There are several different methods of testing a solution’s pH – a digital meter, litmus paper, or reagent drops can be used to find the pH value of acidic or alkaline water. Each one of these methods works in a different way and each one is attached with different capabilities and precautions.
Meters, by far, are the most accurate method of reading pH, but need constant calibration – a huge drawback. Some meters are easy to calibrate, while others can be very difficult. And, because our ionizers produce such a broad spectrum of pH, multi-point calibration is necessary. This involves expensive solutions which, in turn, require proper storage to avoid going bad. pH meters involve a lot of work along with a lot knowledge about how to store and condition them and how to tell when they need calibration. Although very accurate when used properly, pH meters are not user-friendly and not our best choice for measuring pH.
Litmus paper strips are another method of pH testing. They’re easy to use, but have a very narrow spectrum and expire quickly once opened. This method of measuring pH is simply not broad enough to measure the varying levels of pH in IonWays alkaline or acidic water. IonWays does not recommend that you use these.
Reagent drops are the tried and true method for measuring pH and are preferred by IonWays and its associates. They’re simple to use with great, visual results that are easily understood. IonWays has tried every method of pH testing available and has concluded that reagent drops are the way to go.
Reagent drops work simply by changing color due to reaction with alkalinity or acidity. The main ingredient in reagent drops is ethylene glycol, a highly reactive solution that catalyzes with any shift in pH and causes the dyes in reagent drops to shift color accordingly. By simply comparing these colors to a pH chart, we can easily obtain a close approximation of a clear liquid’s pH value.
Please bear in mind that reagent is not foolproof. Because it’s so reactive, it needs to be isolated from cold and heat, bright light (especially sunlight), and exposure to air. If exposed to temperatures above 85°F or below 36°F, your reagent drops will no longer render an accurate pH reading and are pretty much useless. Leaving your reagent drops on the kitchen window sill or in any other brightly lit area is not a good idea and will make your drops unstable and unreliable.
In short, test your water often but keep your reagent drops at room temperature with the lights out and the cap on!