Muriatic Acid, commonly known as Hydrochloric Acid, is a very strong corrosive acid. It is also known by the spirit of salt or acidum salis and is widely used for home and commercial purposes. Since earlier times, it has been widely used to produce steel. They are also used to produce PVC pipes.
They are also used for food processing to make food additives, produce gelatine, maintain the pH of water and food, purify table salt, and manufacture inorganic chemical compounds. But will muriatic acid kill grass?
Since muriatic acid is very strong and corrosive, it kills unwanted plants and moss. So you need to be very cautious while using it, as if it is sprayed on grass, it would kill them.
Will Muriatic Acid Kill Grass?
Muriatic acid, indeed, has all the capabilities to kill the grass. If it comes in contact with grass at its full strength, then it will cause havoc and damage to the grass. Eventually, it will even cause the death of the grass and even other varieties of weeds, flowers, and bushes.
When it is sprayed over the foliage of grass, it will lead to chemical burns and burn portions of the plants. When the muriatic acid comes in contact with the living tissue of the grass, it irritates and eventually burns the tissue of the grass. They are so corrosive and strong that it has all the capabilities to even dissolve metals as well.
Safety Tips While Using Muriatic Acid On Grass
Though muriatic acid is neutralized version of hydrochloric acid, it is still quite strong and corrosive and splashes very quickly. Hence you need to be extra cautious while spraying muriatic acid on grass.
- To avoid any harm or burns to your body, protective gear like acid-resistant gloves, goggles, face shields, and masks with respirators are advised while spraying muriatic acid on the grass.
- It is always advised to dilute muriatic acid with water before using it.
- You should only slowly pour the acid very carefully into the water. Never add water to the acid, as it will result in an exothermic reaction that propels the acid out of the container. This is extremely risky for your face.
- Using a spray bottle while spraying it on the grass and weeds is always better.
What Does Muriatic Acid Do To The Soil?
Muriatic acid wreaks havoc on the soil as well along with the plants. When muriatic acid comes in contact with the soil, it acidifies it. It kills whatever living things are there in the soil until it reaches deep into the soil before it is neutralized and diluted. This process takes a certain amount of time, depending on the soil’s pH balance and mineral richness.
Although a certain quantity of it evaporates from the surface of the soil, it doesn’t degrade much. If this acid leaches into the water supply, it would be quite risky for animals and aquatic organisms. So it is advised not to use muriatic acid on the soil as it doesn’t disperse properly into the soil. Experienced gardeners won’t recommend muriatic acid to treat the soil.
Alternatives To Muriatic Acid
Some other chemicals and alternatives are used to kill the grass. Apart from muriatic acid to kill grass and weeds, you can always use nonselective herbicides like glyphosate. Glyphosate very effectively kills grass, weeds, and turfs. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the grass to die.
You can also use natural acids like vinegar and citric acids. Natural phytotoxic oils such as clove oil, peppermint oil, and citronella oil are also used to kill the grass. These botanically derived alternatives kill only the green parts of the plants and don’t transfer to the roots, unlike the chemical ones.
- Glyphosate: The best alternative to muriatic acid for killing grass is glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide. You can use the ready-to-use ones or mix them with water before applying. Unlike muriatic acid, they don’t have any risk to human health. It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the grass and weeds to die after applying glyphosate. Moreover, it doesn’t harm the soil, so any plant or lawn can be seeded or planted very soon after the application.
- Sulphuric Acid: Sulphuric acid is another chemical alternative to muriatic acid for killing grass and weeds. It is also very corrosive, so you must be extremely cautious while applying it. It rapidly penetrates the tissues of the grass leaves and thereby destroys the protoplasm and chloroplast of the plant cells. You should use protective gear while using sulphuric acid to kill the grass.
- Vinegar: If you don’t prefer chemicals to kill grass and weeds in your garden, you can always use botanical vinegar, which is completely organic and chemical-free. This should be mixed with table salt or Epsom salt and put in a spray bottle. The best part of using this mixture is that it is not harmful to the soil and is not toxic to human health.
- Mulch: Mulch is another great non-chemical alternative to muriatic acid for killing grass and weeds. Make a proper mix of natural wood chips, compost, pine straw, or grass clippings, and sprinkle it over the grass or weeds. This will block the sunlight, prevent them from growing further, block new weeds and grass from sprouting from the soil, and eventually kill the grass and weeds. A thick layer of 3 to 4 inches of mulch should be applied over the grass to kill them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I dump muriatic acid on the ground?
No, you should never dump muriatic acid anywhere on the ground outside. If you do that, it will kill all the plants in your garden and damage the soil. This is hazardous to the ecosystem as well because it is hazardous waste. Moreover, muriatic acid doesn’t neutralize very quickly, and with water supply, it mixes in the whole garden, creating havoc for pet animals and children.
What should you not do with muriatic acid?
You should never add water to the muriatic acid because it would lead to an exothermic reaction that would propel the acid to come out of the container and harm your face. It is always advised slowly and carefully add muriatic acid to water.
Furthermore, muriatic acid should not be mixed with other strong chemicals like potassium permanganate or bleach. It would result in the production of chlorine gas, which leads to breathing issues and sometimes death.
How long does muriatic acid last?
Muriatic acid remains in the soil for several days. If you apply muriatic acid to kill grass and weeds, it will take 1 week for the grass and weeds to eventually die after the application of muriatic acid. If you want, you can repeat the process after 3 weeks.
Muriatic acid is a very strong and corrosive acid that can kill grass and weeds in your garden. However, you need to be very cautious while using them because if you do not spray them properly, it will also result in the death of plants and flowers.
Moreover, it remains in the soil for quite a long time, so you should not allow your pet to roam around the place of the garden where you have applied muriatic acid. It is also quite toxic to human health; hence you should always use protective gear before using it.
There are also many other safe alternatives available in the market to kill grass apart and weed from muriatic acid, which is not harmful to human health.