The inhibition characteristics of non-ionic surfactants of the TRITON-X series, namely TRITON-X-100 (TX-100), TRITON-X-165 (TX-165) and TRITON-X-305 (TX-305), on the corrosion of iron was studied in 1.0 M HCl solutions as a function of inhibitor concentration (0.005-0.075 g L(-1)) and solution temperature (278-338 K). Measurements were conducted based on Tafel extrapolation method. Electrochemical frequency modulation (EFM), a non-destructive corrosion measurement technique that can directly give values of corrosion current without prior knowledge of Tafel constants, is also presented. Experimental corrosion rates determined by the Tafel extrapolation method were compared with corrosion rates obtained by the EFM technique and an independent method of chemical analysis. The chemical method of confirmation of the corrosion rates involved determination of the dissolved cation, using ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry). The aim was to confirm validation of corrosion rates measured by the Tafel extrapolation method. Results obtained showed that, in all cases, the inhibition efficiency increased with increase in temperature, suggesting that chemical adsorption occurs. The adsorptive behaviour of the three surfactants followed Temkin-type isotherm. The standard free energies of adsorption decreased with temperature, reflecting better inhibition performance. These findings confirm chemisorption of the tested inhibitors. Thermodynamic activation functions of the dissolution process were also calculated as a function of each inhibitor concentration. All the results obtained from the methods employed are in reasonable agreement. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.