Hydrochloric Acid is also commonly known as acidum salis, muriatic acid, and spirits of salt. It’s applications include household cleaning, production food additives such as gelatine, descaling metal and masonry, and in leather processing. Given it is a strong mineral acid, it is considered a highly corrosive substance, and as such has many larger scale industrial uses the production of PVC plastic and Polyurethane.
Creating a Hydrochloric Acid Solution
Hydrochloric acid solution is created by dissolving hydrogen chloride in water. On it’s own and at room temperature, Hydrogen Chloride is a colourless gas. It is only when it is combined with water that a Hydrochloric acid solution is formed.
Acid cleaning is the process of removing the various types of stains, tarnish and general discolouration from metals or masonry. This method of cleaning is commonly used to keep brick walls, concrete pavements, and metal surfaces clean and looking new. The strength of the acid cleaning employed may depending on the material to be cleaned, and the type of stains that are present.
Exact methods of acid cleaning vary considerably depending on the situation and material to be cleaned. Metal objects can be soaked in a combination of water and some type of acid cleaner to remove lighter stains, where as walls or concrete pavements normally require a constant stream of water as part of the washing process.
Strong acid cleaners, such as Hydrochloric Acid, are used when the tarnish or stain is more resistant. Acid cleaning products of this type are effective when washing down concrete or brick, and aluminium or similar metals. It may be necessary to apply the product more than once to completely clean the area, depending on the amount of dilution that takes place with the acid.
Acid Etching Metal is the process of cutting into a metal surface using acid. Metal etching is used as an industrial manufacturing application, an art technique, and a application for identifying and branding property.
The Method of Acid Etching Metal
The basic method for acid metal etching is to apply protection to the areas of a metal surface, either to the whole area or just to the areas that are to remain unaffected. The parts of the metal to be etched are then either not covered or the protected material is scratched off from it using tools such as an etching needle. The metal surface is then dipped in acid which then eats away at the exposed areas of the metal, creating lines.
Chemical Milling is another phrase used for industrial acid metal etching. Industrial uses include the fabrication of semiconductors, the printed circuit board industry, and by the aerospace industry in fashioning aircraft components.
Bondall’s Acid Solutions range provide cleaning solutions for just about every outdoor surface. Between them, the 3 products in the range will clean all metal and masonry surfaces.
Bondall’s Acid Solutions – Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrochloric acid is great for cleaning metal and brick surfaces. Hydrochloric Acid will remove the weak, milky layer of cement dust, lime and sand fines that can rise to the surface with over-wet concrete, poor curing or over-trowelling.
Bondall’s Acid Solutions – Ranex Rustbuster
Ranex Rustbuster is an ideal product for cleaning most metals as it chemically destroys rust and other stains. It dissolves and cleans off bore water, rust and mineral stains from most internal and external surfaces – toilets, baths, basins, windows, walls, boats and other non-porous surfaces.
Efflorescence Stain Remover is ideal for cleaning concrete and other similar masonry surfaces that have accumulated dirt, mould and efflorescent stains. It specialises in the removal of unsightly white powdery stains appearing on brickwork, pavers, concrete and rammed earth blocks.
Bondall’s Hydrochloric Acid has a number of uses, however one of the most popular is to lower pH in pool water.
The pH of a pool should be tested weekly.
The recommended range is between 7.2 and 7.6. When the pH is higher than 7.6, it can be corrected by adding Bondall’s Hydrochloric Acid as shown below:
Approximate amounts of Hydrochloric Acid used if pH is high
7.2 – 7.6
No acid required
No acid required
No acid required
No acid required
No acid required
SAFETY: Use no more than 500ml at any one time and never add Hydrochloric Acid when people are in the pool
Safety instructions when using Bondall’s Hydrochloric Acid in swimming pools
When adding Hydrochloric Acid ensure it is mixed thoroughly with water. It is important to always add acid to water, never add water to acid.
Ensure the mixed hydrochloric acid is added to the surface of the pool water.
Allow between 2 and 3 hours for it to mix with the filter running, then measure the pH again. Then minor adjustments can be made as necessary.
Storage – Store Bondall’s Hydrochloric Acid in an upright and secure position in a cool, well ventilated place. Ensuring it is kept out of reach of children.
Do not allow Hydrochloric Acid to come in to contact with any other chemicals or substrates.
