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Home Pools Pool Chemicals Soda Ash for Pool: 3 Best Products & Comparison with Baking Soda

Soda Ash for Pool: 3 Best Products & Comparison with Baking Soda

Soda ash: an effective solution for pool maintenance or not? Explore our article and find out what it is, how and when to use it.
Soda ash pool

You’ve probably already used a lot of different chemicals to keep your pool clean: sanitizer, shock, clarifier, or algaecide. How about soda ash? You may find it strange to add surface cleaner and dishwashing detergent to your pool. However, this ingredient is constant in certain pool chemicals.

To understand what soda ash is and why you should use it in your pool, we have gathered a detailed guide that lists the top three soda ash products for pools based on our QC analysis.

💡 Note:
Using pool chemicals can be extremely ineffective if you have an old or inappropriate filter. Recently, we compared the five best above-ground pool filters that clean water from debris. We suggest you familiarize yourself with it to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

Best Soda Ash For Pools Comparison Table

FDC pH Increaser for Pool
FDC pH Increaser for Pool

Category winner
The fastest and most efficient pH adjustment
Characteristics
Amazon rating: ⭐️ 4.6
Net weight: 15 lb
Active ingredients: 100% sodium carbonate
Consumption: 1 lb per 10,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic bucket

What makes it the best?
✓The most efficient pH adjustment – almost 100% of users state that it raises pH efficiently
✓The fastest pH adjustment – increases pH levels in 1–12 hours
✓Extensive package – contains up to three times more sodium carbonate than others

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Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets
Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets

Category winner
The most efficient alkalinity increaser
Characteristics
Amazon rating: ⭐️ 4.4
Net weight: 7 lb
Active ingredients: 86.6% sodium bicarbonate, 13.4% clarifier, and other ingredients
Consumption: 1 tablet per 5,000–7,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic bucket with plastic bags inside

What makes it the best?
✓The most efficient alkalinity increaser – almost 100% of users state its efficiency
✓The safest for other chemical levels – almost 100% of users state the absence of negative impact on chlorine and other chemicals
✓Total dissolving – 80% of users state the absence of sediment

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Cesco Solutions Soda Ash
Cesco Solutions Soda Ash

Category winner
The most versatile item
Characteristics
Amazon rating: ⭐️ 4.7
Net weight: 10 lb
Active ingredients: 100% sodium carbonate
Consumption: 1 lb per 10,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic zip bag

What makes it the best?
✓The most versatile item – allows you to effectively increase pH and come in handy in the household for washing, baking, tie-dying
✓The most convenient packaging – durable plastic zip bag takes up less space than plastic buckets
✓Economical use – 20% of users state its economy

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What Is Soda Ash?

Soda ash pool

Soda ash is the colloquial name for sodium carbonate, a chemical used in industrial and household applications. So, why is it needed?

  • 🔎 Glass production. Sand is mixed with sodium carbonate and heated to 570–4532°F to melt and mix the components. Further, it cools down and produces high-strength glass, which you can find everywhere, from glass bottles to cars.
  • 🍔 Cooking. In some recipes, we should add soda ash so that the dough gets a crispy outer crust while it bakes.
  • 🏠 Domestic purposes. Soda ash helps remove deposits, grease, and alcohol stains. Also, you can use it in the wash to distribute detergent evenly over the clothes.

Besides, you can add soda ash to the pool. Read on to the next paragraph to understand why to use it in the pool.

Why Do I Need To Use It In A Pool?

Soda ash pool

Soda ash is a chemical that has a high pH (11.3 to 11.7). For this reason, you can use soda ash to raise the pH in your pool.

What about total alkalinity? Soda ash has minimal effect on total alkalinity because you need to add a small amount of the substance per 10,000 gallons – from 6 oz to 1 lb. In this case, the total alkalinity will be increased by no more than 15 ppm (the ideal level of total alkalinity is from 80 to 120 ppm).

Does Water Become Cloudy After Adding Soda Ash?

Soda ash pool

Since soda ash has a high pH, adding it to water causes the pH to rise dramatically. The water with high pH can become cloudy, so soda ash can temporarily cause the same effect

However, within one hour to one day, the cloudiness will disappear, so your levels will be OK. Therefore, if you notice such changes in your pool, do not worry because you should wait until the cloudiness disappears.

💡 Note:
A few days have passed, but the pool is still cloudy? In this case, you should contact pool clarifiers. We’ve recently gathered a detailed guide that explains what it is, how to use it, and listed the five best pool clarifiers.

