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Spilled acid on his shoes


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My grandson got Muriatic Acid [affil link] on his shoes, if he just rinses them will the muriatic acid disapate and can he wear them again.


Freda H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Scottville, Michigan, USA


Unfortunately, it's hard to say, Freda. if a few drops got on impermeable plastic shoes or washable sneakers, probably throw them in the washing machine and no big deal. But if a whole lot of it saturated leather shoes, I'd say there was cause for concern. Just tell your grandson not to be either a chicken-little nor a reckless idiot and he'll hopefully arrive at the right decision based on what actually happened :-)

Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


If the shoes are leather, I would not suggest reusing them since it would be difficult to be certain that all of the muriatic acid (also known as hydrochloric acid) and its residues have been removed. The general health and safety information for this type of material states that contaminated clothing should be throughly washed to remove all traces of contamination before reuse. I do not know what is being considered as a "dissipate". I can only assume that some mild alkaline material was used as a neutralizer.

Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York


Hello Freda!

After I spill strong acids onto personal items, I always rinse in water for quite a while, and then I make sure I neutralize the acid. I make a solution of bicarbonate of soda in water, and I put that on the areas where the acid reached. Washing again is always a good idea.

Good luck!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York



Yes, just wash off the HCl ... but if was concentrated and if it was left too long, then the leather, if leather it was, might well get somewhat hard ... but if the spillage occured on any 'vinyl' shoes, absolutely no problem. Just wash off.

And if you are really worried, then apply some sodium bicarbonate or any alkali to absorb that acid.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [deceased]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).

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