Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain: 4 DIY Steps

Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain

Last Updated on January 9, 2023

If left untreated, clogged drains can cause significant complications. It is possible for flooding to occur when water cannot flow freely. Also, standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and mosquitos, posing a health hazard.

A drain clog that refuses to respond to conventional plunging may cause you to consider muriatic acid for clearing tough clogs. But can you use muriatic acid to unclog a drain? Muriatic acid can unclog drains, but it has the potential to damage pipes if improperly handled.

This acid can eat away your drain pipes, causing them to leak or collapse. So, before you take this route, you should understand the risks and how to use muriatic acid safely. Continue reading to discover how this powerful chemical can be used to unclog a drain.

How Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain?

How Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain

Over time, your drains can become clogged with all kinds of build-up, from soap scum and grease to hair and food waste. While many store-bought chemical drain cleaners are available, muriatic acid is one of the most practical DIY options. Muriatic acid is a powerful corrosive that can quickly break down stubborn clogs.

If you want to use muriatic acid on a blocked drain, follow these steps:

Step 01. Well Ventilate the Working Area

When using muriatic acid to unclog the drain, ensure you well-ventilate the area. This is because the acid can emit toxic vapors which are hazardous to breathe. Inhaling these fumes can irritate the lungs and throat and even lead to pneumonia.

For this reason, it is always best to open windows and doors using muriatic acid or work in an area with good ventilation. If working in the basement with this acid, you should also consider using a fan to help ventilate the area.

Step 02. Pour Muriatic Acid into the Clogged Drain

Muriatic acid is a strong acid, so it must be used carefully, as it can also damage your pipes if not used correctly. When pouring muriatic acid into a clogged drain, always add the acid to water rather than water to acid. This will help to dilute the acid and prevent it from damaging your pipes.

Mix the acid with water in a 1:10 ratio and pour it into the clogged drain. Make sure to run this mixture slowly into the clogged drain and allow it to sit for several minutes.

After that time, flush the drain with water to remove any remaining debris. If you notice that the drain is still clogged, you can repeat this process until the clog is fully removed.

Step 03. Thoroughly Clean the Drain With Warm Water

After using muriatic acid to unclog your drain, the drain must be thoroughly cleaned with warm water. If you do not adequately clean the drain after using muriatic acid, it can cause corrosion and damage to the pipes.

To clean the drain, simply flush it with warm water several times. You can also use a plunger to help remove any remaining debris. Be sure to dispose of any used muriatic acid properly and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the acid.

Step 04. Rinse Empty Containers

You should rinse empty containers with muriatic acid very well before disposing of them in the garbage. The acid can eat through the container and cause serious harm to the person who handles it next.

It can also eat through garbage bags and contaminate other items in the trash. If you must dispose of the container, be sure to rinse it out thoroughly and include a note that it contains acid so that others will handle it with caution.

These steps will help you safely and effectively use muriatic acid for drain unclogging. This powerful chemical can be an excellent tool for removing stubborn clogs, but you must use it cautiously to avoid damaging your pipes.

How Long Does it Take for Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain?

How Long Does it Take for Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain

Clogged drains are no fun, but they’re usually easy to fix. For a DIY solution, try using muriatic acid. This household chemical can be found at your local hardware store, and it’s usually used for cleaning works. When used correctly, it can also be effective at unclogging drains.

The best way to unclog a drain with muriatic acid is to pour a small amount down it and then leave it for about 10 minutes. As the acid works on the clog during this time, it will heat and break it up. After that time, you should flush the drain with hot water to remove residual acid.

Can You Put Muriatic Acid in a Clogged Basement Drain Pipe?

If you have a clogged basement drain, you may wonder if you can use muriatic acid to clear it. The short answer is yes. You can use muriatic acid to unclog basement drains. But before using muriatic acid in your basement drain pipe, try using a plunger or a plumber’s snake to remove the blockage. 

