Since toilets are where liquid and solid wastes from our bodies end up, they are viewed as the dirtiest areas in a home. This is why they are cleaned regularly, and many people often pick the strongest cleaning agents, including acid.
While there are gentler, safer, and effective cleaning agents, acids remain popular, serving as an excellent toilet bowl cleaner, stain remover, and disinfectant. However, although they are effective, you must be careful when handling acid because it can cause severe health effects.
Nonetheless, you have multiple options should you decide to use acid to clean your toilet bowl. Keep reading to find out the different types of acids you can use.
Which Acids Can You Use To Clean Your Toilet Bowl?
Below are the acids you can use to clean your toilet bowl.
1. Muriatic Acid
It is a strong chemical mainly used to remove rust and refine metals in industries, clean homes, process leather, and construction and oil production. However, you can also use it to remove stubborn spots in your toilet bowl.
It’s effective on rust, toilet bowl rings, and other hideous marks you can remove using simple cleaning agents. However, since muriatic acid is corrosive, you must handle it carefully.
It can damage your respiratory system, organs, skin, and eyes if you come into contact with it. Moreover, it can ruin your pipes and toilet if used regularly and in large quantities, and harmful to the environment.
Observe the following when cleaning your toilet with muriatic acid.
- Wear gloves
- Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer
- Keep the bathroom fan running
- Wear a mask to avoid breathing in the fumes
- Don’t use it repetitively
- Wear glasses
- Clean any splashes immediately
- Apply small amounts
You will need to dilute the muriatic acid before using it, so mix it in a ratio of 5:1 with five parts water and one-part muriatic acid. This acid is 10% concentrated when sold, which reduces to 2 % after dilution.
It will be diluted further once you pour it into the toilet bowl because it already has about a third gallon of water. Therefore, increase or lower the acidity accordingly.
After creating the diluted solution, slowly pour it into your toilet bowl. Next, leave it for 30 minutes, scrub the bowl lightly, and repeat the process for a couple of hours before flushing it down.
2. Citric Acid
This weak acid is found in fruits like oranges and lemons, some household cleaning agents, and commercial fruits drinks. You can use citric acid to get rid of rust and stain deposits in your toilet bowl without damaging the porcelain.
This acid oxidizes mineral deposits, weakening them, thus, allowing them to wash away. Other acids like phosphoric acid (available in soft drinks) and acetic acids (in vinegar) deliver similar results.
However, citric is less harsh as it has sufficient acidic concentration to clean your toilet bowl, damaging the porcelain.
You can naturally find citric acid by juicing or squeezing lemons or some fruit drinks in liquid and powdered form. In addition, colas like Coke, Pepsi, and RC have citric acid in small quantities but phosphoric acid in large amounts, so don’t use too much.
To clean your toilet bowl with citric acid:
- Sprinkle or pour powdered or liquid citric acid along your toilet bowl.
- Let it sit for a minimum of 2 hours
- Flush the toilet
- Scrub the toilet
The benefit of using citric acid is it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or fumes, so it doesn’t harm the environment or health. Additionally, it removes rust and stains more easily than certain commercial products, limiting the time you will spend cleaning your toilet.
It is also a natural deodorizer, so it will leave your bathroom with a pleasant fragrance.
3. Hydrochloric Acid
HCL helps dissolve tough stains in your toilet bowls, such as scale, rust, and mineral deposits. However, it is corrosive and strong so observe extreme care to protect your porcelain and don’t use it as your regular toilet cleaner.
It’s worth noting that hydrochloric acid will melt a nylon hose or nylon carpet. Ensure you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using HCL for your safety and protect your toilet.
How To Stay Safe When Cleaning Your Toilet Bowl With Acid
Misusing or improperly handling acids can cause burn, damage your respiratory system, or poison you because they are corrosive and some are toxic. Therefore, following the recommended safety precautions is paramount when handling acid.
- a) Wear Gloves and Goggles
Your hands are at risk of being exposed to acid, so it’s wise to put on gloves. Moreover, your eyes are more vulnerable to corrosion than your skin, so goggles are also a must-have when using acid.
- b) Dress Appropriately
Due to the corrosive nature of acids, it would be best to put on close-toed shoes, long sleeves, and pants when cleaning your toilet bowl with acid.
- c) Use The Correct Amount
Use acids in small quantities and don’t clean with acid regularly to protect your toilet from corrosion. Instead, use it only on stubborn stains that are too strong for your everyday toilet cleaning products.
- d) Keep Your Bathroom Ventilated
Acids produce toxic fumes that can cause adverse respiratory problems when ingested, including breathing difficulties. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure your bathroom has a proper supply of air.
Keep your bathroom window open and if you have a washroom fan, keep it running.
- e) Have Access To Water And Eyewash
In the event you are exposed to the acid, rinse it off with water, but never attempt to neutralize it on your skin. Wash it off swiftly using eyewash if it gets into your eyes because it can cause severe burns in fifteen minutes.
Drink water and an edible base like milk of magnesia if you ingest acid. Do not dilute with a strong base or induce vomiting.
Acid can be an excellent solution for stubborn stains in your toilet bowl when used appropriately. You can transform a toilet with stains into a sparkling clean, pleasant area you will enjoy using, but always proceed with caution for your wellbeing.
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