Pickling with hydrochloric acid is a standard method to clean steel surfaces before hot-dip galvanizing. When normal low strength steels are pickled, hydrogen formed in pickling reactions does not have any significant harmful effect on the mechanical properties of steel. However, in pickling of steels with higher strength, the penetration of hydrogen into the steel may cause severe damages. The effect of pickling of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steels was investigated using a cell construction based on the Devanathan-Stachurski method with modified anodic surface treatment and hydrogen production using acid. The penetration and the permeability of hydrogen were measured using an electrochemical cell with hydrochloric acid on the one side of the steel sample and a solution of NaOH on the other side. No protective coating, for example, palladium on the anodic side of the sample, is needed. The penetration rate of hydrogen into the steel and exit rate from the steel were lower for higher strength steel.