Acid cleaning

Date: 18-03-2021

Many Rapid Clean customers raise "acid cleaning" as an option, especially in heavy duty soiled or stained applications. There are good reasons for acidic cleaning chemicals to be used, but there are consequences that need to be managed to clean safely, effectively, and limit damage to surfaces or equipment. Rapid Clean will guide your product choice and cleaning procdures. We have supportive sophisticated suppliers always ready with advice. There are legal compliance measures to be followed when using and storing product.

Acidic cleaners and PH - acidic cleaners have a PH below 7 (neutral) to low of 1 (extreme acidity). The other extreme is high alkaline cleaners with a maximum of 12. Both extremes can cause serious injury and damage.

Acidic cleaners suit a wide range of tasks and can be used with different methods great effect. They are efficient at removing hard water stains, food stains, inorganic salts, tarnished surfaces. Use them on masonry, concrete, and metal. They also act to neutralize alkali, so are useful against alkaline corrosion and discoloration on metal. 

Strong acids require great caution to use safely due to risk of burns to skin and eyes, and inhaling fumes Our home page has a menu for SDS sheets and chemical charts that must be on hand in case of problems arising. Personal protective equipment needs to be used, including gloves, face masks, eye protection, clothing gowns and shoe protectors.

Acid-based cleaners are used to remove inorganic deposits such as scaling. In concentrated form in drains they can dissolve hairs, toilet paper, grease. Some acidic detergent chemicals with PH ranging from 1-6 are used to clean carpets, vinyl, tiles and clean more effectively than neutral chemicals. However, they require neutralising after use to avoid surface damage from prolonged exposure of surfaces to acidity.

Natural stone including marble, limestone, granite should not be cleaned with acidic cleaners as it breaks down the material. It is essential a neutralising alkaline chemical be used afterwards if they are used.

Hydrochloric acid is commonly used for builders cleans on concrete, bricks, tiles. Acid is capable of damaging grout and concrete, even etching concrete in strong form. BUILDERS KLEEN provides a safe and environmentally friendly solution to clean brick walls. It is an organic salt and is non-fuming.However in the presence of reactive deposits such as calcium carbonate and calcium sulphate BUILDERS KLEEN behaves just like hydrochloric acid, rapidly dissolving scale and calcium deposits. It’s fast acting and easy to use

Sulfuric Acid or Sulphuric acid is used in acidic drain cleaners to unclog blocked pipes.They can be used to unblock toilet pipes. In both cases special care is needed to manage the build up of fumes that are capable of generating gases that if not released could cause pipes to explode.

Phosphoric Acid is suitable to remove rust and act as an oxidising agent. Some chemicals contain a low % phosphoric acid like Diversey's Go Getter toilet cleaner for scale, rust and bacteria removal


Acidic cleaning needs to be understood as to cleaning challenge and outcomes, chemical capability and risk in use. At all times, the safety aspect needs careful management to avoid injury both at the time of cleaning and with prolonged usage.