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How to Test pH of Water Without a Kit | Best DIY Method 2022

how to test ph of water without a kit


Ph is the measurement of the level of acid and base in water. The optimum pH of pure water is 7. The range of pH goes from 0-14, depending on the water quality. If the water is too acidic, it is harmful to your health, and the same goes for alkaline water. It is of immense importance that you know how to test the pH of water without a kit at your home.

Many of you use a reverse osmosis filtration system at your house, the most effective filter in removing the contaminants from water. The only drawback we face is that reverse osmosis water is acidic and lacks essential minerals. We use an alkaline water filter that balances the pH of the water and makes it suitable to drink.

The most important thing is that you should know how to test water pH without a kit at your home, so pay attention to this article and don’t go anywhere. Let us turn your kitchen into a science lab.

Why Do You Need To Test The pH Level Of Drinking Water?

Water being either too alkaline or too acidic can be bad for your health. The priority of water pH is to keep your body’s pH regular and to adjust metabolic processes. A diet high in acidity will lead to weight gain, slower immune response, and disease susceptibility, while a diet too alkaline will lead to the inability to metabolize critical nutrients. Our bodies are immensely working to gain a balanced pH level. The foods we eat, the liquids we drink, even the emotions we feel contribute to our pH level. So measuring the pH of water is crucial for us.

How to test water pH without a kit? Best DIY Testing List

There are specific ways in which we can test the ph of water. We can use red cabbage, blueberries, and red onion for measuring the ph of water.

Water pH Test By Red Cabbage

You can make your pH solution. It would be best if you had red cabbage, litmus paper, red and blue. Red cabbage juice indicator is straightforward to make and is very effective in testing ph of water. Red cabbage juice indicator can give a variety of colors for ph testing.

water ph test by red cabbage
water ph test by red cabbage

To make a red cabbage juice indicator, you need to follow these steps:

  • First, take a red cabbage and cut it into strips.
  • Pour the cabbage strips into the pan and add water.
  • Heat the water until it boils and when you see the color of the water changing into purple-red.
  • Turn off the stove and remove the cabbage.
  • Pour the water into different containers and label them.

Once you have the red cabbage juice indicator into different containers, pour some water you have to test into the containers and wait for a few minutes. If the water is acidic, then the indicator will change color into red or pink. If the water is neutral, the indicator solution will remain purple; alkaline water will change the color into blue or bluish-green.

You can also make your own ph paper indicator strips by using a coffee filter or filter paper, soaking it in red cabbage indicator, and then drying them. You can then use these ph paper indicator strips directly for testing your water.

Water pH Test By Blue Berries

Blueberries get their dark blue color from the chemical peonidin, which is sensitive in the presence of acid and alkalines. This chemical is pH-sensitive.In their original state, anthocyanidins are bright and colorful, but after reacting with alkalines, they lose that color and show a darker appearance.

water ph test by blue berries
water ph test by blueberries

To make a blueberry ph indicator, you must,

  • Chop the blueberries into tiny pieces within a kitchen. The peonidin is basically in the fruit’s skin, so separating the inner pulp to preserve the skin will produce accurate results.
  • Boil the mixture of blueberries and water for five to 15 minutes. If the water dries up, add a little more water. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool it for some time.
  • Pour the concoction into the coffee filter and collect the liquid in the small jar. You may need to press the filter lightly with the spoon to get more juice out of it. At this point, the mixture should be purplish red, like the color of strawberry pulp.
  • Extract some of the liquid from the jar using a dropper. Pour some of the liquid about the size of a coin onto a surface such as a plate.
  • Rinse the eyedropper with water before applying a few drops of water, which you need to test into the mixture. The acid in the vinegar should turn the reddish-purple to a lighter color, redder or faintly pink.

Water pH Test By Red Onion

Many of the vegetables contain sensitive anthocyanins, which can change color in the presence of alkaline and acidic substances. Red onion also contains such chemical compounds. Red onions give pale red color in acidic solutions and green in a basic solution.

Water pH Test By Soap Scum

Soap scum is shaped into a potent substance when soap interacts with hard water. On a logical level, soap scum consolidates calcium and magnesium particles in the water with the soap, which structures into the cleanser rubbish substance. Those with mineral-filled hard water are considerably more prone to have cleanser filth development, which can be hard to eliminate whenever left for a long time, as soap residuals keep developing each time you take a bath. Soap that is left alone for development can join with mold or mildew and have different stains and scents—and can even get as hard as concrete.

