Borax, also referred to sodium tetraborate, disodium tetraborate, or sodium borate, is a powdery, white mineral made of boric and boron acid and is found in regions with seasonal lakes.
For most people, borax is a household cleaning product. However, you can also use it to raise the pH in your swimming, and the question is how much borax to add to raise it?
You cannot know the answer to that question unless you know how to use it. That is why we have written this article.
Using Borax to Raise pH in Pool
If you want to increase pH, you can easily add borax alone. However, if you wish to boost the pool’s borate level to cushion the pH and the water’s pH is correct, you might need to add the borate and then acid to decrease the pH.
The amount you will need to add depends on the initial pH level, your pool size, the borax you are using, pool alkalinity, and the targeted water chemistry. You can use a water-chemistry calculator (found online) to know how much borax to add and whether you should add acid.
Steps to Follow
Here are the steps that you would need to follow to ensure that you add the right amount of borax in your pool.
The first step is to use the online calculator to know the amount of borax you will need to add to your pool.
Add the recommended powder to the skimmer while the pool’s filter and pump are running.
Wait for 24 hours before testing the pH level.
Add more products if required to increase the pH to the ideal level.
If the calculator shows you that you need to add acid and borax, start by adding half of the recommended acid and half of the desired borax. Brush the walls of your swimming pool to ensure that the product dissolves faster.
When the borax is fully dissolved, add the other half of the acid and then the rest of the borax. Brush again and leave the pump to run for about 48 hours.
Test the pool’s pH and add the products if the pH level is not correct.
Useful Tips – Borax Guide
Here some useful tips that you should remember when adding borax to your pool.
Use the online calculators to determine how much borax to add.
The amount to add depends on the initial TA and pH level of your pool.
At around 100 TA and 7.5 pH, the amount is about 8 ounces, so 0.5 pounds of borax can raise pH in a 10,000 gallons pool.
That same amount of borax can increase a pH of 7.0 by about 0.04 and a pH of 8.0 by about 0.14.
Also, at a pH of 7.5 and TA of 80, that amount of borax would raise the pH by about 0.12 while it would raise by 0.08 if the TA is 120.
There is no right answer to the question of how much borax to raise pH in the pool. Use online water-chemistry calculators to compute the ideal amount.
Do you wish there was a more affordable and environmentally-friendly way to clean? Your wish might just come true if you try baking soda or borax.
Many people use baking soda to clean most things, including homes and swimming pools, but borax is also a useful product.
Borax is a critical boron compound that has the chemical formula we have looked above. However, the word borax can refer to different compounds which look similar, the only difference being their water level. They include:
Borax decahydrate – (Na2B4O7•10H2O)
Borax pentahydrate – (Na2B4O7•5H2O)
Sodium tetraborate or anhydrous borax – (Na2B4O7)
Borax is used in different types of cleaning recipes, where it is added for its ability to cut grease and fight stain. You will find it in various products and sectors, not only cleaning chemicals.
For instance, in some gold mining projects, it is used to replace mercury. It is also used as a preservative in food, although it is illegal to use it in the USA.
In short, borax is used:
For water softening
To make buffers
As an ingredient in cleaning agents and laundry products
For the mining of gold in some industries
To create complexes with other substances
Understanding Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a leavening product that is commonly used to aid baked food rise, such as cookies, muffins, pancakes, and others. It readily found in the supermarket and is quite affordable.
Additionally, it is one of the best cleaning agents you can get. Its primary uses include the following:
Used to neutralize bases and acids
Can be used to increase water alkalinity
Used as a mild disinfectant
Useful as pest control for cockroaches
Mainly used for cooking as a leaving powder
Is Borax and Baking Soda the Same?
Some people think that borax is the same as baking soda because they are used for almost the same purpose. However, baking soda is chemically different from borax.
Both are excellent household cleaners in the bathroom, kitchen, swimming pools, and freshening laundry. Both are friendly to the environment and green options to commercial cleaning chemicals.
If that is the case, then what is the difference between borax and baking soda?
Differences between Borax and Baking Soda
One significant difference between these products is that while baking soda can be used to prepare foods, borax shouldn’t be consumed. That is why many homeowners use baking soda to clean their homes especially if they have kids and pets.
Borax is a name given to either hydrate or anhydrous forms of sodium borate. Its chemical formula is Na2[B4O5(OH)4]•8H2O and the molar mass is 381.38 g/mol. On the flipside, Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Its chemical formula is HaHCO3, and the molar mass is 84 g/mol.
History of Borax and Baking Soda
Borax was first created in 1881 in Death Valley and is sold commercially by the 20 Mule Team Brand. It hit the market in 1981.
Baking soda was introduced in the market in 1846 and is used in several applications like preserving, cleaning, and cooking.
