Surfactants present exciting adsorption chemistry due to their dual nature, i.e the present of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts in their structures. However, the inhibition performance of surfactants is influenced by their chemical structure as well as the nature of the electrolyte. In acidic media, high concentration of tri-cationic surfactants is required for effective surface protection. Herein, we report the synthesis of a novel tri-cationic surfactant containing three quaternized nitrogen atoms and its corrosion inhibitive effect for carbon steel in 1 M aqueous HCl medium. The molecular structure of the surfactant was elucidated by 1H NMR and C-13 NMR spectroscopic techniques and its anti-corrosion activity was investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, potentiodynamic polarization and dynamic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy methods. The results obtained from the corrosion studies show that the synthesized surfactant is quite effective against the low carbon steel corrosion and at low inhibitor concentration. The inhibition efficiency obtained at 5 mg/L concentration is above 90%, showing that the anti-corrosion effect of the synthesized surfactant on the metal surface is strong even at low inhibitor concentration. Moreover, some physicochemical parameters namely, the critical micelle concentration, surface tension, micelle formation free energy, and emulsion stability have been calculated and used to explain the correlation with the corrosion inhibition mechanism. Additionally, to support the results from the electrochemical measurements, surface morphological examination using energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy (EDAX) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) methods have been performed. The EDAX and SEM results prove the adsorption of the tri-cationic surfactant molecule on the metal surface. The adsorption followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm and calculated Kads (equilibrium constant of the adsorption process) value reflects strong interaction. More so, density functional theory (DFT) results corroborate the experimental results. The synthesized tri-cationic surfactant is a potential candidate for the formulation of acid corrosion inhibitor for acid cleaning applications.