How to Raise the PH Level in Water


The pH level in water can be raised or lowered easily to make it more compatible for any application. Pure water, or water with no impurities or pollutants, has a pH level of 7, which is considered to be neutral. The pH measurement scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline, or basic (though it is possible to achieve a pH higher than 14 or lower than 1 in extreme cases).The most dangerous acids have the lowest pH, such as hydrochloric acid, whose pH is 1. Sodium hydroxide, on the other hand, has a pH of 14. Therefore it has one of the highest pH levels. Adding acidic or alkaline chemicals to water is a simple way to alter the water's pH levels.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 oz. pure or distilled water
  • Glass measuring cup
  • pH meter or pH test strips (usually used for aquariums or pools)
  • Teaspoon
  • Baking soda
  • Spoon or small whisk
  • Add the water to the measuring cup. If desired, test the pH of the water with the pH meter or a test strip. The pH should be 7, or very close.

  • Measure 1 tsp. baking soda and add it to the water.

  • Mix the water and baking soda with the whisk or spoon until all particles dissolve completely.

  • Measure the pH level with the pH test meter or a test strip. Baking soda has a pH of about 9, so the pH should have increased.

  • Repeat the steps, adding baking soda to the water until it reaches the desired pH. Each whole number of pH measurement is 10 times higher than the last. Therefore a pH of 8 is 10 times more basic than a pH of 7. Adding baking soda to pure water will yield a maximum pH of 9 once completely saturated (baking soda will no longer dissolve once saturation is achieved).

Tips & Warnings

  • Try adding other alkaline or acidic materials to experiment with the pH levels.
  • Extremely alkaline or acidic materials are usually dangerous and will cause bodily harm. Know the dangers of the materials you are working with before using them, and always use personal protective equipment if necessary.
  • Seek expert advice before using this formula to change the pH of an aquarium or small fish pond. Sudden or extreme pH changes can and probably will kill any fish.


  • Photo Credit measurig cup image by Adkok from
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