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Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, is one of the common household products you can use to clean a swimming pool.
It sounds dangerous and, when not handled with care, it can be dangerous, just like sulfuric acid.
However, despite it being dangerous, it is a common substance, as muriatic acid uses and applications exist in different industries across the globe.
To be safe, you should understand the safety precautions needed to safely dispose of this dangerous chemical after use.
If the mist produced by the chemical comes into contact with your skin or organs, the damage is irreversible and can lead to death.
To help you dispose of it safely, we have prepared a step by step guide on how you should go about it.
Most of these safety tips will put you in a better position to deal with this toxic chemical.
To dispose of this chemical safely, you should wear protection when carrying out the disposal process.
Below is a step by step guide to follow.
This chemical is highly corrosive and the concentrated form releases acidic mists which are quite dangerous.
The mist is known as hydrogen chloride vapor and should be avoided at all times.
To be fully protected, make sure you cover your legs and arms with a lab coat or any other long-sleeved cloth when disposing of the product.
Below are a few ways to be sure you are well protected:
- Put on chemical-resistant clothing
- Put on safety goggles and a mask
- Put on nitrile gloves
Look for a ventilated area
When disposing of it, make sure you look for a room or an area with plenty of ventilation.
This is essential to make sure there will be no fume buildup. It also reduces the level of toxins you inhale.
Techniques/Tips to improve
When disposing of muriatic acid, there are a few techniques you can employ to improve the situation.
Below are a few techniques you should remember:
Be away from children
If kids or pets come into contact with muriatic acid during disposal, they tend to be injured.
Accidental ingestion of this chemical or hydrochloric acid can result in death. Slight contact with eyes may also lead to blindness.
Bearing this in mind, when disposing of the acid, never leave it in any place children or pets can reach.
Keep away from heat and metals
The chemical is not flammable but usually reacts when it comes into contact with metal or heat-producing hydrogen gas.
This gas is dangerous and highly flammable.
Make sure you keep away from metal and heat when disposing of it to avoid producing hydrogen gas.
Correcting Common Problems
So far we have looked at safety measures you can use when disposing of muriatic acid.
The next step discusses how you can begin pre-treatment.
Preparing a base mix
The next step should be preparing a base solution to help negate the acid.
To effectively do so, you will require mixing one lb. box of sodium carbonate (baking soda) with a lot of water in a suitable bucket.
Make sure you leave some baking soda at the base of your bucket before slowly and carefully adding the acid.
Wait for the reaction to stop.
To be sure, add more baking soda to see whether the acid will continue fizzing.
The process involves combining hydrochloric acid with sodium bicarbonate to form a salt, water, and carbon dioxide mixture.
Here is a video (all rights reserved) you can follow to see how muriatic acid is neutralized with baking soda.
When preparing a base mix, here are a few things you should remember:
- The process is the exothermic and effervescent meaning you should mix slowly and carefully.
- Add sodium to the acid and not the acid to sodium
- Make sure the acid is in a wide-mouth bucket
Pre-treating an empty container
The next step when disposing of muriatic acid is neutralizing used empty muriatic acid containers using water and baking soda.
Use 90 percent water and 10 percent baking soda to neutralize used containers.
For containers, add approximately 25 percent of the container into the bucket of water and agitate the contents.
For a container with a lid, shake the solution.
Analysis of best practices in the industry
The final step involves disposing of the neutralized solution, absorbent contaminated material, and supply containers in the following ways:
- Pour the neutralized solution in your storm drain system.
- You can wash remains from your container by washing down in your drain system with plenty of water.
- Once the container is fully clean, you can go ahead and use it for other purposes.
- A small amount of muriatic acid can also be flushed down your sink with large amounts of water.
If this is your first time disposing of muriatic acid, here are a few practices to remember:
- Avoid disposing of it in lakes and ponds.
- Although it cleans sea shells, avoid this at all costs, as it also consumes the shell during the cleaning.
- It might also eat your plumbing system.
- You can also consider transporting the acid to a waste management firm
Tools you can use
When disposing of muriatic acid effectively, below are some things you will require:
- Baking soda
- Safety mask
- Safety gloves
- Ventilated area
- Chemical resistant clothing
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pour muriatic acid on the ground?
No. The best way to dispose of the acid is by neutralizing it. Do not pour it in your garden or gravel driveway.
Can I pour muriatic acid down the drain?
Yes, but make sure you flush it with a lot of water
What is the best way to neutralize muriatic acid?
The best way is by adding baking soda.
Will muriatic acid damage PVC pipes?
Yes, concentrated muriatic acid damages PVC pipes.
What is muriatic acid?
Muriatic acid is concentrated hydrochloric acid.
How to dispose of hydrochloric acid
The best way to dispose of hydrochloric acid is by neutralizing it with baking soda
What is muriatic acid used for
Uses for muriatic acid include reducing the pH level in swimming pools.
Will muriatic acid damage pavers?
Yes, it is a highly reactive acid
Will hydrochloric acid remove paint?
Yes, depending on the concentration.
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