Simple and Inexpensive Garden Soil Testing with Baking Soda and Vinegar – How to Check pH Level

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An essential step in establishing the health of your plants is testing the pH level of the soil in your garden. Using a solution of baking soda and vinegar to test your soil is a quick and low-cost option.

The pH range of soil is 0 to 14, with 7 being the neutral value. A pH value under 7 denotes acidic soil, while a value over 7 denotes alkaline soil. Although certain plants prefer slightly acidic or alkaline environments, most plants flourish in soil that has a pH level between 6 and 7,

You’ll need the following items to test your soil using baking soda and vinegar:

  • 1 tablespoon of your garden’s soil
  • White vinegar, distilled, in a half-cup
  • distilled water, 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda, half a teaspoon


  1. Combine the dirt and distilled water in a small container.
  2. To the mixture, add the distilled white vinegar. The presence of fizzing indicates an alkaline soil.
  3. Combine the baking soda and distilled water in a different container.
  4. To the vinegar-soil mixture, add the baking soda mixture. The presence of bubbles indicates an acidic soil.
  5. Your soil is neutral if the mixture does not bubble when shaken.
  6. Fizzing will result from the baking soda’s reaction with the soil’s acidity, which will produce carbon dioxide. The same is true for soil that contains acid and vinegar. The mixture fizzes as a result of the reaction’s emission of carbon dioxide.

Not exact. But helpful & cheap

Although this method is less precise than expert pH testing techniques, it can still give you a good indication of how acidic, neutral, or alkaline your soil is.

Professional pH testers and soil test kits are available from garden supply retailers or labs that specialize in soil analysis. These techniques can provide you with a more precise reading of your soil’s pH level as well as details about other significant elements like nutrient content and soil structure.

As a result, the baking soda and vinegar approach is simple, affordable, and can provide you with a broad notion of the pH level of your garden soil. However, it is advised to employ expert soil test kits or laboratories for a more precise report.


How to Test Soil pH for Gardens Extension Services at the University of Missouri (

“What Soil pH Means” Colorado State University Extension