Can You Shock Your Pool After Adding Baking Soda?

Written by Michael Dean
February 7, 2024

shocking a pool after adding baking soda

Baking soda is a versatile product for local household cleaning projects. It can be used as a mild deodorizer, a scouring agent, or as an oxidizer that removes dirt, cancels out odors, and cuts swathes through the grime.

Another great use for baking soda is for pools. Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a common agent used by pool owners to raise the pH and alkalinity of the pool. But every pool owner knows that pool chemicals of all sorts are volatile. So, you need to know precisely how each chemical reacts with one another. You also need to clean your pool regularly by shocking it with chlorine.

In this article, I will cover whether or not it is ok to shock your pool after adding baking soda.

Main Takeaways

  • Baking soda is a useful household product that increases the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool water.
  • It is possible to shock your pool after adding baking soda since the latter is a mild cleansing agent safe to combine with chlorine.
  • Adding baking soda to your pool minimizes algae, softens water, improves water clarity, and lowers the likelihood of corrosion.
  • Adding baking soda to the water does not directly lower chlorine levels.

Can You Shock Your Pool After Adding Baking Soda?

Yes, you can. It is safe to add pool shock to the water after adding baking soda. In fact, doing so balances out the pH levels of the pool due to the alkaline nature of baking soda. For example, if you have added too much pure sodium bicarbonate to the pool, your pool would benefit from getting shocked.

However, to avoid clumping, add your baking soda first, spread it out evenly while walking along your pool perimeter, and let the pool pump circulate and filter it for five to six hours.

1.5 pounds of baking soda can raise the pH levels of a 10,000-gallon pool by 10 ppm (parts per million). To reach 100 ppm alkalinity, you need around 15 pounds of baking soda for 10,000 gallons of pool water. Pool chemistry calculations can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to check with a pool professional before proceeding. Check out my pool alkalinity calculator for more help.

Once the baking soda has completely dissolved in the water and there aren’t any signs of cloudiness, test your water and add your pool shock to the water similarly, at a rate of even dispersion, preferably after the sun has set. Let your pump and filter run for the next 24 hours, and test the water for balance. Make any adjustments if necessary.

Here’s the shock I recommend to most of my clients that will get the job done for you.

In The Swim Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorine Granular Pool Shock

In The Swim has a reliable cal hypo shock that is effective and easy to use.

View on Amazon View on Walmart
I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at zero additional cost to you. This in no way impacts my research process or opinions.

How Do Baking Soda and Chlorine Interact?

Usually, mixing other chemicals with chlorine can result in some extremely toxic fumes. For instance, mixing vinegar and chlorine releases a highly toxic vapor called chlorine gas which can be fatal if inhaled.

Fortunately, baking soda and chlorine interact favorably. In fact, when mixed, the cleaning properties of both products strengthen. Chlorine works best in slightly alkaline water, so putting in baking soda before pool shock can be a good thing!

Although baking soda is safe to mix with chlorine, you should still wear proper safety gear to avoid inhaling the fumes of any by-products created by combining chemicals. Better safe than sorry when dealing with pool chemicals of any kind! Even if it’s something as safe as baking soda.

Further, while chlorine and baking soda interact to make a strong cleaning product, it is best to avoid mixing both chemicals directly when cleaning your pool. Instead, make sure to shock the pool after the pump has had time to circulate and filter the baking soda before rushing ahead.

And this can’t be stressed enough: always test your pool water when mixing different products.

What Happens When You Add Baking Soda To Your Pool?

When you add baking soda to the pool, your alkalinity and pH levels increase. In addition, adding baking soda has some additional effects on your swimming pool.

Lowers Corrosion

In cases where the acidic levels of a pool are too high because of low alkalinity or low pH, your pool equipment may corrode. Ladders, filters, tiles, pool heaters, and other equipment in contact with acidic water wear away more rapidly. You may also notice pitting, scarring, or other abrasions on the surface of your plaster walls. Pure baking soda helps balance water chemistry to prevent such damage from occurring.

Improves Water Clarity

Baking soda can improve the clarity of the water in cases where the water looks cloudy or discolored. It also stabilizes the water and can soften it, making the water feel much smoother on the skin. It makes for a much better swimming experience for all!

Minimizes Algae

A strong dose of baking soda is also effective at killing off an algae infestation. If you are dealing with signs of a possible algae infestation, such as slimy walls or greenish-looking water, baking soda can help. You can also use a baking soda mixture as an effective spot treatment to help eliminate algae.

When Can You Swim After Adding Baking Soda To Your Pool?

It is generally safe to swim in a pool treated with baking soda around 30 minutes after adding it. However, to ensure that all the baking soda has been dissolved completely and the pH level of the pool has been balanced as per recommended guidelines, it is best to wait at least 5-6 hours before swimming. Before you jump in, test the pool and ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 7.6 and the alkalinity levels are between 80 and 120 ppm.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will baking soda lower the chlorine level in your pool?

The answer to this is both yes and no. While baking soda does not directly lower the chlorine levels in your water, it does increase the alkalinity and pH of a pool, which helps the chlorine to work better. In other words, chlorine levels will reduce when you add baking soda, as the chlorine will work more effectively.

Are there any risks to using baking soda for your pool?

There are no risks to adding baking soda to your pool if you follow guidelines and measures before adding it. However, as with most other pool chemicals, there are risks if you go overboard. When an excessive amount of baking soda is added to hard water, it can cause a build-up of calcium in your pool. Too much calcium can result in cloudiness while also building up white scaling on your pool equipment and the surfaces of your plaster and tiling. Moderation is always key. Take a balanced approach when adding any chemicals to your pool, and never go above or below the recommended range. Finally, always test the water before you add any more!

Questions? Let me know. I’m always happy to help!

Scroll to Top