Muriatic acid is one of the most common simple strong acids, and it has a wide array of uses as a chemical reagent, sanitizer and general cleanser. Also known as hydrochloric acid, it is used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber and the production of tin and uranium. It is also a common ingredient in cleansers that are used to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi in hospitals and food preparation areas. Muriatic acid is a vital compound in the soap making, leather tanning and textile industries.
Muriatic acid is extremely strong and corrosive at high concentrations. Thus, dilute mixtures of the acid and water are generally used as cleaners and chemical reactants in commercial and residential settings. Muriatic acid is added to swimming pools to lower the pH when needed, and it's sometimes added to streams to neutralize their pH levels.
The petroleum industry uses muriatic acid to acidify oil wells. The acid binds to calcium, which helps break down calcium-rich rock formations. As a result, the rocks are more easily penetrable. The metal industry relies on muriatic acid to remove scaling from pipes and equipment. The acid binds to the surface oxides, leaving the underlying surface cleaner and better suited for production.