If you have a large deposit of soap scum, that means you have hard water, and hard water is alkaline, which means it has high mineral content. You need to check your water levels often to get the optimum pH.

How to Test pH at Home?

Here are some methods by which you can test water pH at your home.

Water pH Test By Litmus Paper

Suppose you don’t have a pH water testing kit with you, No need to worry. You can try testing your water with litmus paper. A litmus paper is a universal indicator that can detect the acidity and basicity of your water.

A litmus paper can only give two results, and it does not have the range of colors which can show the intensity of acidity and basicity of water.

A litmus paper comes in red and blue colors. If you dip a red litmus paper in a basic solution, it will turn blue, and similarly, if you place blue litmus paper in an acidic solution, it will turn red. However, litmus paper won’t change its color in neutral solutions.

How to Test The Water With a pH Meter?

A digital pH meter is the most accurate way of testing water for pH. There is also less chance of human error because of the readings displayed on the screen, and you don’t need to compare it with any colored solutions.

water ph test by digital ph meter
water ph test by digital ph meter

Useful Tips

This method is convenient because everyone can not see the same colors shown, and the color spectrum can differ from one person to another.

The pH meter will also detect any contaminants that can hinder the testing of water. Ph meters cannot be faulty because they don’t have an expiration date like the ph strips and don’t have storage issues. A pH meter is much better since it doesn’t reply to color changes; instead, it measures the amount of acid in water once you dip the glass electrode in water.

It will display you the numerical pH value. To ensure that the matter is proper, you can compare the meter’s accuracy using a fixed pH substance before performing it. Once confirmed, the meter rinses the end with deionized water and dry it using a clean tissue or cloth.

Water pH Test By pH strips

pH strips are readily available on Amazon and Walmart. They are the most convenient form of testing the pH of water. pH strips are sensitive to the environment and need to be stored in favorable conditions not to turn faulty.

water ph test by ph strip
water ph test by ph strip

pH strips are an easy and quick way to check the pH of the water. Your body requires an optimum ph to stay healthy and have an improved metabolism. You have 25 pH strips in one container so that testing ph becomes easy for you.

How does water become Alkaline or Acidic?

As you all know, water is of immense importance to all living beings, and survival without water is impossible. Therefore all this hassle we go through is because we need clean drinking water. Water naturally flows from the glaciers in the mountains, and they travel into streams and rivers. On the way, the water picks up many minerals, making the water alkaline in nature.

Water stored underground in wells also tends to change the pH according to the storage conditions. Pollution causes acid rain, so the water is acidic when it rains, and hence the well water becomes acidic. People also use reverse osmosis filters, which can make the water acidic.

The acidic water is not suitable for your health as it has low mineral content, but if your water has too many minerals, it can cause hard water stains on your bathroom glass and appliances. There are two types of water known as hard and soft water. Soft water is less corrosive than hard water, but it is not suitable to drink.

High alkaline water isn’t harmful to drink but causes aesthetic problems. Formation of precipitate on piping, outlets, dishes, and cooking pans will occur. The water will taste like baking soda and feel slippery.

Effects of Alkaline pH & Acidic pH Water

Water must have an optimum pH to be effective and healthy. 

Consuming acidic water can cause

  • Respiratory acidosis
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Acidic water is bad for teeth and bones
  • It will erode your pipes and damage your plumbing

Drinking alkaline water can cause

  • Alkaline water can cause alkalosis and disbalance in metabolic activities.
  • It can cause nausea, vomiting.
  • It can also cause muscle tremors and twitching.
  • Alkaline water also causes hard water stains on the glass, utensils, and water-consuming appliances.


There has to be a constant check on the ph levels of your water. The water ph levels can fluctuate according to the water supply and environment. As you are very much aware of the hazards of acidic and alkaline water-consuming too much can cause declining health in the long run.
Water testing kits are available, but there are some easy methods to check the ph of water without using any fancy equipment and gear.


Some others question’s answers for our readers that might be helpful for reading.

What level of pH values is suitable for drinking water?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the PH measurement level on a scale of 0 to 14 should be between 6.5 to 8.5, 7 being the most ideal. Water having a PH value outside this range is considered to contain heavy toxic chemicals or metals.

How to check the pH water in the aquarium?

The best way to test pH water in an aquarium is by using an electronic PH meter bought by any local store or online. Another way is to experiment by using your phone if you have an iPhone or an android phone by using the smart sensors to make your device into an aquarium PH meter.

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