Years ago I bought a bottle of sulfuric acid from a hardware store with the
intend to open a clogged pipe. I ended up opening the clog with another
method. The bottle sits unused.
Many toilet bowl cleaners use hydrochloric acid as a main ingredient, since
sulfuric acid is similar stuff, can I use it as a toilet bowl cleaner?
I hope you're not serious:
It is not that similar to hydrochloric acid.
although you havent suggested it, mixing sodium hypochlorate (bleach)
and H2SO4 can release chlorine gas AND sulfuric poured into a drain
can react EXPLOSIVELY with any METAL PIPES, organic materials (such as
hair, etc) and lead to some REAL unpleasant results.
i'm a chemist and have used sulfuric for 30 years in various
applications. this is NOT one of them!
But sulfuric acid is (was?) a common drain cleaner. One of its features
is attacking organic blocks. Would think drain cleaner would have to be
strong. It was certainly one of the more hazardous household chemicals.
The OP didn't say, but the sulfuric acid he bought was probably a drain
My guess is that toilet bowl tends to get mineral accumulation.
Hydrochloric acid breaks them down. Does sulfuric?
Some brands call it hydrochloric acid and some hydrogen chloride.
Isn't that strange!
I don't know about this, but phosphoric acid is similar too, and they
put that in Coke and we drink it. That doesn't mean we should drink
the other acids.
I used to know what stomach acid was..."Gastric acid is a digestive
fluid, formed in the stomach. It has a pH of 1 to 2 and is composed of
hydrochloric acid (HCl) (around 0.5%, or 5000 parts per million), and
large quantities of potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride
Maybe ask in sci.chemistry if you can use your bottle of acid for this
or something else.
Nonetheless, the Works disinfectant toilet bowl cleaner lists the
active ingeredient as Hydrogen Chloride, its only mention.
And Lysol disinfectant power toilet bowl cleaner says that and also
says "Contains Hydrochloric Acid".
Yes, yes, yes, they are similar in that they are both acids. You don't
seem to have gotten my point, which is that not all acids are alike,
which is the same point I think you made in your first reply to LSMFT,
after I posted.
I don't see any problem in using it but you have to take more caution
with sulfuric acid than hydrochloric acid as I find it more corrosive to
clothing than hydrochloric because it will not evaporate and stay on the
I don't think they sell the concentrations of sulfuric acid that will
react violently with water but this is a caution and acid should always
be poured into water and not vice versa. It is always a good idea to
have on eye protection when working with corrosives.
Additionally the sulfate salts, e.g. ferric sulfate, are not as soluble
as the chlorides and sulfuric acid may not be as efficient as
hydrochloric in removing stains.
What he needs is fuming red nitric acid. (-: I splattered some when I was
working in a photochem plant and it burned through my pants (bell bottoms,
fortunately) like a ray gun blast and proceeded to dissolve my workboots. I
reached for the reinforced chemical wipe clothes we had and within a second
the paper had gone up in a puff of smoke leaving only the plastic
reinforcing mesh. It taught me to respect the acids of the world.
I wouldn't recommend sulfuric acid for toilet cleaning, especially if the
concentration was not known. There are far better, less noxious chemicals
like oxalic acid to handle rust stains. Plus, modern toilets seem to have
a tendency to spit when flushed. I saw one study that used fluorescent dye
in the tank showing that water from the flush could reach as high as the
height where people mount toothbrush holders. So, if you're going to use it
anyway, flush with the cover down and wear goggles, gloves and long sleeved
shirts and long pants.
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