Avoid contact with skin or eyes, avoid breathing vapours, wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye / face protection when using this product.
Ranex Rustbuster is an ideal product for acid cleaning metal as it chemically destroys rust and other stains. It dissolves and cleans off bore water, rust and mineral stains from most internal and external surfaces – toilets, baths, basins, windows, walls, boats & other non-porous surfaces.
Simply apply Ranex, allow a few minutes to work & then wipe or hose off without letting it dry.
Some deep seated stains may need further applications and aggitation with a brush or light scourer. Spot testing is recommended on paintwork & tinted gel-coat.
Acid Cleaning Concrete: Saturate the concrete area to be treated with water but do not allow to pond on the surface.
For lightly affected areas apply diluted Bondall Efflorescence Stain Remover 1:1 with water and work in with a stiff brush. Allow to stand for 2-5 minutes before washing down thoroughly with water. Do not allow this product to dry fully on the surface before washing down.
On badly affected areas you can apply Bondall Efflorescence Stain Remover undiluted. However, a second application may be required with a diluted solution of Bondall Efflorescence Stain Remover 1:1 with water.
Acid Cleaning Concrete Precautions
Please be aware that some oxide-coloured concrete may be affected with neat application. When applying near lawns and gardens, be careful not to splash onto plants. Do not allow this product to splash onto aluminium or metal surfaces. Should this happen, immediately flood the area with water to neutralise Efflorescence Stain Remover.
Ensure adequate ventilation during use.
On vertical brick surfaces, try to avoid contact with mortar joints. It is important to saturate these joints with water. Thoroughly rinse the surface after application.
Apply Bondall Efflorescence Stain Remover in manageable sections i.e. 1m² at a time.
Acid etching will remove the weak, milky layer of cement dust, lime and sand fines that can rise to the surface with over-wet concrete, poor curing or over-trowelling. It involves allowing the reaction of a diluted solution of hydrochloric acid to the concrete surface, then rinsing off with water. The acid will chemically react with the surface, and will dissolve it, allowing it and other water-soluble contaminants to be washed away. By removing the top layer, coatings can firmly adhere to sound concrete giving much longer service life.
Did you know that the human stomach contains Hydrochloric Acid? It is found in Gastric Acid which is a key part of the human digestive system. Gastric Acid works by activating digestive enzymes in the stomach which help to break down food contents.
The stomach itself is protected from damage by a secretion of a thick layer of mucous and by a hormone called secretin which acts as a neutralising buffer. Cells in the stomach and small intestine produce bicarbonate which also acts as a buffer and neutralises any potential damaging effects of the acid.
In some people, these mechanisms don’t work properly and they may suffer from indigestion, heartburn or have a peptic ulcer. Such people may need the help of antacids to neutralise the Gastric Acid in the stomach.
Hydrochloric Acid is a strong mineral acid. It is highly corrosive and is used in a wide range of industrial processes.
Here are 10 uses of Hydrochloric Acid:-
1. To ‘pickle’ steel. This is a process whereby rust and scale is removed from steel sheet or coil with the use of a dilute solution of Hydrochloric Acid. The metal can then be processed
2. To manufacture organic compounds such as Vinyl Chloride and Dichloroethane which are used to produce PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)
3. To regulate the pH level in a wide range of manufacturing and treatment processes including the production of drinking water, pharmaceuticals, beverages and foods
4. In the processing of additives for the food industry including fructose, citric acid and hydrolyzed vegetable protein
5. To produce inorganic compounds for water treatment including drinking water and waste water
6. To neutralise the water in swimming pools making it safe for bathers
7. To regenerate ion exchangers
8. To process leathers in the tanning industry
9. To purify common salt
10. In North Sea oil production where it is used to facilitate oil well acidizing
Hydrochloric Acid varies in strength. If you are working with this chemical you must read the MSDS provided before starting a job. Always wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including approved eye protection, compatible safety gloves, safety boots and safety coveralls. Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid should be handled under fume extraction. This chemical is also known as Muriatic Acid or Spirits of Salt. It is commonly referred to by its chemical formula HCl.
Ranex is a really versatile product and we’ve found a quick clip of Ranex being used to remove lime mortar stains off granite pavers. The video shows Ranex reacting with the lime mortar, immediately removing any stains. Check it out below.