3 Best Soda Ash Products To Adjust PH Levels In Detail

The purpose of soda ash is to increase pH and total alkalinity. Therefore, the best options should do this efficiently and quickly. In addition, it is also worth considering the convenience of storage and the density of packaging because the product will be near other chemicals, unwanted contact with which can cause a dangerous chemical reaction.

We considered all these factors during our QC analysis and compiled a list of the top three soda ash items, all of which deserve to be on your pool care shelf.

FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool – The Fastest and Most Efficient pH Adjustment

The fastest and most efficient pH adjustment

CharacteristicsAmazon rating: ⭐️ 4.6
Net weight: 15 lb
Active ingredients: 100% sodium carbonate
Consumption: 1 lb per 10,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic bucket

FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool is the best product for increasing pH levels effectively and quickly. What makes it the best? Firstly, it has almost 100% positive reviews on high efficiency. Thus, the specified amount of soda ash in the instructions allows you to increase the pH by the specified number of levels.

Second, the use of an FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool is the fastest way to increase pH levels in less than 12 hours. In our QC analysis, there was another possible candidate to win in this category. However, Essential Values PH Increaser is less effective, as 40% of users rated this indicator negatively.

Thirdly, this soda ash dissolves before it settles on the pool’s bottom, as approximately 40% of users rated this criterion positively. It is crucial because sediment can degrade the overall water quality.

💡 Note:
A pool vacuum cleaner is an effective way to remove sediment. Moreover, there are robot vacuum cleaners on the market that can clean the bottom and walls of the pool autonomously. You can check out the top three robot vacuum cleaners in our article.
Verdict:
FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool is the most effective and fastest way to increase the pH in your pool without messing with other chemicals or leaving residue on the bottom. The only disadvantage of this product is its packaging. The lid is rather inconvenient, so you should make an effort to open it.

Pros

  • The most efficient pH adjustment – almost 100% of users state (that is 20% more than other chemicals) that it raises pH
  • The fastest pH adjustment – increases pH levels up to two times faster than other items
  • Affordable price – the cost of 1 oz is up to two times less than other items

Cons

  • Some users have noted that it is difficult to understand how to open the bucket’s lid because there is no guidance.

Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets – The Most Efficient Alkalinity Increaser

The most efficient alkalinity increaser

CharacteristicsAmazon rating: ⭐️ 4.4
Net weight: 7 lb
Active ingredients: 86.6% sodium bicarbonate, 13.4% clarifier, and other ingredients
Consumption: 1 tablet per 5,000–7,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic bucket with plastic bags inside

Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets is the best way to increase alkalinity because it contains sodium bicarbonate or simply baking soda. This substance has a pH level of 8, which is three levels less than soda ash, so you will need to add up to two times more of this substance to raise the pH. For this reason, total alkalinity levels also rise twice as much.

It is worth noting that you do not need to worry about the fact that you add more of this remedy than others. For example, you are advised to use one 7 oz tablet, which is only 1 oz more than the FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool. Moreover, Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets contain a clarifier that speeds up the elimination of cloudiness.

Also, users note that it is safe for the skin and eyes because it does not irritate even with prolonged exposure to water:

It is safe for your eyes because my daughter has sensitive eyes and goes under the water with no complaints!

— The Walls Household, Ohio

Verdict:
Arm & Hammer Alkalinity & pH Maintenance Tablets is the best choice for increasing total alkalinity. Moreover, it will not leave a residue because 80% of users mark this criterion positively.

Pros

  • The most efficient alkalinity increaser – almost 100% of users (that is 20% more than other items) state that it effectively increases pH and total alkalinity
  • The safest for other chemical levels – almost 100% of users (that is up to 80% more than other items) state that it stabilizes chlorine levels
  • Total dissolving – 80% of users (that is up to 40% more than others) state that this chemical dissolves fully

Cons

  • 30% of users state that tablets were broken. However, you can still add them after measuring the right amount (1 tablet = 7 oz) using a kitchen scale or a measuring cup.

Cesco Solutions Soda Ash – The Most Versatile Item

The Most Versatile Item

CharacteristicsAmazon rating: ⭐️ 4.7
Net weight: 10 lb
Active ingredients: 100% sodium carbonate
Consumption: 1 lb per 10,000 gallons
Packaging: plastic zip bag

Cesco Solutions Soda Ash is the most versatile item because 30% of its users state that it effectively increases pH and comes in handy in washing, scaling, baking, and even tie-dying. Also, it has the most convenient and, at the same time, sturdy packaging. At first glance, it may seem that soft packaging cannot be reliable. However, 40% of users rate this criterion positively, which is 20% more than product #2.

