Useful Cleaning Products with Ammonia (and 10 Ways to Use It)

It is important to know what you’re cleaning with so you can do so effectively and safely.  This includes when you are using ammonia, which is a natural gas that is colourless and has a fairly foul odour.

When it is in its liquid form, it is added to many household cleaning products.  There are many benefits, including that it:

  • cuts through tough grease.
  • cleans glass and mirrors without streaking.
  • kills mildew and cuts through soap scum.
  • disinfects surfaces

What Cleaning Products Contain Ammonia?

Many of the household cleaning products that you often use contain ammonia.  This includes:

  • Window cleaners
  • Floor polishing waxes
  • Furniture polish
  • Drain cleaners
  • Toilet cleansers
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Multi-surface cleaners
  • Glass and mirror cleaners
  • Oven cleansers
  • Stainless-steel cleaners

Check the label of your cleaning products to be sure whether or not it contains ammonia.  It is commonly labeled as ammonium hydroxide on product labels.

Don’t Mix it Up!

Like all cleaning products, ammonia can be very dangerous when mixed with other cleaning products.  By way of example, NEVER mix a product with ammonia with one that contains bleach.

When mixed, the two chemicals create a gas called chloramine.  Breathing that gas in can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.

Use it Safely

Full-strength ammonia is sold at drugstores and hardwood stores.  It is usually recommended that you dilute it before using it.

Ammonia can be dangerous in high concentrations and can cause irritation to the nose, throat and eyes.  If you experience coughing, difficulty breathing, or irritating in your eyes, move outside and seek medical treatment.

Those with allergies and asthma are more sensitive to these issues.  As well, wear gloves because ammonia can burn if it touches bear skin.

Clever Uses

Now that you know how to use it safely, there are many clever ways that you can use ammonia around the house.

Repel Moths

To get rid of pesky kitchen moths, wash your cupboards with a mixure of 1/2 cup of ammonia diluted with 1 litre of water.  Leave drawers and doors open to air dry.

Get Rid of Paint Odours

No one likes that paint smell!  Get rid of it by placing small dishes of ammonia in the room where it is painted.

Note: Make sure you leave them out of reach of children and pets!

Feed Your Plants

Give your plants a nitrogen boost, which they will love!  This is best for alkaline-loving plants – think lilac, hydrangeas and cucumbers.

Shower these plants with 1/4 cup of ammonia mixed with 3.5 litres of water.

Stop Mosquito Bites From Itching

You forgot to put repellant on and now you’re paying for it!  Don’t worry – a couple of drops directly on the bites will do the trick!

Note: This applies only for bites you haven’t scratched through.

Keep Animals Out of Your Trash

Use that foul odour to your advantage.  Spray a half-strength solution on your bins, lids and bags and keep raccoons and other pests away!


It’s important to use the right cleaning tools and products for the right job.  We are always happy to answer any questions you might have on how to clean safely and effectively, or help you with any of your cleaning needs.