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topic 10986

Swallowing Muriatic Acid

A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2019


Q. What would happen if someone was to swallow muriatic acid? Would it kill them? How would that work?

Denise Atwood
- Yuma, Arizona


A. Denise,

What a weird and morbid question! To which the answer is YES ... esophagus and lung damage probably and leading, I guess, to pneumonia. R.I.P.

ANY, any acid or any alkali can kill you. This is why all containers of even highly diluted chemicals like this show warnings, i.e., they are dangerous and must never, ever be ingested.

Why the question? We, all of us who read the, are biting our nails awaiting your response.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


Q. Why the question. Well, My class went to the Yuma Territorial Prison and I read that one of the Prisoners drank muriatic acid and I was just curious as to how that worked. My teacher thought it was a strange question too. So don't get too freaked out. L8R! & thanks for answering my question.

Denise Atwood [returning]
- Yuma, Arizona


thumbs up signPhew ... I too, was going to answer the question the way that Freeman did, but was worried I would be "aiding and abetting"

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho


A. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should have this information. The MSDS will tell you what horrible things can happen if you have skin contact, inhale, ingest, etc.. There are places on the web where you can get MSDS information for free. Here is one affiliated with the University of Vermont,

tim neveau
Tim Neveau
Rochester Hills, Michigan


A. There was also a financial real estate speculator who killed himself by swallowing muriatic acid back in 1929 in New York, just months before the Wall Street crash.

John Whittle
- charleston, South Carolina u.s.a.


A. Interesting question! Muriatic acid is a dilute form of hydrochloric acid normally used for cleaning concrete and adjusting the pH of swimming pools. Normal stomach acid is also a very dilute form of hydrochloric acid. Yes you would die of ingesting muriatic might say that the cause of death is extreme acid indigestion!

By the way, we consume lots of acids and alkalies every day. Vinegar, orange juice, etc. are all acids...weak acids, but acids none the less. The effect depends on the strength, which is normally measured in pH.

J. Mark Runnels, PE
- Augusta, Georgia USA

June 15, 2015

Q. Hi, I was on site today using Muriatic Acid to clean mortar off the bricks. I got a bit of acid on my face. I rubbed my hand across my face and tasted Acid in my mouth. I spat out what I could and swallowed as it was a hot day. I felt fine till a few hours after. What will happen to my insides and what shall I do.

reece lloyd
Bricklayer - UK

June 2015

A. Hi. You should immediately see a doctor, of course!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

December 3, 2016

! Here in the Philippines I have a friend who drank muriatic acid because he wanted to end his life; luckily he didn't die. We visited the hospital and they have 2 - 3 of the same cases. He is the only one who survived. He can't speak normally that time. And we asked what did he feel when he drink that. He said, it's soooo freakin HOT then he suddenly collapsed. The next thing he knew, he's already in the hospital.

Bereng M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Cebu, Philippines

January 28, 2017

! I'm from Philippines, Catbalogan, Samar. My brother swallowed muriatic acid January 11 2017 and after the operation he is at private hospital. He is in danger as of the moment; until now he can speak well but the bleeding in right side of drainage is ongoing and he spit blood once yesterday, but it stopped after a while. What should we do to survive, my brother?

roque l. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Catbalogan, Samar Philippines

January 2017

Hi Roque. We are just metal finishers. I'm sure he is in good hands and receiving medical care in the hospital. We hope and pray for the best for him.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 16, 2017

Q. We have an incident like that -- what are the first symptoms of the person that is in higher level in danger? SOS HELP.

kram d. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- catbalogan, philippines

August 2017

A. Find a doctor, Kram! Sorry for whatever trouble someone you know is suffering, but the idea that you could assess the danger a person is in by having people thousands of miles away, who are not doctors, attempt to guess the likely symptoms is unfortunately ridiculous :-(


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

October 7, 2017

Q. Hi good day. My brother drank 50 ml of muriatic acid and he is in the hospital now, and was operated on his neck for breathing. Is there a possibility that he will be back to normal after that? I'm just worried he might be forever using tube for his breathing. Thanks.

Jeserel e, [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Zamboanga del norte, Philippines

January 19, 2018

Q. My son is in intensive care after someone swapped his glass of water to acid; he has been here 7 days on two life support machines and may never come home, or if he does may be severely disabled. It has burnt mouth, throat, esophagus, and both Lungs internally.

Lyn Graham
- Uk kent

January 2018

So sorry for this anguish, Lyn. People are praying for you and your son, and I'm sure doctors and nurses are doing everything humanly possible to help him.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 25, 2018

Q. Hi. I have a friend she drink muriatic acid, because she wanted to end her life because of many problems. Maybe she is not strong enough to handle her emotions. Until now she's still in her medication, she has a tube for her food. Her food is blended fruits & vegetables and now she is waiting for the second operation on her esophagus to be able to eat again in her mouth. Her intestine damage and also her esophagus.

Mary Grace T. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Cagayan de oro city philippines

January 2, 2019

Q. My relative drank 10 ml of ceramic cleaning acid. Endoscopy reports says multiple erosions in esophagus and stomach. As of now he doesn't feel any burning or itching sensations. The doctor has suggested to wait for 10 days to see if he is able to swallow food. Can anyone tell how much percentage that he is out of danger?

Mary R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Arizona USA

April 30, 2019

Q. One of my relatives drank acid approx. 20 years ago; she is still suffering from acute acidity problem and she has to go for dilation every 20 days. Can you suggest any remedy?

Prabhat B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Relative - Kota, rajasthan india

May 2019

A. Hi Prabhat. Sorry for her and you, but this is a medical problem, not a metal finishing problem, and regular care and examination from a skilled physician is what is needed.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 30, 2019

! The sister of my grandmother used to put muriatic acid on drinking water and she used to put muriatic acid on her skin.

Leo canedo
- Cebu city Philippines

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