If these methods do not work, you can use muriatic acid, but follow the instructions. Ensure the area around the drain is well-ventilated because this acid is very corrosive and can release harmful fumes if not used properly.

Will Muriatic Acid Eat Through the PVC Drain Pipe?

Muriatic acid is a powerful chemical used to clean masonry, etch concrete, and lower the pH level of swimming pools. The chemical is highly corrosive and can cause severe damage to the skin and eyes. Because of its strength, muriatic acid needs to be handled carefully.

Although the chemical will not eat through PVC or other drain lines, its aggressive nature makes it unsuitable for use regularly. Always wear gloves, goggles, and other protective gear when using muriatic acid.

Also, use the chemical in a well-ventilated area while working with PVC pipe. A muriatic acid is a powerful tool that should be used with care.

What Chemicals Do Plumbers Use to Unclog a Drain?

What Chemicals Do Plumbers Use to Unclog a Drain

Hydrochloric acid (HCl), also known as muriatic acid, is the most commonly used chemical by plumbers to unclog drains. HCl is a strong acidic liquid that is highly corrosive and effective at breaking down organic matter, such as hair, grease, and soap scum.

But, it must be used with caution, as it can cause severe skin burns and damage to plumbing fixtures. Despite these risks, muriatic acid remains a popular choice for drain cleaning because it is inexpensive and readily available.

Plumbers often pour the diluted HCl down the drain and let it sit for some time before flushing it with warm water. This process will usually dissolve the clog. But, if the clog is stubborn, the plumber may need to repeat the operation or use a different type of chemical.

Will Muriatic Acid Harm Drain Pipes When Unclogging?

If your sink or tub drains slowly, you may be tempted to reach for the nearest can of chemical drain cleaner. But before you do, you need to understand what active ingredients are in that drain cleaner and whether or not they’re safe for your pipes.

One of the most common active ingredients is muriatic acid. This powerful acid can break down clogs quickly, but it can also cause severe damage to drain pipes if misused. When used in substantial concentrations, muriatic acid can eat away at pipe material, eventually leading to leaks or complete failure.

It can also produce poisonous fumes that can be dangerous to inhale. It can blow a hole in the pipe if water is accidentally poured while this acid is deep in the drain line. Due to these reasons, you should use this chemical liquid drain cleaner cautiously.

Can You Pour Muriatic Acid Down a Home Toilet?

Can You Pour Muriatic Acid Down a Home Toilet

Yes, you can pour muriatic acid into the toilet at home. But, it is extremely hazardous when undiluted. When diluted, muriatic acid can be used to clean toilets and remove buildup from pipes. Yet, the concentration of the acid must be carefully monitored to avoid dangerous fumes and burns.

Also, muriatic acid shouldn’t be diluted with other cleaning products, as this can cause a hazardous reaction. If you are considering using muriatic acid to clean your toilet, you should seek professional guidance to ensure that you do so safely.

What Should Not be Mixed With Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain?

While this substance effectively clears up built-up debris, it can also be dangerous if not used properly. In particular, bleach or potassium permanganate should never be mixed with muriatic acid, releasing chlorine gas into the air.

This gas can cause difficulty breathing and may even be lethal in high concentrations. Thus, when using this cleaning product, you should follow the instructions carefully.

Is Muriatic Acid the Ideal Way to Unclog a Drain?

Is Muriatic Acid the Ideal Way to Unclog a Drain

Muriatic acid is used for cleaning, and when diluted with water, it is safe to clean surfaces such as ceramic tile, grout, and stainless steel. But, muriatic acid should be used responsibly, as it can irritate the skin and lungs.

In high concentrations, it can even be deadly. This acid remains a common remedy for unclogging drains even with these risks. The substance’s acidic nature helps break down organic matter and dissolved minerals that can cause clogs.

Plus, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. While other products claim to be more effective at unclogging drains, muriatic acid is still a practical option due to its low cost and availability.

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Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain: 4 DIY Steps

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