Chlorine-containing precursors are attractive for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of SiC because they are less hazardous and more economical than silane precursors. The reactivity of HCl, a by-product of these reactions, on SiC is of particular interest because it has been reported that HCl inhibits SiC CVD, but the mechanism for this inhibition has not been identified. In this work the adsorption of HCl on polycrystalline β-SiC was examined with Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) and Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD). HCl adsorbs readily on SiC, with an initial sticking probability of 0.1 at 300 K, and forms a strong bond, with an activation energy for desorption of 64 kcal/mol. The only product detected by TPD is HCl, which desorbs in a peak centered at 1010 K. There are no Si- or C-containing desorption products, demonstrating that HCl does not etch SiC under TPD conditions. These results are consistent with a site-blocking mechanism for HCl inhibition of SiC CVD, but not with an etching mechanism.