I spilled some hydrochloric acid on my carpet a while back (a bottle of cleaner that was behind something tipped over and leaked, and nobody noticed for a while). I cleaned it up when I saw it, scrubbing until the spot seemed dry. However, now a couple of weeks later, the carpet is still getting eaten. There’s loose fluff where there used to be carpet.

I’m hesitant to put water on it, in case that might activate the acid or help it soak through. Someone suggested baking soda, which might make for some cool special effects :-). But will it work, and if so, will it be safe? I don’t *think* it’d set my house on fire, but chemistry was never my forte. Also, will it sink/soak in enough, or should I mix it with water? I know the carpet at that spot is a loss. I’m just trying to save the wood floor underneath at this point.

Yes, baking soda will nuetralize the acid without chemical reaction.

Indeed, I’d cover the area with baking soda, then slowly wet the baking soda until the area is soaked with the baking soda water. Once you’re sure the whole affected area has been wetted, begin your clean up.

May be too late now, but I would try soda ash. It is what we use to neutralize muriatic acid, should work on the hydrochloric as well.

Thanks for the reassurance on using baking soda on the hydrochloric acid hole. I’ve been re-treating it by getting it wet and then sprinkling the baking soda and munging it around to make sure it’s getting everywhere it needs to be and then vacuuming it up when it’s dry. I will keep doing so for a while, just to be sure it’s totally neutralized. As far as I can tell, it’s working. Thanks again!