Muriatic acid, or better known as “Salfumán” o “Etching” , is a chemical widely used to treat relatively rough alkaline surfaces such as cement, brick and concrete. Also, because it is quite corrosive, it is recommended for unclogging pipes, removing stains that do not give way, and combating soap sediments in materials such as concrete.
However, although it is very effective, its level of toxicity is not a secret, so it must be used with special care to prevent any risk both in the objects to be cleaned and in our skin. Before we tell you how it acts on natural stone and the way it leaves flawless from concrete to bricks, in this article we will show you how to clean with muriatic acid other areas of the home, what is the correct dosage and which are the most frequent uses of this cleaner so popular.
What is hydrochloric or muriatic acid?
Hydrochloric acid is an an aqueous solution formed from hydrogen chloride gas (HCI) which is acidic, non-flammable and non-reactive, with irritating odors and dense vapors and highly toxic; in fact, a concentrated solution of 40 ml in 1 liter of water is capable of killing a human being.
Generally, it is used for cleaning, treatment and galvanizing metals, removing enamel, discolorations, removal of very adhered dirt, such as lime and scale, sanitizing sanitary services, tiles, bathtubs and even rust stains. But, if you want to clean with this chemical agent, you must know which materials it is a good choice and which ones you should NEVER apply, as you will cause serious damage. In addition, you should know that on a scale of 0 to 4, its health risk is 3, so it is very important to dilute it correctly and reduce the risk of irritation and burns to the respiratory tract, skin, eyes and digestive tract.
How muriatic acid is used in household cleaning
If you have tried other products without achieving favorable results, this may be a workable solution when no other product has worked, especially in heavily soiled or stained areas. These are the proper steps for safe and accident-free handling:
- Always wear rubber gloves, goggles in case you accidentally splash yourself, a mask and even pants, a long-sleeved shirt and closed shoes to protect yourself from skin irritation and intoxication,
- Ventilate the area before, during and after cleaning with salfumán.
- Move away or cover nearby plants and pets in the house.
- In a container mix 10 parts of water with one part of muriatic acid. Always add the water before the acid and avoid adding any other cleaning substance; remember that there are products that when mixed generate unfavorable chemical reactions.
- Wet the surface and then pour the previously made dilution.
- Let it act for 10 minutes and after this time, rub the object or surface with a sponge, brush or broom to remove the stuck dirt or stain.
- Rinse with plenty of clean water until the muriatic acid is completely removed.
How to clean heavily soiled bathrooms with muriatic acid
If your bathroom surfaces are stained with scale, hard water scale or mildew, and you’ve tried everything in your power, the same dilution as above may end it once and for all. Especially in places such as toilets, sinks and showers that have not been cleaned for many years.
Simply dilute a ratio of etchant to 10 of water as mentioned above, and let it take effect for 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water. In case you want to clean a very dirty toilet with muriatic acid, pour the mixture inside, let it soak overnight and brush it with hot water the next day.
Note: We recommend you not to apply it constantly because if it is used repeatedly, it may wear the glazed porcelain that covers the ceramic toilet or sink. Thus, it will end up destroying the shiny appearance of this area.
Muriatic acid for cleaning ceramic tile floors
As we already know, the disadvantage of this chemical is its excessive corrosive power, so it must be diluted in water. Depending on the type of soil, this dilution varies. In the case of ceramic floors and walls, dilute one part of muriatic acid in 10 parts of water, apply, rub insistently and let it take effect for 5 minutes. You can take advantage and scrubbing joints obscured by lime scale with a toothbrush and achieve a shiny appearance.
Undoubtedly, this cleaner is one of the most popular in terms of express cleaning of floors and surfaces that harbor a lot of dirt, rust, glue residues, paint stuck on the floor building material, tiles, bathroom and kitchen tiles, swimming pools with fungus marks and even for to neutralize cement and concrete and prevent paint from lifting.
Use with caution, protect your skin, eyes, nose and mouth and take advantage of its benefits!