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Vinegar used as Ph -

Discussion in 'Newbie Central' started by Majistir, Oct 13, 2007.


    Majistir Active Member

    I've read somewhere on here that vinegar can be used as a homemade PH down. For someone with hard water like me and a thin wallet I tried it and it brought the ph from 8ish down to 6ish with a few bottle caps.
    Are there and side effects or warnings to using vinegar instead of a proper ph up/down?
    Yesdog likes this.

    iblazethatkush Well-Known Member

    hmm that's very interesting. I would also like to know.
    Micheal Kelso

    Micheal Kelso Well-Known Member

    I thought vinegar was used for PH up and Epsom salts for PH down...

    I have been known to be dyslexic at time though - :roll:
    Micheal Kelso

    Micheal Kelso Well-Known Member

    Yea - I'm wrong Vinegar is acidic - would be lower PH.


    Majistir Active Member

    Its vinegar to lower PH and baking soda to up it. It works but my plants just died and I'm trying to figure out why... Heres some gruesome photos.

    I've got a meter and when I fill up my tub it will go down slightly but sometimes I'll try to lower it a little more and it just wont change. I'll stir and wait and it doesn't change so I added more... Which I think was the problem but I really don't know. The plants just didn't take up any water or anything, like they died instantly from the feed.

    Thats probably what the problem was but I just wanted to see if anyone knew anything that could help for the next crop. :peace:

    P.S. I could be wrong but Epsom salts have nutes that would probably mess things up if you used it as a ph tool.

    Majistir Active Member

    Anyone have any experiences they would like to share??

    orpow Active Member

    I also used vinegar as a ph down for a while but couldn't keep my soil from going alkaline...around 8.0. I have looked into this and found out that vinegar is readily soluble in water and will adjust the ph just fine, but when added to a soil medium is not strong enough to keep the soil acidic. I don't know exaclty what the chemistry is beind it, but the soil is able to buffer the vinegar or the vinegar drains from the soil too readily; after less than a day the ph of the soil will go up to a point close to the tap waters original ph before adding vinegar.

    I believe a stronger acid that doesn't buffer as readily is needed to keep the soil ph values in check. If you don't want to buy the hydro store pH Down muriatic acid (used in pools and can be bought at a local hardware store) can be used. That stuff is pretty nasty in terms of exposure rand handling risks and only small volumes would be needed so be really careful and keep your safety in mind vs. your wallet. Another solution and one that should be used for instant soil pH change is aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate (available at most nurseries) These are acids that you add into the soil that will instantly change the pH and will help buffer the soil for some length of time (up to a year or so). Be carefull with the application as the roots can be badly damaged by over application or non thorough mixing. I don't know for sure, but I believe once the soild has been loaded with the propper amount of aluminum or iron sulfate, that it is much easier to keep the pH from shifting up if you use an alkaline tap water.

    But don't take my word or anyone elses as truth, do some research on your own about these topics.

    email468 Well-Known Member

    I do not know why but experienced growers recommend using vinegar only if you have to -- not on a regular basis.

    Serotonin Well-Known Member

    Vinegar is primarily acetic acid and water. Its made from oxidizing an alcohol.

    Vinegar pH can vary, but I'd say if you're using it, check its acidity first and see how much is needed to lower a gallon say .5 pH. Also, don't use anything but white vinegar, the other vinegar's can have other things in them.

    Basically, a Hydrogen ion from the acetic acid will "break off" of the molecule in water, leaving behind just acetate and thus lowering pH. Perhaps the left over acetate isn't good for plants, but I'm just speculating since most acetic acid is produced by bacteria.

    sequento Well-Known Member

    i used to use vinegar for ph down it works but it rebounds too quickly to maintain your ph ath the right level just go to your pet shop and get some ph down for fish tanks its cheap and works

    ultranyte New Member

    Grocery store bought vinegar is not as pure as you would like it, I've done some tests with the stuff and every time, a layer of scum forms on water when you pour in it water and let it sit.
    It's not a good idea to use grocery store stuff, I guess it's not filtered enough or a few chemicals are added that they don't mention.

    try it for yourself, pour the vinegar you have in a cup of water, if in a couple days some crap forms on top of the water, you know your stuff is not pure.

    ihavefeet Well-Known Member

    i like a little aged balsamic for my PH down. for up I use some extra virgin olive oil.

    sprinkle a little rosemary in my joint....delicious.

    Steve Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't do it, too many impurities and unreliable as has been pointed out. Plus, vinegar worms ewww ;)

    BSIv2.0 Well-Known Member

    Vinegar just isnt buffered like ph up/down from a hydro store.

    Nothing wrong with using it if you have nothing else.

    RazzaMaaNazz Active Member

    I just recently bought a bottle of muriotic acid (spelling) a quart I believe, for under 2.50 and it works very well! Much better then the hydro shop bought stuff at 13.00 for a smaller bottle.. Not only do you get more ozs of acid, but its much much cheaper, and you use much less per gallon of water than the hydro shop stuff. In other words, I might use 1 tsp muriotic per gallon of 7.4 ph water. That will bring it down to ohh ABOUT 6.4 or 6.0 even. (rough guesstimates from my poor memory) where as the hydro shop acid might take 2-3 tsps to get the same end ph.

    luarg2 Well-Known Member

    I used vinegar to bring my water ph up to around 6.0 and plants loved it.

    RazzaMaaNazz Active Member

    Ok. I just posted about the murotic acid I bought and how I thought THOUGHT it was more effective than the hydro shop PH down.. Well upon filling a 5 gal bucket with water and of course allowing it to age a bit. then I added the murotic acid. Added enough to bring my ph from 7.5 to 6.0 (much less amount used than hydro shop ph down) KEWL right? NOT! The next day, b4 useing it I decided to test the PH again. It had shot back up to 7.0ish!!! WTF?

    Now the subject of Vinegar is what brought me here.. I had similar problems with the vinegar. But not as severe and not as quickly..

    Any professional input would be appreciated..

    westsider26 Active Member

    well vinegar is acidic so i guess you could lower the ph wit it. but whhut do i kno i was never good at chem.

    luarg2 Well-Known Member

    vinegar is fine just dont over use it... if you want to perk the plants alttle use it for a few waterings then back down.
    daillman likes this.

    luarg2 Well-Known Member

    all you flips that talk about it not holding in soil are right... but i like controling my ph only with water. so

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