Swiming Pool

How to Safely Add Muriatic Acid To Your Pool?

Read Time:5 Minute, 48 Second

Muriatic acid is an inexpensive approach to reduce the alkalinity and pH of your pool. Additionally, maintain your pool’s filters and surfaces clean. However, adding acid to your pool might be hazardous if done incorrectly.

Pool-grade muriatic acid is comparable to hydrochloric acid, which is used to clean concrete and brick, but contains less hydrogen chloride. However, it is still an acid and is extremely corrosive. It has the ability to corrode everything from metal to plastic to clothes. If you inhale its fumes, it can also cause serious burns and harm if it comes into contact with your skin, eyes, or respiratory tract.

Although muriatic acid is incredibly beneficial and inexpensive to have on hand as a pool owner, it may be dangerous to handle if you don’t know what you’re doing. When should muriatic acid be used? And how much should you add to balance the pH and alkalinity of your water?

Here’s a quick approach to safely adding muriatic acid to your pool.

What is Muriatic Acid?

Muriatic acid is a diluted hydrochloric acid solution. It’s available at most home improvement stores and is used for a range of heavy-duty activities, including the removal of “efflorescence” (a fancy word for salt deposits on rock or stucco). It may also be used to clean rust and stains from concrete and brick.

Muriatic acid is also popular at pool supply stores, where it is frequently used as a stain remover. It’s also used to decrease the pH of pool water and reduce excessive alkalinity.

Why Is Pool pH Important, and How Can Muriatic Acid Help?

The pH of your pool water indicates how acidic it is. Rainfall, outside temperature, and how frequently your pool is used may all have an impact on its pH.

The pH of your water should be between 7.2 and 7.8. It’s overly acidic if your pH is less than 7.2. If the pH of your water exceeds 7.8, it is not acidic enough. When the pH of your pool is high/low, chlorine is less efficient, your pool water may get hazy, and you may see scaling on your waterline tiles and other surfaces.

Using a chemical pH reducer is the quickest approach to return your pH to an appropriate level. As pH reducers, pool supply businesses sell muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. Although sodium bisulfate, or dry acid, is milder than muriatic acid and hence safer to use, many pool owners use generic muriatic acid as a substitute for pH reducers.

How to Safely Add Muriatic Acid In Your Pool?

First and foremost, you must determine how much muriatic acid to utilize. A quart of muriatic acid is required for an average-sized pool (15,000 to 20,000 gallons). If your pool is significantly larger or smaller than typical, you should consult with a pool specialist.

Once you’ve determined how much acid you’ll require, it’s time to add it to your swimming pool. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: Prepare and test

Begin by testing your pool water to determine its pH level. After that, switch off your pool pump.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients.

Fill a five-gallon bucket halfway with clean water (be sure the bucket is acceptable to use with muriatic acid – it can be too strong for some plastics). Pour the muriatic acid into the water (carefully, to avoid splashing) and stir with a wooden stick.

Step 3: Allow the Muriatic Acid to Flow

Keep your pump running for at least 30 minutes after adding the muriatic acid. Again, make sure your pump is set to “circulate” to aid in the mixing of the muriatic acid. This will keep the acid from corroding your pool’s surfaces.

Some pool owners turn off their pumps during this time to allow the acid to concentrate and have a greater impact on their alkalinity levels. This method is known as pooling. But keep in mind that muriatic acid is very corrosive and can eat through your pool floor if let to settle. To keep the acid from causing harm to the pool bottom, you must regularly brush it. That is why, at this stage, we recommend turning on your pump to circulate the water.

Step 4:  Retest the Water in Your Pool

After a few hours, retest your water. At that point, you should notice a difference in the chemistry of your water. If your alkalinity has not decreased sufficiently, you can add another dosage of muriatic acid.

Continue testing and adding muriatic acid at quantities of 12 gallon or less, repeating as needed to bring the alkalinity back down. It’s not uncommon for it to require multiple doses.

However, if you are unable to adjust your alkalinity and pH, take your water to a reputable pool retailer for testing. Your issue might be one of testing accuracy rather than chemistry.

Step 5: Aerate Your Swimming Pool

If your pH has dropped too low but your alkalinity is high, you can aerate your water. Adding air is a natural way to raise your pH without having to use chemicals. Chemicals such as pH increasers raise alkalinity as well, and you’re right back where you started!

Turn your return jets upward and your pump to its highest setting to aerate. Also, turn on any water features you have, such as an aerator or a fountain.

The next day, check your pH to determine if it has returned to normal levels. If the pH still needs to be significantly raised, a chemical pH increaser may be required.

How to Use Muriatic Acid (Safely)

Is muriatic acid harmful? It, like any other swimming pool chemical, may be hazardous if not handled properly. But there’s nothing to worry about as long as you follow correct safety precautions.

Here are some safety precautions to take while working with muriatic acid:

  • Splashing is always a concern while working around your swimming pool; a decent set of safety eyewear is a must-have.
  • Muriatic acid, like any powerful acid, can irritate your skin (prolonged exposure can even cause burns). Gloves will assist you in avoiding direct touch.
  • If you acquire muriatic acid on your skin, immediately wash it with clean water (have a garden hose or a pail of clean water nearby).
  • Avoid inhaling fumes by using muriatic acid in a well-ventilated environment.
  • Keep muriatic acid in its original bottle at all times.
  • Pour any unused muriatic acid down the drain. Check with your local recycling center to find out how to properly dispose of it.


Muriatic acid is used in swimming pool maintenance to keep the water balanced and the chemistry in control. When everything is in harmony, you’ll spend less time cleaning algae and more time enjoying your pool.

Of course, use it with caution and adhere to all safety measures. Talk to your local pool professional if you have any queries or concerns.