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Question: which acids are the worst for clothing? I wear mostly cotton so I tested only on cotton

Lineup

The following acids were tested:

  • 12% HF
  • 98% H2SO4
  • Glacial acetic acid (“99.85%+”)
  • 85% H3PO4
  • 32% HCl
  • RFNA (unknown concentration)

All acids were added within a few minutes of each other. Shortly after exposure:

Results

1 hour later:

After washing:

12% HF:

85% H3PO4:

Acetic acid:

98% H2PO4:

35% HCl:

RFNA:

Conclusions

H2SO4 is devastating. This isn't too surprising since I've had minor smudges eat through clothing after sitting for a while. RFNA made the fabric slippery. I know HNO3 + H2SO4 + cotton makes the plastic nitrocellulose so probably related. The fabric still seemed pretty strong but it was probably not good for it. Phosphoric acid discovered the fabric but it still seemed plenty strong. I was a bit surprised that HCl didn't do much (slight discoloration). The acetic acid and the hydrofluoric acid had no noticeable effects.

 
chemical/clothing_vs_acid.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/20 10:59 (external edit)
 
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