Sodium bicarbonate -- better known as baking soda -- is a widely used salt for baking, cooking, cleaning and neutralizing acids. One such acid that baking soda can neutralize is hydrochloric acid, also known by its chemical symbol HCl. Hydrochloric acid is commonly used in the manufacturing of various products that must be naturalized before being sold for consumer use. Knowing how to use baking soda is simple. With the right supplies and directions, you can safely neutralize hydrochloric acid.
Calculate the amount of hydrochloric acid or HCl used on the item you want to neutralize. Read the size of the bottle of hydrochloric acid to identify the quantity of HCl used. Most industrial uses of hydrochloric acid use less than a gallon per item washed in acid.
Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes from the acid.
Move the item with hydrochloric acid outside, or to a well-ventilated area, to avoid breathing fumes.
Pour 5.5 lbs. baking soda in the bucket per 1 gallon of hydrochloric acid used on the item. Add water to the bucket at a ratio of 1 part baking soda to 10 parts water.
Add the baking soda solution slowly to the item with hydrochloric acid, pouring no more than 1/2 gallon at a time. Wait five minutes between each 1/2 gallon pour until you run out of the water and baking soda solution.
Test to ensure the acid has been neutralized. Mix a small amount of baking soda no more than 3 tbsp. to 1/2 cup water in the bucket. Gently pour the baking soda on the product that had hydrochloric acid on it. If you notice a fizzing reaction after pouring the water and baking soda solution, pour more baking soda and water solution on the item to neutralize the hydrochloric acid. If there is no reaction, the hydrochloric acid has been successfully neutralized and the item can be handled safely.
Do not touch the hydrochloric acid with your hands; it will burn your skin. If you get hydrochloric acid on your skin, pour baking soda on it immediately and call 911.