Is it toxic to clean with ammonia?

Is it toxic to clean with ammonia?

By : Georgia
Ammonia is a versatile chemical solution used to produce fertilisers, plastics, pharmaceuticals etc. However, most people know it to be a cleaning agent. Ammonia used in households is a diluted solution. It is made with 5-10% ammonium hydroxide and water to reduce the chemical’s strength but get good results while cleaning. Ammonia is toxic for humans and animals, but the amount present in cleaners is similar to bleach, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals in store-bought cleaners. Since ammonia is an effective and efficient cleaner, replacing it is often challenging and not always necessary. Managing its exposure is the key to using the chemicals without sustaining long-term side effects. Thus, if you are ending a tenancy, hire experts for professional vacate cleaning Perth to keep your exposure and interaction with cleaners low. Additionally, look at this guide to know ammonia’s compositions, how it cleans and more.

Composition of Ammonia

Ammonia is an everyday household cleaning product, but do you know how it is made and its composition? This cleaning solution combines one atom of Nitrogen and three atoms of Hydrogen. Usually found in gas form, the ammonia sold commercially for household sanitation is anhydrous ammonia, meaning gas mixed with water. In any form, ammonia is caustic and harmful upon long-term exposure. Therefore, exercising caution while using this solution for making your home neat or performing vacate cleaning in Perth is crucial. Even if you don’t use anhydrous ammonia to clean your home, many commercial cleaners have it. For example, window cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners and other products that boast dissolving grime, hard water stains and build-up contain ammonia.

How does Ammonia Clean?

You’ll be surprised to know that ammonia treats grime and oily messes like soap or other surfactants. It picks up oil and disperses into tiny water droplets easily washable with water. Most household stains and spots contain fatty acids, which is why you will find cleaners with ammonia and soap. It is why these cleaners usually have a cloudy appearance and smell pungent. Therefore, ammonia is considered a surfactant like detergents because it emulsifies grease, grime, oils, etc. It is also anti-microbial but usually when used to make quaternary ammonium compounds which are extremely effective disinfectants against deadly viruses.

Is Ammonia a Green Cleaner?

Yes, ammonia is a green cleaner, which is why products containing this ingredient are ‘natural or green’. The ammonia levels found in household sanitiser are not bad for the environment. The ammonia released from the decomposition of animal waste or the use of nitrogen fertiliser is far greater and more dangerous. The anhydrous ammonia in cleaners is considered safe for greywater systems. You’ll need to use excessive amounts of ammonia cleaners to cause serious damage to the environment. Therefore, if you use ammonia in your home for cleaning, it can cause minor distress through the smells and fumes of the chemicals.

Should You Keep Using Ammonia?

It is complicated because cleaners with ammonia are equally, if not less, toxic for humans than other commercial cleaners. The cleaning solution is also readily available in markets, easy to use, time-saving and cost-effective. You can keep using anhydrous ammonia to remove grease stains, grime, oily messes and gunk from the kitchen, bathroom and other household surfaces. You can use products with ammonia for vacate cleaning in Perth and get the best results. Just make sure to take the following precautions while handling ammonia.
  • Wear gloves, protective eyewear and a mask whenever you clean with ammonia-containing products.
  • Keep the area well-ventilated by opening the windows and doors. Additionally, keep the air vents runny while cleaning.
  • Try making a homemade cleaning solution with ammonia rather than buying a commercial cleaner.
  • Avoid spilling ammonia on your bare skin. If you do, wash the area immediately with lukewarm water and soap.
  • Don’t use ammonia on floors, countertops and slabs if you have small children or pets who will touch these surfaces continuously.
  • Also, never make the mistake of mixing ammonia with bleach because it will produce deadly chlorine gas. It can cause hospitalisation due to life-threatening poisoning.

  • Also, avoid using this chemical if you or any other household member suffers from a respiratory condition. Ammonia’s fumes can cause coughing, headaches, allergies and other health problems. Therefore, you must switch to other natural cleaners like white vinegar, baking soda, lemon, salt etc.

    The Bottom Line

    Ammonia is a readily-available and economical cleaning agent for households. It is toxic but so are commercial cleaners with bleach, sodium chloride and other chemicals. Anhydrous ammonia used in cleaners is green and safe to use if you follow the usage and safety instructions on the label. Thus, whether you need to perform vacate cleaning in Perth or sanitise your home routinely, ammonia is a versatile and effective cleaner.