemical test kit to test your swimming pools Alkalinity and pH. As we said, the proper pH should read between 7.2 and 7.8. When the Alkalinity of your pool water is tested, it should read between 80 and 120 parts per million.
  2. Determine how many parts per million your Alkalinity is low. Don’t be too concerned with the pH figure because it will go up along with the Alkalinity when you add your baking soda.
  3. Now it’s time to add your baking soda. You will add 1.4 lbs. baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool to raise your pool water alkalinity ten parts per million (10 ppm).

Example: If your pool water alkalinity is 30 parts per million low and you have a 20,000 gallon swimming pool, you will add 8.4 pounds of baking soda to your pool (it takes 2.8 lbs. of baking soda to raise a 20,000 gallon swimming pool 10 parts per million x 3 = 8.4 lbs.).

You can dilute the baking soda in a bucket of water or just broadcast it over the entire surface of your swimming pool.

It should take about 24 hours before your swimming pool completely clears. Be patient here and make sure your swimming pool is circulating the whole time you are trying to clear up your swimming pool. You can retest every few hours and adjust your Alkalinity and pH accordingly until you get it right.

Josh Hurd

Josh Hurd has been freelance writing since 2006. He attended the University of Akron, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
Josh Hurd
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