The dangers of Hydrochloric AcidHydrochloric acid is rated and regulated as a toxic substance.

Concentrated hydrochloric acid, known as fuming hydrochloric acid, will form acidic mist. This mist and the solution both have a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines irreversibly.

Dangers of hydrochloric acid through exposure

Exposure via oral consumption can cause corrosion of the mucous membranes, esophagus, and stomach, with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Contact to skin produces severe burns, ulceration, and scarring.

Exposure through inhalation can cause coughing, hoarseness, inflammation and ulceration of the respiratory tract, chest pain, and pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs).

A toxic chlorine gas can also be produced when mixing hydrochloric acid with common oxidising chemicals, such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite).

Be aware of the dangers of hydrochloric acid when handling. It is important to wear personal protective equipment such as acid-proof gloves, protective eye goggles, chemical-resistant clothing and shoes so as to minimise risk of harm.

acid cleaning usesAcid cleaning is the process used to remove various types of dirt build-up, discolouration, and tarnish from masonry or metals. Acid cleaning is common for keeping brick walls, concrete footpaths, and metallic building structures looking clean and new. Acid cleaning also takes place in and around the home for removing tarnish or hard water stains from various surfaces. The cleaning acid employed may be strong or mild depending on the material that needs cleaning, and the severity of stains.

Acid cleaning methods vary, depending on the situation. With items such as metal pans soaked in a combination of water and acid cleaner to remove stubborn food stains. For cleaning walls or walkways, a constant stream of water is applied as part of the washing process. Some surfaces are coated with an acid cleaning agent which is allowed to set for a short time, then scrubbed off the surface in order to remove the dirt, tarnish or stain.

Acetic acid and citric acid are mild acid cleaners that are often used to handle household cleaning requirements. These are found in many of the common cleaning agents designed to dissolve hard water spots and to remove rust stains from various household surfaces.

Strong acid cleaners are used when the tarnish or stain is heavy and resistant. These compounds usually contain Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid, sulphuric acid, sodium bisulphate, and sometimes a combination of all three. These acid cleaning products are commonly used for washing down concrete, cleaning aluminium or brick, and dealing with other tough stains on porcelain and metal surfaces. It may be necessary to apply the product more than once to completely clean the area, depending on the level of diluted acid that is used.

Acid Cleaning Safety

Acid cleaning requires stringent safety procedures, as it is important to protect the body from contact with the acid solution. The wearing of protective gloves, and use of protective goggles over the eyes are recommended. Because some products can bleach out fabrics, it is generally a good idea to wear old clothes while handling the cleaning task. If working with the acid in an enclosed area, use a protective face mask as well, to prevent the inhalation of fumes. While most acids are safe to use with proper precautions, failure to use adequate protection can cause damage to the eyes and skin.

5L Hydrochloric Acid at BunningsBondall’s 5L Hydrochloric Acid is just $14 at Bunnings Warehouse. It’s ideal for cleaning and polishing brick or metal and adjusting the pH level in pools. It is also good for acid etching concrete, brick and pavers to adequately prepare the surface prior to sealing or painting. Bondall’s Hydrochloric Acid also comes in 500ml, 1L, 2L, and 20L sizes.

Hydrochloric Acid Safety Instructions

Safety is the main priority when using acids. Visit our Hydrochloric Acid Safety Instructions page for safe use of this product.

5L Hydrochloric Acid at Bunnings

View the product at Bunnings website: Bondall 5L Hydrochloric Acid at Bunnings

Safety when acid etching metal surfacesOne of the most difficult parts of the process when acid etching metal surfaces is safety. When working with acid in any form, always add the acid to water and NOT water to acid. Adding water to acid can cause a chemical reaction, which may produce a very rapid heat. This can, on occasion, cause an explosion of the solution.

Rules for acid etching metal surfaces

  • Make sure you work in a well ventilated area.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect hands.
  • Mix the acid at least an hour before you start your etching, as Acid and water are slow to mix.
  • Never poor the acid solution down the drain