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Post Info TOPIC: Using Muriatic Acid to "clean your Aluminum boat"

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Date: Oct 15, 2007
Using Muriatic Acid to "clean your Aluminum boat"
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To Wildthing;

Hello, I thought I would inject my thoughts to you about the use of Muratic acid, especially on the aluminum boat! Here is some info you might be interested in: I hope you are very careful with this acid!!! If not,... you won't have a boat left because the acid will seep into the crevices of the rivets and seems of the boat and in time it will eat the aluminum, unless you neutralize it! The boat could, while your in it, literally fall apart at some point. Most people don't know that Muriatic Acid is really Hydrochloric acid!

I hope this helps!?!?

Getting to know muriatic acid...

What is muriatic acid and how dangerous is it?

Muriatic acid is a highly reactive liquid acid, and one of the most dangerous chemicals you can buy for home use. It is an industrial-strength solution of hydrogen chloride gas dissolved in water, also known as hydrochloric acid. Yep, muriatic acid is "super stomach acid"!

With the exception of some plastics, muriatic acid can damage most anything it touches, including clothing, metal, and skin! It emits a suffocating odor that can quickly burn the lining of the nose, throat and even the lungs.

Typical home uses include heavy-duty masonry cleaning, preparation of masonry for painting or sealing, removal of efflorescence or mineral deposits and pH reduction in swimming pools. Its reactive power makes it the chemical of choice for some types of masonry cleaning.

Muriatic acid is sold in a standardized concentration of 31.45% acid and 68.55% inert ingredients, primarily water. This is the concentration you are going to find in your local hardware store. Our mixing suggestions are based on this concentration... if the muriatic acid you purchase is stronger, adjust the dilution proportions for the job accordingly.

A short anecdote... A hardware store in my area stopped storing muriatic acid. Over a period of years, gaseous seepage from the old containers had begun to dissolve the metal shelving it was stored upon, as well as the metal containers of other products nearby!

Fortunately, most muriatic acid sold now is in plastic bottles with safety seals to prevent leakage. And the moral of this story? It is wise to dispose of leftover acid properly and immediately. (See disposal tips at the end of this article.)

Muriatic acid should NEVER be poured down a storm drain, a sink or flushed down a toilet. It can cause extreme damage to pipes, dissolve solder and damage the biological balance of your septic system. Throwing away even a closed container of muriatic acid with the trash can be dangerous for trash handlers, their trucks and possibly cause unexpected chemical reactions in landfills.

Small quantities of spilled muriatic acid will not cause widespread environmental disaster, but it can cause severe damage to plants and animals that may come into contact with it. It's easy to neutralize a muriatic acid spill common household and/or garden chemicals.

Here are some suggestions...

1) Recycle it!

Many counties or cities have drop sites for recycling hazardous chemicals such as oil-based paints and other household chemicals. Most will also accept muriatic acid. Call your local recycling center for more info.

2) Neutralize it!

Earlier, I mentioned using lime (the type used on lawns and gardens) to neutralize acid spills. Spreading a generous quantity of lime or baking soda and adding water will cause a distinctive "fizz" as the lime reacts with the acid to produce a harmless salt. I prefer lime over baking soda since it is less expensive, is sold in larger bags and most gardeners have some laying around!

CAUTION... the reaction of lime and acid can release chlorine gas and/or hydrogen gas, so I recommend wearing a chlorine-gas rated respirator or at the least keep the air moving away from you during this process.

You can also use lime to neutralize leftover muriatic acid. Get a large bucket. I prefer 5-gallon size dangerous spattering is minimized in a large bucket. Put three of four cups of lime in the bottom and a gallon of water. Give it a stir with a long disposable wooden stirrer (an old "1x2" is fine). Slowly add the acid to the bucket keeping your face away while pouring (and wearing your respirator). Stir, adding more acid and more lime until all chemical "fizzing" has stopped. The fully neutralized acid can now be safely disposed down a sink or storm drain without fear of damage to your septic system or the environment.

Rum Runner '56 Vagabond II Soon to be on a Custom built polished aluminum trailer
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