Using household items like vinegar and baking soda is a decision that any hot tub owner must think through before making. Your hot tub deserves the best care to serve you better.
White vinegar can be used to lower the pH of hot tub water. It is one of the safest means to adjust the pH level in spas. However, you need to consider the reason for using vinegar as your pH reducer. There are more effective chemicals you can use to lower the pH in hot tubs.
So, if you are considering the one that is more effective, you need to consider other chemicals like muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate. These chemicals are more effective than vinegar. Though it doesn’t mean that vinegar can’t be used to reduce pH, it is better used as a cleaning agent.
This is the industry standard and what almost all suppliers/manufacturers recommend. So, the best practice is to use the right compound for the right function.
If the money is the challenge, there are many pH reducers out there that are very good and affordable.
So does vinegar lower pH?
Yes, vinegar is an acidic compound that can react with hot tub water to alter the pH. A lot of people use vinegar and they said it’s good. Nevertheless, some friends that used it complained that it affects the hot tub components.
Though it can lower pH, it’s not recommended for hot tubs.
But can I put vinegar in my hot tub?
Yes, vinegar can be used in your hot tub, both as a cleaning agent and as a pH reducer. You may be wondering if you can use vinegar and water to clean a hot tub?
It’s possible and safe to use vinegar to clean your hot tub when you drain it. There are many cleaning agents one can use to clean up a hot tub, but I use vinegar especially when I have a limited budget to work with.
Vinegar is safe to use. However, I never used it to lower the pH in my hot tub, even when I don’t have enough capital.
How much vinegar do you use to clean a hot tub?
Get a spray bottle and mix 1 part vinegar and 3 part water. That’s a safe ratio of vinegar to water to use for your hot tub. A high concentration of vinegar may damage your hot tub components.
If the concentration is too low, you may not get the result you need. So, go with the 1:3 ratio. That’s what I always use and it works just fine.
However, if your spa dealer recommends other chemicals or ratios, go with that because your supplier knows the hot tub more than anyone else.
How do you clean a jet tub with vinegar and baking soda?
Baking soda and vinegar are natural household cleaners that are cost-effective and active. They are very effective cleaners for hot tub jets. You only need to use them the right way to get the desired result.
The instructions below are the easy guides to clean your hot tub jet with vinegar and baking soda;
- First, empty your hot tub.
- Sprinkle over the surface with baking soda.
- Gently clean the interior with a damp cleaning fabric.
- Fill the hot tub with warm water to cover the jets.
- Pour in 3 cups of vinegar and run the jets to circulate the vinegar.
- Let it bubble for more than 3 minutes.
- Drain the water and refill it with a fresh one.
- Run the jet again to rinse the spa.
- Then drain and refill with clean water.
Can you put household bleach in a hot tub?
Household bleach can be used to clean a drained hot tub. Just like vinegar and any other cleaning agent, you can safely use your household bleach to clean your hot tub.
If you use household bleach as your cleaning agent for your spa, make sure that the spa is rinsed thoroughly before refilling. This is to ensure that the bleach doesn’t cause buildups later on.
So, avoid using liquid chlorine in your hot tub except you are using it to shock the spa. Yes, you can use liquid chlorine to shock your hot tub but not as a sanitizer. When used as a shock it only serves as an oxide to help eliminate particles and byproducts like bromides.
A cup of chlorine bleach is enough to do the work for you. But after use, you need to wait for the chlorine level to drop before using the hot tub. Test the spa water first before you get into it. It should be between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
What does vinegar do to a hot tub?
Many spa owners have turned to vinegar as a cheap alternative to hot tub cleaning agents. However, it works just fine and is one of the best substances to use as a cleaning agent.
Vinegar and baking soda are natural cleaning agents and they are safe for the body and the hot tub. Vinegar helps to remove calcium deposits in the hot tub.
