Highly corrosive, this colorless, highly pungent mineral acid is used in various commercial and industrial production processes. More commonly referred to as hydrochloric acid, muriatic acid is essentially an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride and water. It reacts very strongly to organic bases, forming a hydrochloride salt as a byproduct. In use since the ancient times and called by various names, muriatic acid is one of the most common and useful mineral acids still in use today. Muriatic acid is used in large scale PVC, polyurethane, and various other plastics and plastics precursors. It also has numerous applications in cleaning agents, food additives, descaling mineral deposits, and leather production. Worldwide, over 20 million tons of hydrochloride are produced each year. The majority of industrial produced hydrochloric acid is prepared by dissolving hydrogen chloride in water, making mass production fast and simple. The ease of production may largely be responsible for its widespread use in almost every aspect of commercial and industrial manufacturing.