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Using Muriatic Acid

Doug Rucker

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From Craig Harrison! This is why u don’t experiment with chemicals!

Hydrochloric Acid

Acid Q&A: Hydrochloric Acid

Let me tell you a little story. There’s been some talk lately about some guys using regular cheap, inexpensive Hydrochloric Acid for calcium or efflorescence removal. HCL is also known as Muriatic or “pool acid”. This is a common ingredient in many cleaners, but just because a professional cleaner (like F9 Efflo) has HCL, doesn’t mean it’s the same HCL that is in Hydrochloric. F9 Efflo has buffers, inhibitors, wetting agents and surfactants. Thinking you can just dilute HCL down and make your own cleaner can KILL YOU. One whiff of pool acid can land you, your contractors or your customers in the hospital. Ask me, I know! I used to use this stuff 20 years ago and have seen just how destructive it can be. We have had customers get sick from walking 100’ away from where we were working. In the early 2000’s I also personally caught a solid whiff of a very common industrial brick cleaner that had HCL… and here’s what happened. Again, this is from ONE WHIFF.

My throat felt itchy and my lungs felt dry. I was dry-heaving at night, experiencing extreme pain in my lungs, abdomen and throat. Couldn’t sleep, toss and turned all night. After on and off Dry-Heaving for 6 hours I had severe diarrhea and I started to have difficulty breathing. My body began to ache really bad so I laid down. I couldn’t get out of bed for the next 5 days. My body was hurting so bad I couldn’t move. One touch to my skin and I would scream in pain. It was EXTREME. I couldn’t move my neck and shoulders more than 1/4 “. I lost my voice for 3 days. It took about a week while the pain travelled down to my legs then back up to my neck and shoulders. After 2-3 weeks the final bit of pain went from my throat (after it went from my throat, to my lungs, to my feet and worked its way back up to my throat) to the back of my tongue. Then every day the pain would travel closer to the tip of my tongue, but I still couldn’t taste food. This must have been the last of the toxins finally making their way out of my body. The last few days of this experience (took about 30 days to recover) that the pain finally reached the tip of my tongue my eyeballs actually peeled a small thin layer of skin. Yes, actually peeled. I was blinking out some kind of thin eyeball skin.

During this month of joy I lost 18 lbs. I couldn’t eat solid food for the entire month and it all-together took close to 6 months to fully recover. And this isn’t even the whole story.. just most of it. I would never ever want ANYONE to have to experience this. And I am not the only one to have experienced this. I have see other people with other companies experience the same things. Or worse. 

This is one of the main reasons I created safer products. It was either get out of the business or make something that my employees and I could work around.

If you’re going to use HCL products for cleaning, especially Industrial Pool Acid, make SURE to wear a hazmat suit, proper PPE, glasses, gloves, boots, respirators, tape off and put up caution signs around the areas you are working.

Also, leave using regular pool acid, aka “muriatic” off this page. I sure wouldn’t want you or someone working for you to get hurt . Use it if you like but know what your dealing with.

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