Understanding Sodium Bisulfate Hazards

When It Comes to Hazards, Sodium Bisulfate Finishes Last (and that’s a good thing)

Sodium bisulfate, which has the chemical formula of NaHSO4, is an acid salt, and therefore, should be handled with care. When it comes to hazards, what is most notable about sodium bisulfate is its high level of stability and safety, especially when compared to other acids.

Sodium Bisulfate is Known as a Safer Option

In addition, sodium bisulfate is listed on the EPA Safer Choice chemical list under antimicrobial” and Processing Aids and Additives.

Sodium Bisulfate is

Sodium bisulfate is made from minerals and is considered natural by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

Replacing Other Acids with Sodium Bisulfate Limits Your Hazards

In many applications, sodium bisulfate can be used as an alternative for sulfamic acid, phosphoric acid or citric acid. Not only is it safer, it is also cost effective.

Sodium Bisulfate is Safer and More Cost Effective Than Competitive Acids

  • One pound of sodium bisulfate is needed to replace one pound of 75% phosphoric acid. When using 85% phosphoric acid, 1.1 pounds of sodium bisulfate is needed.


  • While the amount of sodium bisulfate necessary to replace citric acid will depend on the matrix and the desired pH, less sodium bisulfate is generally required. For example, to reach a pH of 3.2, a 0.035% addition rate of sodium bisulfate and a 0.088% addition rate of citric acid are needed.


  • One pound of sulfamic acid can be replaced with 1.2 pounds of sodium bisulfate to achieve the same pH.

Safety Precautions with Sodium Bisulfate

While sodium bisulfate has fewer hazards than alternative products, care must still be taken. For example, when handling sodium bisulfate, Jones-Hamilton Co. recommends that workers wear safety glasses, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a dust mask.

Since sodium bisulfate is hygroscopic and activates in the presence of moisture, it’s important to store it in a dry area and tightly re-seal opened bags or containers. Sodium bisulfate should not be mixed with liquid chlorine bleach, ammonia cleansers or similar products as it can pose a hazard to workers. Equipment used to apply sodium bisulfate should be washed with plenty of water.


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