Common uses for hydrochloric acid

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Hydrochloric acid contributes to proper digestion, but it also has common applications. Hydrochloric acid is used in the production of chlorides, dyes, fertilisers and in various industries such as photography, textiles and rubber.

The Environmental Protection Agency warns that hydrochloric acid does cause dermal scarring. Exposure to hydrochloric acid also can cause damage to eyes and skin. Still, there are many common uses for hydrochloric acid around the house.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Hydrochloric acid often is used in toilet bowl cleaners to remove dirt and grime. In addition to hydrochloric acid, toilet bowl cleaners also have sodium bisulfite, oxalic acid and dilute sulphuric acid. When cleaning toilets with hydrochloric acid, be careful to not let the cleaner come in contact with eyes and skin, as it is poisonous.

Cleaning Concrete

Hydrochloric acid also is called muriatric acid, which is used for cleaning concrete. For any mark or stain on concrete, first dilute the acid by pouring into water. Do not pour the water into acid. If the acid gets on unwanted areas, have a garden hose ready to dilute the surface. The acid cleans the concrete by etching away the marks, so as soon as the acid works its magic, rinse it off with the garden hose.

Rust Removal

Hydrochloric acid commonly is used in the removal of rust. As hydrochloric acid etches away at surfaces, rust comes off of metals and other surfaces easily. The surface, however, can be damaged from too much etching. If there is an abundance of rust, then hydrochloric acid is one solution that works effectively to remove all the rust.


Hydrochloric acid comes from a mixture of common salt and sulphuric acid, so you can prepare salts called chlorides, like sodium chloride. In addition, many additives to food use hydrochloric acid in production, such as aspartame, fructose, citric acid, lysine, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and in gelatin production.