SoilPH Mix With Distilled Water

How to Do a Soil pH Test at Home

It’s no secret that soil is the most important part of the garden. Not only does it create healthy plants, or lead to their demise, but it is also full of information that can help us grow a better garden. This at-home soil pH test will give you a general idea of the pH of your soil. If you want to find out the exact pH level, you will need a test kit.Test your soil pH at home with ingredients from your kitchen


  • Distilled Water (because it has a neutral pH. You can use regular water, but it could affect the outcome)
  • White vinegar (an acid)
  • Baking soda (a base or alkaline)
  • A bowl and spoon

Let’s Test Soil!

Scoop up a small amount of soil from an area in your garden.DIY soil pH test

Mix in a bit of water to the soil: enough to make a loose mud.DIY soil pH test: adding water to the soil

Pour a little bit of vinegar to the bowl. If it fizzes up, the soil is alkaline. As you can see, there was no fizz in my soil pH test, which would suggest that my soil is acidic.DIY soil pH test: adding vinegar

To double-check the results, grab another scoop of soil, wet it with the water and mix again. Then sprinkle baking soda in it and mix. If it fizzes, the soil is acidic.DIY soil pH test: adding baking soda

On the second soil pH test, my soil did fizz up, which means the soil is acidic.

You certainly do not have to perform both tests to determine the pH of your soil. Just one will suffice, but you can try both to confirm the results if you like. To be honest, I already knew that my soil is acidic, but in the name of garden science I had to confirm!

Now that you are armed with this basic knowledge about your soil, you can use it to do cool things like change the color of your hydrangea!How to Change Hydrangea Color

About the Author : Debbie WolfeDebbie Wolfe is a mom of two rambunctious boys, wife, and work-at-home mom from Georgia. In her free time (when there is such a thing), she is in the garden or hidden away reading the latest post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama! As interests, Debbie is an obsessive crafter, home chef, and gardener. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and is a co-author and photographer behind the garden blog, The Prudent Garden; a collection of tips, crafts, and articles that highlight home gardening.View all posts by Debbie Wolfe

  1. Anna
    AnnaAugust 24,15

    Great post, Debbie! Finally I’ll be able to test my garden’s soil PH levels and determine why can’t I grow Camellias.

  2. Jeanne
    JeanneApril 8,16

    I knew you had to live in Georgia when I recognized the red clay. I live in Conyers.

  3. Pepe Goodhue
    Pepe GoodhueMay 11,16

    I live south of Boston, Massachusetts and I’ve tried both tests with no response. What do you think? Any help or suggestions would be lovely. TY Pepe

    ragini.gaOctober 28,16

    May I simply just saay what a relief to find somebody that really understands what
    they’re talking about over the internet. Youu actually know
    how to breing a problem to light and make it important.
    More people should look at thjs and understand this side of your story.
    It’s surprisijng you are not more popular given that yyou most certainly have the gift.

  5. Meghan | Playground Parkbench
    Meghan | Playground ParkbenchFebruary 20,17

    This is so smart! I can’t wait to try it with my kids this spring as a simple science project.

  6. Steven
    StevenApril 30,17

    You are NOT able to test the LEVELS with this test. It is a GENERIC indication of acidity or alkalinity. It will not tell you the LEVEL or either, which could be VERY important to know.

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