How to Dispose of Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is beneficial in households, especially if there is a swimming pool or there are stains on surfaces like brick or concrete that do not clean off easily.

Though the muriatic acid solution is beneficial, you may have more than you need, hence the need to dispose of excess muriatic acid. Muriatic acid is not a regular liquid, and its disposal should be taken seriously. 

This post will discuss the various ways of disposing of Muriatic acid. But, first, let’s see why you should be careful while disposing of it and the safety measures advised when dealing with muriatic acid.

Safety Precautions while Disposing of Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid disposal
@Edward Shockley

Disposing of muriatic acid safely and effectively includes reusing it, but it is not advisable without understanding the safety precautions to take and why they are essential.

In simple terms, muriatic acid is Hydrogen Chloride (HCL) acid but in a less pure form. Though it is not as dangerous as pure HCL, it is still hazardous, and you should handle it carefully.

It is essential to exercise caution when handling muriatic acid because of its corrosive nature. It can cause severe skin damage when you come in direct contact with it, and inhaling its fumes can cause lung damage.

Also, muriatic acid can cause irreversible eye damage or blindness if your eyes come in direct contact with it. However, it is essential to take safety measures to ensure your and others around you whether you are using or disposing of muriatic acid. So, let’s see the safety measures to take in disposing of muriatic acid.

Safety Measures For Handling Muriatic Acid

Before learning how to dispose of muriatic acid safely, it is essential to learn what to do to keep safe and avoid causing harm to yourself or other people. These safety measures apply when you want to use, store, or dispose of muriatic acid:

  • Use a thick, face-covering mask to protect your face. Wrap-around eye goggles are good alternatives.
  • Also, wear a respirator to avoid inhaling the fume.
  • Always wear a protective kit that protects other parts of your body. Some of the kits you should wear include rubber boots, acid-resistant gloves, and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Dilute muriatic acid with water. Generally, for every part of muriatic acid, you should dilute it with ten parts of water. Although, this proportion may vary depending on the acid’s purpose.
  • When diluting muriatic acid with water, always pour the acid into the water and not the other way round. Pouring water into muriatic acid would lead to an exothermic reaction, and muriatic acid could spill out of its container.
  • Don’t pour muriatic acid into an empty container. Instead, pour water into the container before adding muriatic acid.
  • Don’t mix muriatic acid with other acids; their combination may lead to a dangerous reaction.
  • Use glass or acid-resistant containers for muriatic acid.
  • To be safe, never take muriatic acid out of its original container.
  • If you use muriatic acid over a large surface area, you should do so with a plastic sprayer. This plastic sprayer will deteriorate, so you should have a lot of it.
  • Have a hose or large container of water close by in case your skin comes directly in contact with muriatic acid.

How Can You Safely Dispose Of Muriatic Acid?

With the safety precautions for muriatic acid disposal in mind, let us see the different ways to dispose of it safely.

Reuse

One of the best ways to dispose of muriatic acid is to reuse it. There are several ways to reuse Muriatic acid instead of spilling it around and causing harm to the environment. Below are some ways to reuse Muriatic acid for productive disposal.

Clean Concrete Walls And Floors

Though muriatic acid is a dangerous product, it is an effective cleaning agent. It is a great cleaning agent for your walls and concrete, except that you should take safety precautions.

Some stains on concrete walls and floors are hard to remove. Even though it should be the last option you consider, muriatic acid can be used to remove those tough stains.

Apart from concrete, you can also use muriatic acid to clean up swimming pool walls, removing all types of molds.

Follow these steps to use muriatic acid in cleaning concrete surfaces:

  • Observe the safety measures for muriatic acid.
  • Avoid using muriatic acid in its full strength. It is best always to dilute it with water.
  • Avoid adding muriatic acid to other acids. Mix it with water only.
  • Mix muriatic acid and water in a three-to-one proportion. That is, the quantity of water needed for the mixture should be three times the quantity of the muriatic acid. 
  • Pour water into a container before adding muriatic acid. It is dangerous to add the acid before pouring water into it.
  • Carefully mix the water and muriatic acid.
  • After mixing, scrub the concrete surface with the mixture.
  • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wash off the mixture with a pressure washer.

