- 1). Test the water to be used with a pH test strip, to determine the basic acid-alkaline balance.
- 2). Add a very small amount of vinegar to a small amount of water. Test the change in pH. PH strips consistently reflect the balance between acid and alkaline components of a solution but do not provide equally accurate information on the exact amounts of those components.
- 3). Extrapolate, as best possible, the amount of vinegar you will need to produce the same pH change in the complete water supply. Measure and add vinegar gradually, testing at intervals so that you do not add too much. The pH scale runs from 1 (strongly acidic) to 14 (strongly alkaline) and numbers on the scale progress logarithmically; this is, a pH of 5 is 10 times more acid than a pH of 6, and a pH of 4 would therefore by 100 times more acid than a pH of 6.
- 4). Use water promptly or test periodically as the project progresses. Homemakers who report how rapidly the smell of vinegar used for cleaning dissipates see this as a virtue. The mild volatility of vinegar that produces this dissipation, however, serves as a reminder that the acidification produced by vinegar is not stable in solution on a long-term basis.
- 5). Repeat testing before adding more vinegar. Add additional vinegar slowly.
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