Are Borax and Baking Soda Effective in Maintaining Pool?
Both borax and baking soda are used to maintain swimming pools. However, they contain different chemical makeups that make them different.
Therefore, you can use borax to raise or stabilize your swimming pool pH. On the other hand, you can use baking soda to increase the alkalinity of your facility without changing the pH.
How Does Borax Work?
Borax has different chemical properties that make it an excellent cleaning agent. It cleans and bleaches by turning some water molecules into hydrogen peroxide.
The reaction is more effective in warm water compared to the cold one. Borax has a pH level of 9.5, so it is a product that produces a basic solution when mixed with water.
What that means is that you can use it to raise the effectiveness of other cleaners, including bleach. The product also acts as a buffer in some chemical reactions. A buffer helps to maintain a stable pH level to ensure that cleansing chemicals react the right way.
The oxygen of boron and/or the boron salt inhibits the metabolic process of most organisms. That feature makes borax an excellent product for killing and disinfecting unwanted pests.
It also bonds with some particles to keep ingredients scattered evenly in a solution, which boasts the surface area of the particles to improve the cleaning ability.
You can also combine borax with zinc to prevent smoke and fire in electrical cable coverings.
From how it works, borax is a great product for cleaning and maintaining homes and swimming pools.
How Does Baking Soda Works?
Baking soda also has some unique uses that make it a great product that you can use to clean your pool – Robotic pool cleaner and other parts of your home.
To begging, unlike candles or other fresheners, which only mask the smell, baking soda absorbs odors that might make your home smell less fresh. That is why people leave baking soda in the refrigerator – it is a base that neutralizes most acid smells.
Baking soda also mixes with vinegar to form a reliable cleaning solution. You can use that solution to unclog drains, removing grease, and other dirt from your utensils.
For some items, the product works more effectively than regular soap. Although soap is a base, it contains some fat molecules that ensure it is friendly to the skin.
Baking soda is abrasive, which makes it a better product for dislodging particles and getting rid of stains from different surfaces. It is also an excellent product for controlling pest without harming people. That is possible because it passes gas when heated to at least 300-degree F.
From what we have looked above, we can conclude that borax and baking soda are used for cleaning purposes, making them almost identical products. However, they both have their unique chemical formulas that make them different products.
With that said, you can choose either borax or baking soda to clean your home and swimming pool ( best above ground pool or inground pool ).
If your Intex pool doesn’t have a skimmer, it might get dirty since there is no way of leaving debris and other leaves. However, you can easily remove all these debris by vacuuming your pool.
Thus, we want to look at how to vacuum Intex pool without skimmer.
Things You Will Need
You will need the following things;
Pool Vacuum Head
Most vacuum heads are universally made to fit at the end of pool-cleaning poles. However, you should make sure that you get a head that is weighted to ensure that it floats on water.
Most of these poles also connect to hooks, nets, and pool skimmers with ease. Of important, ensure that the pole you get reaches the bottom of your Intex swimming pool.
Just like the vacuum heads and telescoping poles, vacuum hoses attach to most pool systems. Get a hose that will reach your pool area.
Skim vacuum Plate
It will allow you to use your pool skimmer basket as opposed to the strainer basket, removing the need of turning on and off of the pool pump.
Vacuum Your Intex Pool Manually
Now you have everything you will need to vacuum your Intex pool without a skimmer. Follow these steps:
1. Prime the vacuum
First, prime the vacuum by removing all the air in the system. Air spaces will make your vacuum lose suction – remove all the air before you start vacuuming your pool to ensure that vacuum remains strong.
To prime your vacuum:
Attach your vacuum head into your telescoping pole and submerge it into your Intex pool.
Push the free end of the attachment against a jet to remove all the air.
You will notice air bubbles coming up (let all the air come out).
2. Attach to the pump
The vacuum system runs by fixing it to the skimmer inlet that is powered by the suction of the pool system. Since your Intex pool doesn’t have a skimmer, this means that the inlet will be free (you don’t need to remove the skimmer). Read More – Best suction pool cleaner on the market
Simply attach the open end of the vacuum hose into this inlet (the other end is attached to the vacuum head).
3. Vacuum your swimming pool
It is time to vacuum your Intex pool. Move the vacuum head around the surface of your swimming pool until it is clean.
You can repeat the first two steps if your vacuum starts to lose power when vacuuming your pool.
Clean the Equipment
Once you have cleaned your Intex pool thoroughly, detach the vacuum hose from the skimmer’s hole and wash the head and hose with fresh water to eliminate chemicals.
Pool chemicals can easily decrease the life of your equipment, so clean them well. Then, store these apparatus under shade to prevent the sun from degrading them.
It is very easy to clean an Intex pool without a skimmer and make ready for the swim session. All you need to do is to follow the above steps.