Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Drain Cleaner

Armin - 13-12-2003 at 16:49

I went to the store to find drain cleaner that contains H2SO4, unfortunatly I couldn't find any brand that contains it. Does anyone have any recommendations on what brand I should look for?:)

drain cleaner search

Mr. Wizard - 13-12-2003 at 17:03

What country do you live in? It might help narrow the search ;-)

Armin - 13-12-2003 at 17:10

I live in the US.


JDP - 13-12-2003 at 18:45

The best brand of H2SO4 that I have found is "Rooto". but I remember back when there was a brand like "DJ plumer" or something. Ofcource theres always the nasty black H2SO4 with brands like "Liquid fire".:)

DDTea - 13-12-2003 at 19:02

Go to Home Depot, look in the plumbing section, and look for the drain cleaners that are wrapped in the heavy plastic bags. I don't remember the brand name-- it may well be Liquid Fire -- but this is probably the purest H2SO4 sold OTC. The other ones tend to have the black dyes and such, but Home Depot's do not; it's the slightly yellowish, transparent, oily liquid that Sulfuric Acid should be.

Armin - 13-12-2003 at 21:33

Thanks, I'm going to look for some in Home Depot next weekend.:D

Haggis - 13-12-2003 at 21:46

The best sulfuric I've personally encountered is "Instant Power" brand. 93% concentrated and pretty clear as well.

pyroscikim - 29-12-2003 at 00:46

If you want sulphuric acid, why not try and visit an agricultural store or hydroponics? they have 98% sulphuric acid for adjusting pH of hydroponic gardens, sold by relatively large (10-15Liters) and very cheap - often the same as 1L bottles of drain cleaner


Organikum - 29-12-2003 at 15:16

And for the poor EU members I disclose this source:
"Stura Facile", yellow bottle, made in Italy, 98% H2SO4. Should be available in all EU countries - have a look.

[Edited on 5-3-2004 by Organikum]

Obtaining Sulfuric Acid

Acid Test - 6-1-2004 at 16:33

Save your car batteries and filter the lead catalyst out(or use a glass baster to baste out the H2SO4 from the settled lead particles)
Put acid in the pan on a stove and open all your windows.(Do this in the summer after 6 pm.Besides who has windows open before 6 pm in the summer)Turn on one fan blowing toward an open window and two other fans blowing out the window.Turn on stove on high heat until it starts boiling(do not breath in fumes).Turn heat to low and go out for coffee for an hour or two.
Turn off stove and let acid cool.Leave windows and fans going until 11pm.Keep windows open all night and close them at 6 am.
Store acid in a glass jar labelled with nessecary warnings and precautions


hodges - 6-1-2004 at 17:29

A few weeks back I determined the strength of some Rooto brand drain opener with H2SO4 (US). According to my titration, using NaHCO3, it was just slightly stronger than the assumed 93%. I've been letting the water evaporate from the Na2SO4. And I can see that there are some impurities in it. Little orange-brown blobs that look kind of like dirty oil. Compared to the amount of Na2SO4 produced, I'd say the impurities are small - but they are very noticable. I'm guessing that these impurities were in the drain cleaner, as I doubt they would be in food-grade baking soda.


Drain opener

Pyroking - 4-3-2004 at 05:43

you can get HCL and other chemicals in drain openers in strenths from 12%-99&, you just need to look around.

Mumbles - 4-3-2004 at 14:41

HCl only goes to ~38-40%. The only way you're getting above probably 30 or 40% of a chemical is dry, sulfuric excluded of course. In this case it'll be NaOH without a doubt. At least partially NaOH.

Generally drain cleaners wont be a good source for most chemicals. Sulfuric, NaOH, and maybe HCl are the only you'll be getting at a decent purity. Often times they contain buffers, thickeners, surficants, and some other random preservatives.

Mendeleev - 4-3-2004 at 20:54

I have not encountered any sulfuric acid at Home Depot, but Lowes sells two brands, Roebic and plumbest virgin sulfuric acid. ACE hardware has liquid fire. All are black if you look at them through a full 1 L beaker, some look yellow if only a few drops. I really don't care, because when you distill nitric acid the impurities don't distill over. Samosa, sulfuric acid is not yellow, it is perfectly clear if pure, that's why you might consider buying diluted battery refills about $15 for 5 gallons, and boiling down. 1-1.5 gallons of 98% sulfuric acid for $15 isn't bad. I have heard that rooto and instant power are the two best but have not been able to find them, are they clear?

Mumbles - 4-3-2004 at 21:11

In small amounts they are almost clear. Rooto at least. Larger amounts it takes on a yellowish color. Even a brown at times. My color varies depending on fullness of the bottle. Generally gets darker as the acid level goes down. This tells me there is particulate impurity. There is a dye of some sort. Turns dark upon boiling to 98% Dark brown to black almost.

darkflame89 - 5-3-2004 at 01:08

i need sulphuric acid too. But i can't find it. I live in Singapore where i think the govt. puts close tab on certain chemicals, in case ,you know, the wrong person gets hold of it.

IgnorantlyIntelligent - 7-3-2004 at 20:03

Theres no way the government can keep track of OTC goods especialy if payed for with cash. I couldn't imagin it being hard to find the correct drain cleaner at any hardware store. I use the Rooto brand I believe and it is about 95% purity and only slightly dyed. Works great. Don't waste time trying to heat it to 98%, it's pointless.