Muriatic acid is a strong cleaner. If it his the tub, will it cause damage?
Just make sure to dilute it enough, or otherwise the scent gets to be so bad, you cant breath.......seriously. For tile scum, muratic acid is the only way to go, however for the dirt and mold that sometimes exist, hit your nearest pool store and purchase a jug (2 1/2 gall) of liquid chlorine. It works much better although the same issues exist.
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Safety is number 1: wear 'chemical splash' goggles and rubber gloves when using muriatic (hydrochloric) acid!
Muriatic acid will not harm glazed porcelain, though diluting the concentrated solution, about one volume of the concentrated acid to two volumes of water, is a good idea. One way to test is to place a few drops of the acid onto someplace inconspicuous, perhaps a corner near the caulking. Leave it for ten or fifteen minutes then rinse thoroughly.
When rinsing afterward, rinse first with water, then with a diluted solution of baking soda, then several times with water. (If the baking soda solution is used first, you'll get a lot of foaming.)
Incidentally, muriatic acid is not the best for removing rust stains, though it may eventually do so. Oxalic acid ("Zud" bathroom cleanser and others) is much more effective. Safety note: oxalic acid is less corrosive to skin but is much more toxic than hydrochloric acid. Wash it off the skin thoroughly after use.
(My apologies for the boring safety stuff but I teach chemistry and have to emphasize safety in the classroom constantly. Having seen some nasty accidents I prefer to avoid them.)
Not in my experience.
Porcelain and shower tiles are similar materials, so you'd be OK there. But do see what kevinhannan says.L
are you sure your tub is porcelain and not enamelled?Either way muriatic acid - or hydrochloric acid, is not neccessarily strong; it depends by how much it is diluted.Have a look at this wiki entry for it:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrochloric_acid