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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 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.
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.
When used with safely in mind, Hydrochloric acid has many common household applications. The website eHow has produced an article highlighting the many common uses for Hydrochloric acid in and around the home. Read about them here.
Austral Bricks have provided an informative booklet on Cleaning of Clay Masonry which includes cleaning pavers using hydrochloric acid. They suggest it should normally only be used to remove mortar stains. Therefore, only pavers that have been wet-bedded may require acid cleaning. Read more here….