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Dried acid


If an acid spill dries on my table leaves a residue and then gets
wet again, does it become active acid again? (I use sulfuric,
hydrocloric and safety) Or in other words, will it eat though my



You betcha! the tricky thing about this (especially sulfuric) is
that often the “gets wet again” part happens when you launder it,
and you wonder why you now have a ragged piece of lace???



G’day Laura; It might. I would suggest that you keep a
supply of sodium bicarbonate handy and if you spill any acid, cover
the spill as soon as possible with the powder, then having given it
a chance to react, sweep it up with a dustpan and brush, and dispose
of it with the trash or into the toilet. The tiny amount of sodium
sulphate or nitrate will not harm the trash nor the toilet, for the
bicarbonate will dissolve when the toilet is flushed.

If you have spots where acid has dried anywhere, then pour the
bicarbonate powder on them; add some water, and gently mix using a
small brush. Finally add more bicarbonate powder , allow to dry a
bit, then sweep it up. Bicarbonate is very cheap and should have a
place in any lab or room where acids are used. I used to buy
commercial bicarb by the hundredweight sack for a University
chemistry department - and it got used up rather quickly! What
would you do if someone smashed a half gallon bottle of concentrated
acid? Treat anyone with splashed with copious streams of water,
then with onlookers out of it, pour several kilos of bicarbonate
powder over the mess. Don’t attempt to flood it with water, or pick
out the bits of glass. Just sweep up the whole lot when the panic
is well over and all the acid has been absorbed and neutralized in
the mound of bicarb. It’s now pretty harmless, but because of the
bits of broken glass, wrap in several newspapers before putting the
lot in the trash.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