10 Household Uses For Ammonia
Ammonia is a gas and can be very volatile. However, the household ammonia we use is a solution which is dissolved in water so that it can be handled while reducing these risks. It is commonly used in some pharmaceuticals, but it is just as common to find it in many household cleaners. Even diluted, it is still a strong chemical which makes it great on tough items to clean around the house and garden. Its potent properties make it an particularly effective in removing dirt and stains from numerous surfaces. One very important thing to remember when using it at home to clean is to never mix bleach and ammonia together, because it'll cause a highly toxic chemical reaction. If you'd like to learn about the 10 household uses for ammonia, keep reading this oneHOWTO article.
In agricultural farming, ammonia is used as a great source of nitrogen fertilizer. It is such a good source that over 88% of ammonia manufactured is used in agriculture. The type of ammonia used in agricultural fertilizer is anhydrous, which means it contains no water. While this is effective, it is also one of the most dangerous chemical compounds to store and is, therefore, unsuitable for domestic use.
However, ammonia is just as useful in your home garden, you just have to change how you use it. To obtain a lush green lawn and to ensure your flowerbeds are in full bloom come springtime, follow these steps:
- Simply add 1 cup of ammonia per 20 gallons of water
- Add any additional fertilizer you may like to use such as those you can buy in a store or even a can of beer
Be careful with how much you use. Some sources claim you will only need 1 drop per plant, so be frugal. Otherwise you run the risk of damaging your plant rather than helping them grow. This is particularly good trick if you are looking to help plants which look like they may be on their way out recapture their vitality.
One of the best known uses for ammonia is as a degreaser, so it's an effective cleaner to remove stains and grease splatters on the stove, countertops, stainless steel surfaces, tiles and other dirty surfaces. One of the main reasons ammonia works so well is that it is relatively streak free, so you will not have to worry about going over the areas again with a buffer, especially on surfaces like glass or stainless steel.
To make the ammonia degreaser, simply take a suitable bottle (like an empty dishwasher or soda bottle) and fill it up halfway with ammonium hydroxide. Ammonium hydroxide is the chemical name for the diluted ammonia you can use in the house. Fill the other up with warm water and shake well. You can use the ammonia solution directly onto the surface you wish to degrease, but you can also use it to soak dried on stains like sauces encrusted on the hob.
Just remember not to use ammonia on marble surfaces. If you want to know how this is done as well as other tips, see our article on how to clean marble.
Similarly, you can use the same diluted ammonia solution to clean the oven. This solution can be effectively used to remove grease or other burned food from the inside of the oven. These are particularly difficult as the heat from the oven bakes the dirt on and you need a strong substance like ammonia to tackle them.
You will first need to soften the interior overnight. Then you will need to soak the racks and grills in an ammonia solution while you tackle the inside of the oven and the doors. To know how much you need to use, read out article on how to use ammonia to clean the oven. If you want to use a more natural, non toxic alternative to ammonia, try cleaning the oven with lemon.
Furthermore, it's advisable to clean windows and mirrors with ammonia to get exceptional results. The ratio you will need is 2 tablespoons of ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) per half gallon of water. You can also use vinegar as a replacement for ammonia. As stated before, ammonia is relatively streak free so using it should be easier to remove all kinds of stains or fingerprints and get sparkling windows in a matter of minutes. You can take a look at more tricks in our article tips for cleaning glass and windows. Make sure you use the proper cleaning cloths so that you don't leave marks and make sure to keep any of the solution out of your eyes, especially when looking up and splashing.
Next in our 10 household uses for ammonia, we can use it as a tile cleaner in either the bathroom or kitchen. Ammonia is good for hard stains to tackle, thanks to its strength, so it's not something you'll need to use all the time. Use a quarter cup of ammonia per gallon of water and scrub the tiles clean of the mildew and mold. This can build up not only on the tiles, but also on the sealant around the shower and bath, so use the ammonia solution for this area too. This is a chore you won't need to do every day, but to reduce the need even more, you can keep a weaker ammonia solution and spray the tiles after use and then rinse with the shower. Ammonia will help keep the tiles clean and sparkling.
Diluted ammonia with water is also used to clean wooden floors and furniture. It can additionally be used to strip wood and remove furniture polish or paint. For this reason, it's important that you dilute the ammonia with water. This is because the harshness of ammonia can deteriorate sensitive wood.
On the other hand, you can use ammonia to clean clothes, since it's also effective for removing stains from fabrics. For example, you can remove wine stains with ammonia but first try a little on a spot that isn't visible, to prevent damaging the clothing item. Be careful if you have delicate material as you do not want to damage its integrity. If you have spilled on clothes made of delicate materials like silk or linen, a softer cleaning method is required.
You can also use ammonia to clean and remove dirt from shoes, although only those made of non-washable fabrics. You can use a mixture of water, ammonia and soap to clean all types of shoes from sneakers, leather shoes and even espadrilles. For example, they are used to wash white converse fabric. Again, be careful with your amounts so as not to damage the material.
Similarly, another use for ammonia is to clean carpets and rugs, because it's especially effective at removing stains from such material. In this case, it's helpful to use a spray bottle to apply the ammonia and water solution to the dirty spots on the carpets. The spray bottle will make the ammonia solution spread in a fine mist rather than sloshing it on to one area and trying to spread it out afterwards.
Ammonia is also very effective in eliminating odors from fabrics, such as those from moisture or mold in dishcloths or towels. To do this, add some ammonia when washing them and you'll see how the odor disappears. Furthermore, you can use this product as a fabric softener, due to the fact that it reduces static electricity.
Ammonia is a powerful chemical which deserves your respect, so take caution when using it for your own safety. Its power also makes it very effective, so it can be used on the tougher cleaning necessities around the house and garden. Always make sure you are using the right type of ammonia or ammonium hydroxide and how much you need to use for the job at hand.
If you would like more information, check this oneHOWTO article on how to use ammonia to clean.
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- Another of the uses of ammonia is to get rid of the soot accumulated in glass that has been in contact with fire.