Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, is used in a variety of ways. These include food production, cleaning patios, and removing unwanted blemishes from stones.
Can you safely use this to cleanse your crystals, though?
Muriatic acid can significantly harm you if it is on your skin or your eyes. Therefore, you should use proper safety gear and dilute it with water. Next, carefully place cleaned crystals in the mixture and let them sit for thirty minutes before removing them.
How can you prepare your crystals for cleaning with muriatic acid? Is it safe to mix acids? Keep reading to learn all you need to know!
What is Muriatic Acid?
Muriatic acid is also known as hydrochloric acid. This acid was first discovered in the Middle Ages by a Persian chemist who distilled it to powder. This was the record of the artificial production of hydrochloric acid.
Muriatic acid is a potent acid that can cut through various substances. It’s a highly acidic compound that can burn and even dissolve skin.
In fact, this acid is one of the many substances which make gastric juices. These juices are highly acidic and found in the stomach of numerous animals, including humans. It’s a vital part of the digestive process and helps ensure food is broken down, and nutrients are absorbed properly.
To safely use muriatic acid, you should always wear gloves and safety goggles and avoid adding substances. Although it’s normal to water down acid, you cannot add water to the acid.
You should add acid to water. This applies to all varieties of highly acidic substances. Adding water to acid can cause the acid to boil over uncontrollably. This can splatter and splash onto you, which can really harm you.
As user Albert Russ points out on the Mindat forum, hydrochloric acid binds to organic materials. This makes it very effective at dissolving stains, but it can also seriously hurt you. Use this acid with extreme caution.
How To Properly Clean Raw Crystals With Muriatic Acid?
You should always properly clean your crystals and rocks before placing them in muriatic acid. You can do this by scrubbing the crystal, rinsing it, or chipping away at any dirt or sediment. You’ll want to be extra careful if you believe the rock was exposed to other chemicals before placing it in the acid.
The best and safest way to use muriatic acid to clean your crystals includes the following steps:
- Remove the clay and/or dirt sediment with a knife
- Soak in hot soapy water for an hour
- Scrub with a brush (a toothbrush is fine)
- Rinse thoroughly and remove residue
- Place the crystal in muriatic acid for 30 minutes
- Remove and clean thoroughly with soap and water
Muriatic acid is commonly used to clean stone household designs. It is effective at peeling away external blemishes, and you should see significant improvements in your crystal’s appearance. This includes pavers on patios or granite rock designs.
What To Expect From Cleaning Rocks and Crystals With Muriatic Acid?
Muriatic acid can damage your crystals if you don’t properly dilute them and clean the rocks afterward. This acid can permanently peal the surface of your crystal and lead to a changed exterior and surface luster. You should expect lifted stains and unwanted blemishes if you use muriatic acid properly.
One of the important factors to consider when using muriatic acid is its potency. However, as a rule of thumb, it won’t dissolve crystals and rocks above a six on Moh’s hardness scale.
Some examples include:
However, hydrochloric acid can dissolve softer rocks and metals. These include:
You may be wondering why people even bother using hydrochloric acid. We already spoke about the desire to dissolve impurities on the surface of a hard crystal. However, you can also use this acid to dissolve unwanted sediment casing.
We’ve all found a large rock with a jumble of different crystals trapped in the sediment (such as concrete). You can easily dissolve this casing by placing the cluster in a vat of hydrochloric acid. The embedded crystals won’t be damaged if they’re harder than a six.
Thus, the process will leave clean crystals behind without sediment.
Muriatic and oxalic acids are both commonly used acids for cleaning crystals. However, muriatic acid is a better selection for intense cleaning jobs. Alternatively, vinegar or citric acid is a safer and better selection if you want to shine up your crystals.
If you believe Muriatic acid is too strong and then learn about oxalic acid and how to clean your crystals.
Muriatic acid can remove ugly blemishes and unwanted sediment. It is the best option for eliminating substances but is excessive for low-level cleaning. I wouldn’t recommend using this acid unless you believe it’s necessary.
Remember to get a crystal cleansing kit to purify your crystals and atmosphere!
How to Safely Use and Dilute Muriatic Acid
There are a few steps to safely prepare and use muriatic acid. The first step is to prepare muriatic acid for use correctly.
As a general rule of thumb, dilute muriatic acid with one part acid and ten parts water. However, this is for industrial cleaning of patio pavers and granite rocks. Therefore, make it eight to one dilution to dissolve hard sediment.
Remember, always add acid to water, never the other way around.
Never mix acids together. For example, chlorine and muriatic acid can have a dangerous reaction that can cause splattering and gas.
Finally, never use this acid indoors. It is highly reactive. Using rocks with high amounts of calcium which break down in acid, can produce carbon monoxide. Therefore, always use this acid outside, just in case!