Moreover, it serves as a disinfectant along the process. Vinegar can serve as a good and safe disinfectant for cleaning your spa. But it is not to be used as the sanitizer for the hot tub.
Like we discussed earlier, it can be used to lower the pH in a hot tub. But it is not the best chemical for the job. Muriatic acid is more effective and widely recommended for hot tubs.
How do I lower the pH in my hot tub?
The pH level of hot tub water can be reduced with an acidic compound. Muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate are the most widely used acids for this function. Some folks use vinegar, but it’s not recommended for use as a pH reducer.
However, ensure that you test the water with test kits or strips first to confirm the level of the pH.
One important factor you need to know before you start is that alkalinity and pH work together. If you reduce pH it will also affect alkalinity. Well, you can get generic pH decreased and use.
To make the process easier for you, you need to first work in alkalinity before pH. If alkalinity is too high or too low, it will be difficult to get the pH right.
So, test for alkalinity level first with your liquid test kits. Then adjust accordingly by adding muriatic acid. For 10,000 gallons of water, you need 1.3 qt of muriatic acid to drop the alkalinity by 10 ppm. If you are using sodium bisulfate, you need 1.6 lbs.
- First, use a bucket to fetch some water from the spa. Add the acid to the water and stir to mix. Remember! You don’t add water to acid.
- Turn the hot tub in and allow the pumps and filter to run.
- Then pour the water into the hot tub and allow it to circulate for about 4-6 hours.
- Retest the alkalinity, the levels will be okay by now. If not, repeat the process until you get the correct levels.
- The alkalinity will also adjust accordingly.
- If the alkalinity becomes too low, you can blow the jet or allow it open and it will get to the normal level.
What should be adjusted first alkalinity or pH?
You can easily adjust alkalinity if the pH is high or low. But when the alkalinity is out of range, adjusting pH to the appropriate level becomes almost impossible. The pH becomes unstable and fluctuates randomly when the alkalinity is high.
So, alkalinity should be tested and adjusted first before pH. Once alkalinity is adjusted, often, the pH adjusts accordingly without needing you to do any extra work.
Moreover, pH can easily be increased by running air through the water. Even leaving the hot tub open will help to increase the pH when it’s low. But alkalinity must be balanced first.
Will baking soda lower pH in a hot tub?
Baking soda is used as a cleaning agent and also as an alkalinity increaser in hot tubs. It is a natural alkaline substance that helps to introduce bicarbonates into the hot tub when it reacts with water.
So, baking soda cannot be used to lower pH since it’s an alkaline substance. Any substance that can lower pH in a hot tub must be able to release hydrogen ions (H+) when it reacts with water. But baking soda releases hydroxyl ion (-OH) when it reacts with water.
Can I use lemon juice to lower pH?
Lemon juice is another safe alternative that can be used to lower pH levels in a hot tub. It contains citric acid with a pH of 2 to 3. Nevertheless, it is not as effective as the usual muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate.
How do I lower the pH in my hot tub without chemicals?
From our discussion so far you will notice that the best alternative to lower the pH in your hot tub naturally is by using lemon juice or vinegar. But remember that they are not the best substances to use for the function.
Muriatic acid and sodium bicarbonate have always been the most used chemicals. If you don’t want to use the chemicals, you can go ahead and use vinegar.
Is high pH in a hot tub dangerous?
High pH levels in your hot tub are not safe for your hot tub and your health. It’s dangerous to use your hot tub when the pH is high. Just like low pH, high pH can cause itchy skin and eye irritation.
More so, your hot tub components are not safe. If the pH is too high you will start to notice scale build-ups. These scale deposits can clog the filter system and pipelines which can damage and reduce the lifespan of the equipment.
The general rule is to keep your pH within the safe range of 7.2-7.8. However, I always endeavor to maintain the ideal range of 7.4-7.6. To have clear understanding of pH levels and why it is dangerous check this post: Can You Go In A Hot Tub With High pH?