There are so many cleaning supplies available that it can sometimes be hard to know which ones to use. If you want something extremely powerful to get rid of stains when nothing else seems to work, look no further than muriatic acid.
Muriatic is a less pure form of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Even though it is less pure, it is extremely potent and potentially dangerous, and needs to be handled with extreme caution.
What is muriatic acid used for?
Muriatic acid can be used for removing stains on toilet bowls, chairs, cement products, swimming pools, some plastics, and generally most masonry products.
As mentioned before, if you have stains or dirt spots that just won’t come out no matter how hard you scrub or no matter what cleaning products you use, muriatic acid could be the solution for you.
In general, you should be careful about using muriatic acid to clean any metal. The acid will attack and ruin many types of metal, so it is important to do extensive research if you are considering using muriatic acid on any metal around your house. In general, it is a good idea to do additional research before using muriatic acid to clean any surfaces since this is such a strong acid.
It is important to remember that muriatic acid is extremely powerful and should only be used as a last resort when nothing else seems to work.
How to use muriatic acid
If you want to use muriatic acid, there are key safety measures that you have to follow in order to prevent any harm to yourself or others. These include the following:
1. Always work in a ventilated place
Muriatic acid emits toxic fumes that can be very harmful to your lungs if inhaled. As such, you should use muriatic acid in a well ventilated, open space to prevent buildup of these toxic fumes.
2. Wear a respirator
Similar to the tip above, you need to protect your lungs and prevent yourself from inhaling the toxic fumes that muriatic acid produces. To do so, you should always wear a respirator when working with muriatic acid. You want to make sure you wear a mask that protects you against acid gas and small particles, such as this one or this one.
3. Wear wrap-around goggles
Your eyes are exposed to external contaminants and can be damaged if exposed to muriatic acid. To protect yourself, you should always wear protective goggles when handling muriatic acid.
To be extra safe, you should choose goggles that won’t budge or fall off your face, even if you move or lean in awkward positions. Think of the goggles you wore during high school science classes—those are the type you want to get. They are often inexpensive and can be found on Amazon, such as the ones here.
4. Wear long sleeves, long pants and acid-resistant gloves
You don’t want any acid to spill onto your skin while you’re using it to clean. To prevent this, you should always wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants with socks. You should try to cover any and all skin while using muriatic acid.
Additionally, you need to wear acid-resistant gloves when handling muriatic acid. These gloves can be found on Amazon by searching “muriatic acid gloves”, or clicking the link here. It’s important to buy gloves that are acid resistant. You can’t use regular cleaning gloves or thin, disposable ones. You need heavy duty, acid resistant gloves.
5. Keep an alkaline acid-neutralizer near you
Since muriatic acid is a strong acid, you should keep a solution of neutralizing base near you in case you need to neutralize any acid that spills on places you don’t want it to be.
An easy neutralizer to use is baking soda. You can either pour it directly onto any acid spills, or you can mix ½ cup baking soda with a quart of water and put it in a spray bottle for easy use.
6. Dilute muriatic acid before using it
Since muriatic acid is so strong, you need to dilute it before using it. Generally, this involves mixing one-part muriatic acid with 10 parts water, although the concentration is dependent on your use.
When mixing muriatic acid with water it is essential that you fill whatever mixing container you are using with the water FIRST, and then pour the muriatic acid INTO THE WATER after. This is because if you get any splashes, you want the liquid splashing up to be more parts water than acid. There is also a more technical/ chemical reason for doing it this way, which you can read here.
Just remember, water FIRST, acid AFTER.
7. Don’t mix muriatic acid with anything besides water
Since muriatic acid is a strong acid, it will react very strongly with different solutions and liquids. You don’t want to cause any harmful chemical reactions such as explosions, or poisonous gases.
8. Finally, make sure no pets, children or anyone else is not around when using muriatic acid
Given that there are so many safety precautions you need to take to use muriatic acid, you want to make sure that nobody else is around who could potentially fall in harm’s way. Especially because of the toxic vapors that muriatic acid can emit, you want to make sure you are far away from anyone not aware you are cleaning with muriatic acid.
If you follow the seven tips above, you should be able to use muriatic safely and efficiently to clean dirty spots around your house.
While muriatic acid is dangerous and must be handled with extreme caution, it is a really powerful cleaning agent that can get rid of extremely annoying stains that just don’t seem to budge. Just remember to be very cautious when using this agent.