In addition, the presence of a ZIP line makes it easier to use as you won’t have to deal with the hassle of opening the lid like the FDC pH Increaser for Hot Tub & Pool. Moreover, the packaging takes up to three times less space than others, which allows you to store it where you want.

Of course, we should not forget the effectiveness of raising the pH. Approximately 60% of users note that Cesco Solutions Soda Ash effectively increases pH without harming equipment and their health. The effectiveness rate is about 40% lower than #1, but this product is often used in other situations that require soda ash like washing, baking, and scaling. Therefore, the total number of comments about pools is less than for other products.

Verdict:
Cesco Solutions Soda Ash is a versatile product with the most convenient and sturdy packaging. It will help you raise your pH levels and come in handy in the household for washing, baking, tie-dying, etc.

Pros

  • The most convenient packaging – durable plastic zip bag takes up to three times less space than other items packed in plastic buckets
  • The most reduced odor – this is the only item whose users state the absence of unpleasant odor
  • Economical use – 20% of users (that is 10–20% more than other items) state its economy

Cons

  • 20% of users state that it has unclear directions

How Much Soda Ash Do I Need To Raise The PH Level?

You should check pH levels 1–2 times a week to avoid situations when the water becomes too acidic and corrosive processes begin.

💡 Note:
Use test kits (test strip, liquid, or digital) to check pH levels. In our recent article, we analyzed all of them, listed their pros and cons, and gathered the top five test kits.

You should add soda ash to your pool when the pH drops below 7.4. For your convenience, we’ve listed a table below that describes how much soda ash you need to add to balance the pH.

Cesco Solutions Soda Ash

Soda Ash vs. Baking Soda vs. Muriatic Acid

We have noticed that pool owners want to understand the difference between baking soda, soda ash, and muriatic acid. At first glance, it might seem that baking soda and soda ash are the same. However, their composition and effect on pool chemical levels differ, while muriatic acid does the opposite. Thus, let’s figure it out.

Chemical
Soda ash




Baking soda



Muriatic acid



Active ingredient
Sodium carbonate
Sodium Bicarbonate
Hydrogen chloride
Purpose
Used to increase pH (when it’s below 7.4) due to its high pH from 11.3 to 11.7 without harming total alkalinity levels. The standard dosage of sodium carbonate will not increase total alkalinity levels by more than 6–7%.


Used to increase total alkalinity when it's below 80 ppm without harming pH levels because its pH level is 8, which is 3 levels lower than sodium carbonate.
Used to decrease pH when it's higher than 7.6 because its pH level is 1–2, so it means that muriatic acid is a very "strong acid".
Consumption
6 oz–1 lb per 10,000 gallons to raise pH from 6.4–7.2 to 7.4–7.6
1–1/2 pounds per 10,000 gallons to raise the total alkalinity by 10 ppm
12 oz–1 qt per 10,000 gallons to lower pH from 7.8–8.4+ to 7.6
Detailed guide
Check out the detailed review
Check out the detailed review
Check out the detailed review
Price
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Summary

Soda ash is an effective way to quickly raise your pH to the standard 7.2–7.6 level. You need to add from 6 oz to 1 lb per 10,000 gallons. Then, within 1–12 hours, chemical levels will be stable.

Also, some people may mistakenly confuse soda ash with baking soda because they have similar names and appearances. However, these products serve different purposes as baking soda is needed to increase total alkalinity, while soda ash is used to increase pH.

If you missed any important aspects, we suggest getting acquainted with what soda ash is, how much to add to the pool and the top three products.

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FAQ

🕜 How long after raising alkalinity can you swim?

Alkalinity balance chemicals are just baking soda which is safe for swimmers, so you can enter your pool in 20–25 minutes after adding it.

🧮 How much soda ash to add per gallon of water?

You should add 6 oz to 1 lb of soda ash per 10,000 gallons to raise the pH to 7.2–7.6 levels. You can find a more detailed table with consumption in our article.

⏱ How fast does soda ash clear a pool?

Depending on the volume of the pool and the initial pH level, soda ash will adjust the pH level within 1 to 12 hours.

😵 What to do if I put too much soda ash in the pool?

If you add too much soda ash to your pool, you will see the water turn cloudy, like milk. In this case, you should either lower the pH until the cloudiness passes or filter out the sediment.

⬇️ Is it true that soda ash lowers chlorine levels?

Soda ash is a safe chemical for chlorine levels, as it doesn’t lower or raise them. Moreover, a stable pH level will positively affect the effectiveness of chlorine.

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