The performance of torsemide and furosemide drugs as corrosion inhibitors for mild steel in 1 N HCl was thoroughly investigated by weight loss and electrochemical methods. The inhibition efficiencies of drugs obtained by all methods were in good agreement with each other. Torsemide exhibited higher inhibition efficiencies than furosemide in all the experimental studies. Polarization studies revealed that the inhibiting action of the compounds is under mixed control. The free energy of adsorption and the influence of temperature on the adsorption of inhibitors onto a mild steel surface have been reported. The adsorption of the compounds was found to obey the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. The mechanism of inhibition and formation of the Fe-inhibitor complex were confirmed by FT-IR and UV-visible absorption spectral analysis. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) results established the formation of a protective layer on the mild steel surface. Quantum chemical calculations were applied to correlate the inhibition performance of inhibitors with their electronic structural parameters. © 2013 American Chemical Society.