Cleaning Your Toilet

Apart from concrete surfaces, muriatic acid helps clean tough stains in toilets. Even your regular toilet cleaners have muriatic acid mixed in them. Therefore, this is another effective way to dispose of Muriatic acid rather than wasting it or causing harm to people from it.

Again, safety precautions are essential to avoid injuries and casualties. Below are the steps to clean your toilet with muriatic acid:

  • Observe the safety measures for dealing with muriatic acid.
  • Dilute muriatic acid with baking soda. The latter part of this article will teach you how to dilute muriatic acid with baking soda.
  • Pour ten parts of water into a bucket and add 1 part of muriatic acid. Make sure you pour muriatic acid into water and vice versa.
  • Carefully mix the water and muriatic acid.
  • Pour the mixture into the toilet and make sure it covers the surface.
  • Wait for an hour.
  • Flush the toilet.
  • Scrub the toilet. Remember to wear proper cleaning gloves while doing this. 

Use Muriatic Acid As A Pool Filter Cleaner

Another cost-effective way to dispose of Muriatic acid is to use it as a pool filter cleaner. Instead of regularly changing your pool filter, you can clean it up with muriatic acid and save some bucks.

Follow these steps to use muriatic acid as a pool filter cleaner:

  • Observe the safety measures for dealing with muriatic acid.
  • Turn off the pool’s pump.
  • Remove the filter cartridges.
  • Mix 20 parts of water with 1 part of muriatic acid in a large container. Remember to pour muriatic acid into the water instead of doing it the other way round.
  • Soak the filter cartridges in the mixture for an hour.
  • Wearing acid-resistant gloves, take out the filter cartridges and clean them.

Pour It In Your Pool

Muriatic acid is beneficial, and another way to reuse it is to pour it into your pool. It is a must-have for swimming pool maintenance and lowering the pH level of swimming pools.

Therefore, if the pH level of your pool is too high, add muriatic acid to decrease it to 7.4 – 7.6. That way, you successfully dispose of the acid while saving yourself from buying new chemicals.

There are several other ways to reuse Muriatic acid at home; you can search them online for more options.

Dispose Of Muriatic Acid At Your Local Hazardous Waste Collection Site

Again, the best way to dispose of muriatic acid is to reuse it. But you may have muriatic acid in a large quantity, and you may have run out of ways to reuse it. Therefore, the best disposal option will be to contact your local hazardous waste collection site.

If locating a hazardous waste collection site near you is a problem, you can find it at RCRAInfo Web. These hazardous waste collection sites would either find ways to reuse the muriatic acid or dispose of it in environmentally friendly ways.

Also see: How to dispose of aerosol cans

Flush It Down The Drain

You can flush muriatic acid down the drain if you cannot reuse it nor dispose of it with a hazardous waste collection site. Although it is not the best option as it can corrode your sink, drainage pipes, and fittings, it can also react with other chemicals to release toxic gas. 

However, you can prevent all these damages by neutralizing muriatic acid before flushing it down the drain. Although, this method of disposing of muriatic acid is not allowed in every city. Hence, you should check your city’s guidelines to know if it permits it. 

Let’s see how to neutralize muriatic acid with two neutralizing agents – water and baking soda.

How To Neutralize Muriatic Acid With Water

Here is how to neutralize muriatic acid with water and flush it down the drain.

  • Ensure you are in a well-ventilated place so fumes from muriatic acid can escape easily.
  • Wear necessary protective equipment like acid-resistant gloves, face masks, and respirators.
  • Pour 3 gallons of water into a container.
  • Add a quarter cup of muriatic acid.
  • Carefully mix.
  • Slowly pour the mixture down the drain.
  • Leave the tap running for about a minute.
  • Thoroughly rinse the container and safely dispose of it.

How To Neutralize Muriatic Acid With Baking Soda

Baking soda is another neutralizing agent for muriatic acid. Here is how you can use it.

  • Add one part of baking soda to 10 parts of water in a large bucket.
  • Slowly pour muriatic acid into the baking soda mixture. To avoid dangerous reactions, make sure you pour muriatic acid into the baking soda mixture and do not do the reverse. It will fizz for a few minutes.
  • Pour more muriatic acid into the mixture when the fizzing recedes.
  • When the fizzing finally stops, you have successfully neutralized the muriatic acid.

You may also like to read our article on how to dispose of bleach.

Leave a Comment