Use Ammonia Safely

Ammonia gas has a strong, suffocating odor even when dissolved in water, as it commonly is. The disagreeable odor along with its ability to release deadly gases when combined with chlorine-containing products make it less than ideal as a household cleaner. Yet it is often used in its water-based form.

In combination with a little detergent, ammonia diluted with water is used for grease removal; undiluted, it’s tremendous for stripping floors. Check bottle labels for recommended strengths depending on the job at hand.

Ammonia should not be used on varnished surfaces, mirrors, marble, leather or soft plastics. It will also darken anything made of aluminum.

Warning: Never mix ammonia with any product containing chlorine – ammonium chloride releases a gas that can be deadly in sufficient concentrations. Since it’s a poison, store it away from the reach of young children. Ammonia is a strong irritant that can cause serious injury to the eyes and respiratory system. While working with ammonia, always wear a mask as well as skin and eye protection, and ensure adequate ventilation. A large portable fan directed at the work site will provide plenty of fresh air.

© 2006

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