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Hydrochloric Acid vs. Muriatic Acid — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 7, 2023
Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid are essentially the same substance, HCl, but Muriatic Acid is the historical and less pure form used mainly for industrial purposes.
Hydrochloric Acid vs. Muriatic Acid — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid

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Key Differences

Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid are terms that often intertwine, leading to some confusion. At their core, both refer to the compound HCl, a strong acid that dissociates in water.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
Historically, Muriatic Acid was the name designated to Hydrochloric Acid when it was produced through the process of vitriol and common salt. Today, while Hydrochloric Acid refers to the pure compound, Muriatic Acid signifies a less pure form.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
Both Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid have found diverse applications in industries. However, Hydrochloric Acid is typically employed in laboratories and pharmaceuticals due to its purity, whereas Muriatic Acid is used more in masonry and cleaning, given its impurities.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
The terminology difference between Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid essentially stems from historical nomenclature and the degree of purification. While both can be corrosive, the presence of contaminants in Muriatic Acid can influence its reactivity.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
In essence, while Hydrochloric Acid is the chemically accurate term for HCl, Muriatic Acid serves as a colloquial term, typically referring to the commercial-grade or less pure version of the acid.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

HCl
HCl
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Purity

Typically pure
Contains impurities
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Dec 07, 2023

Historical Usage

Modern term
Historical term
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Dec 07, 2023

Common Applications

Laboratories, pharmaceuticals
Masonry, cleaning
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Dec 07, 2023

Origin of Name

Derived from hydrochloride ions
Derived from “muriat” (meaning brine)
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Dec 07, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid dissociates completely in water.
When Hydrochloric Acid is added to water, it releases H+ ions.
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Oct 17, 2023

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid can be found in hardware stores for domestic use.
He bought Muriatic Acid to remove the calcium deposits from his tiles.
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Oct 17, 2023

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid is colorless and has a pungent smell.
The characteristic smell in the lab was due to a spill of Hydrochloric Acid.
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Oct 17, 2023

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid is derived from the Latin word for brine.
The term Muriatic Acid reflects its historical production from salt.
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Oct 17, 2023

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid can corrode metals and tissues.
Workers handle Hydrochloric Acid with care to avoid skin burns.
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Oct 17, 2023

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid is a less pure form of Hydrochloric Acid, often used industrially.
Muriatic Acid is a common choice for cleaning bricks.
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Oct 17, 2023

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid is a strong mineral acid with the formula HCl.
Hydrochloric Acid is used in labs to adjust pH levels.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid has historical roots, being an older name for Hydrochloric Acid.
Alchemists once referred to HCl as Muriatic Acid.
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Oct 17, 2023

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid is a major component of gastric acid in the stomach.
Hydrochloric Acid aids in digestion by breaking down food in the stomach.
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Oct 17, 2023

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid contains impurities and can vary in concentration.
Before using Muriatic Acid for pool cleaning, it's essential to check its concentration.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Common Curiosities

Why is Hydrochloric Acid used in labs?

Hydrochloric Acid is used for its reactivity and ability to adjust pH levels.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

What is Hydrochloric Acid?

Hydrochloric Acid is a strong mineral acid with the formula HCl.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Which acid is found in the stomach?

Hydrochloric Acid is a major component of gastric acid.
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Dec 07, 2023

Why is Muriatic Acid less pure?

Muriatic Acid contains impurities from its production and is meant for commercial use.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Which acid, Hydrochloric or Muriatic, is purer?

Hydrochloric Acid is typically purer than Muriatic Acid.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Muriatic Acid safe for household use?

Muriatic Acid can be used for household tasks, but it's corrosive and should be handled with caution.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

What are the typical uses for Muriatic Acid?

Muriatic Acid is commonly used for cleaning bricks, masonry, and pools.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Can Muriatic Acid be used in labs?

While possible, Hydrochloric Acid, due to its purity, is the preferred choice for lab applications.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Muriatic Acid the same as Hydrochloric Acid?

Yes, but Muriatic Acid typically refers to a less pure, commercial-grade version.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Do both Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid have the same chemical formula?

Yes, both have the formula HCl.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Can both acids corrode metals?

Yes, both Hydrochloric Acid and Muriatic Acid can corrode metals.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Which acid is more commonly found in hardware stores?

Muriatic Acid is more commonly available for domestic use.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Hydrochloric Acid safe to ingest?

No, while it's a component of stomach acid, concentrated Hydrochloric Acid is corrosive and should not be ingested.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Muriatic Acid a historical term?

Yes, it's an older name for Hydrochloric Acid.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Where does the name Muriatic come from?

It's derived from the Latin word for brine, reflecting its historical production from salt.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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