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Hydrochloric Acid

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Paul &amp; Karen starts with ...
Hi everyone, I know I've been off the airwaves for some time. Hope everyone is growing great... We have been busy busy busy in the garden. Quick question for the science buffs. We layed a great cement path winding through our patch last weekend and got very creative with stones and crystals in it. Now the concrete man wants to do an acid wash over it and seal it. He reckons it will bring out the stones colour and clean off the excess cement on the crystals. He also reckons its not harmful in its diluted state. So - is this a toxic substance I am considering having wash down the front of my block. No major planting will be affected as we have not done downstream form there yet, just a small patch of potatoes and a lemon tree which could be avoided easily. Future plans for lots of fruit trees below, if it's toxic will it stay in the soil long term? Cheers
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Paul Karen1
Pottsville NSW
5th June 2011 10:54am
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VLR says...
I think concrete man is right but it may change the pH of the soil it washes into. Of course with winter rain the effects will be lessened as it'll dilute the acid even more in the soil. I'd probably just do a pH test of the area before planting and correct if necessary. It will not make your fruit and vegies toxic to eat. I think that path is going to look really nice afterward by the sounds of it!
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VLR
Perth
5th June 2011 11:08am
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melissa says...
you'll also have to be wary of the chloride concentration in the soil.
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melissa6
sydney
5th June 2011 12:09pm
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Itdepends says...
It'll only be a dilute wash and once it's neutralised by residual concrete/alkalinity in the soil all that's left is sodium chloride - aka table salt.
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5th June 2011 7:52pm
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Steven says...
I wouldnt worry about it, its a common thing to do once pavers/bricks etc are laid and its well worth cleaning your pavers.

at the end of the day HCl is the exact same acid in your stomach and the only real toxin would the the Cl which is present in table salt and household bleach (an soil) and any of those are probably just as reactive as the other really.

As with anything, as long as he doesnt dowse your garden in the acid then it wouldnt be a problem and is very water soluble.
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
6th June 2011 5:58pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
It is maybe not a great thing for the soil live, bacteria etc.
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
8th June 2011 6:05pm
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