If you’re fond of cleaning around the house, you understand that some tasks are easy while some dirt can be challenging to remove. For the former, you can use natural cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon. However, for the latter, you might need the strongest product you can buy.
For household use, muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid can be a great cleaner. However, it is not a product that you can simply use anywhere. After all, it is an acid—specifically a strong and hazardous one. So, in this article, we’ll share XX methods for safely using muriatic acid for cleaning around the house.
What to Prepare
Before we discuss using muriatic acid for cleaning, prepare the following:
Stiff-bristled (wire) brush
Sponge or cloth
Warning: Using muriatic acid for cleaning without protective gear can cause burns to the eyes and skin. Moreover, you may suffer from respiratory damage from its vapor. So, wear acid-resistant gloves, use a respirator, and cover all exposed eyes and skin before handling muriatic acid.
Method 1: Using Muriatic Acid for Cleaning an Extremely Dirty Bathroom
In most cases, using a bathroom cleaner like Domex would suffice. However, for stubborn dirt and grime, your best choice is to use muriatic acid for cleaning.
Check if there’s moisture in the bathroom. Ensure the area is completely dry before you use the muriatic acid for cleaning.
In a bucket, mix 1 part muriatic acid with 10 parts water.
Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the mixture onto discolored or stained surfaces.
Let the solution sit on the affected areas for about 30 minutes.
Rinse the affected spots with water and use your stiff-bristled brush for stubborn dirt.
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Method 2: Using Muriatic Acid to Remove Rust Stains
Pour about 1/4 cup of muriatic acid into a bucket.
Add about a gallon of water and mix the solution.
Dip your stiff-bristled wire brush into the mixture.
Use the brush to scrub the rust off the surface.
Rinse the affected area with water.
Use a clean cloth to dry the surface.
If the rust stains are still present, repeat the steps.
Method 3: Cleaning Concrete Floors and Walls with Muriatic Acid
Learning how to clean concrete is easy, but you have to take extra caution when using muriatic acid. Aside from getting rid of discoloration, the substance is also effective in removing efflorescence on concrete surfaces and masonry. Here are the steps:
In a bucket, pour 10 parts water and 1 part acid. Mix the solution.
Pour water into a spray bottle, then use it to mist the concrete surface.
Dip your sponge into the muriatic acid solution.
Apply the mixture onto the affected concrete surface.
Let the solution sit for about 30 minutes.
Neutralize the acid by covering the affected area with baking soda.
Let the baking soda sit on the surface for about 15 minutes.
Take your wire brush and use it to scrub the acid residue off the concrete surface.
Rinse the area with clean water.
Method 4: Using Muriatic Acid to Remove Paint from Metal Surfaces
If grease or oil is present on the metal surface, use a degreaser to remove it.
Pour 4 parts water and 1 part acid into a bucket.
Once you’ve removed the oil using a degreaser, dip your stiff-bristled brush into the muriatic acid solution.
Use the brush to spread the solution onto the paint. You’ll notice the paint bubbling up immediately after you apply the acid solution.
Let the muriatic acid sit on the paint for about 20 minutes.
Use your wire brush to scrub the paint off the metal surface.
Method 5: Cleaning a Swimming Pool Using Muriatic Acid
Aside from the household cleaning materials we previously mentioned, you also need to prepare the following:
pH test kit
Industry-grade garden or acid sprayer
Scrub brush with a long handle
Once you’ve prepared the cleaning materials, you can proceed to these steps:
Use the pH test kit to ensure that the pool’s pH level is between 7.2 to 7.8. Make sure that you have the right pH level before cleaning the pool.
Use your industry-grade sprayer to apply the muriatic acid to the walls of the swimming pool.
Wait for about an hour to let the acid dissolve the debris or scale on the walls.
Rinse the acid residue off the walls by using a pressure washer.
Pour a gallon of muriatic acid into a bucket.
Dip your long-handled brush into the acid, then use it to scrub the swimming pool floor.
Add baking soda to the pool to neutralize the acid traces. Make sure that the pH level is within 7.2 to 7.8.
Wait for about an hour before swimming in the pool again.
Follow Safety Precautions When Using Muriatic Acid for Cleaning
Remember that while muriatic acid can be a powerful cleaner, it can also cause permanent damage to exposed skin. So, don’t forget to take safety precautions like keeping the product away from children’s reach and wearing proper safety gear. Moreover, we recommend diluting the acid with water before using it to clean any surface.
For more cleaning hacks, keep reading Cleanipedia!
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Muriatic Acid for Cleaning
Can muriatic acid clean tiles?
When diluted in water, muriatic acid can be safe for cleaning ceramic and porcelain tiles. However, avoid using it on natural stone tiles like marble, granite, and limestone. The acid can make the surface irreparably dull.
Is muriatic acid good for cleaning floors?
Muriatic acid can be an effective cleaner for concrete floors and blocks. You can also use it to remove stubborn efflorescence, which is a powdery, white substance that usually forms on masonry.
Can I use muriatic acid to clean my basement?
Muriatic acid should only be used to clean a well-ventilated area. So, it is not safe to use the substance for cleaning your basement.
1. Selection and use of home cleaning products | New Mexico State University - BE BOLD. Shape the future. (n.d.). https://pubs.nmsu.edu/_g/G304/
2. Kozawa, S., Kakizaki, E., Muraoka, E., Koketsu, H., Setoyama, M., & Yukawa, N. (2009). An autopsy case of chemical burns by hydrochloric acid. Legal Medicine, 11, S535–S537. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2009.01.008