Household Uses of Ammonia [Detailed Guide]

Reading Time: 7 minutes

This article is for you if you have ever wondered what household ammonia is. Household ammonia is a common household chemical used in various ways. It’s often used to clean surfaces, kill weeds, and even as a bug repellent. Although it’s relatively safe to use when handled properly, some risks are associated with handling household ammonia. This guide will discuss household ammonia and how to use it properly. Plus, how to keep yourself safe while using it. 

So, are you ready? Let’s start the show!

What is Household Ammonia?

Household ammonia is a chemical compound comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen. It’s helpful around the house, including as a cleaning agent. The most common use for household ammonia is to clean or sterilize surfaces, such as floors or countertops. Household ammonia can also cleanse non-porous items, like glass or metal. The strength of household ammonia can vary depending on the brand and type you buy, but generally, it’ll be somewhere between 2% and 10%.

When using household ammonia to clean or sterilize surfaces, wear gloves and safety goggles, so you don’t accidentally get any in your eyes.  Most importantly, never mix household ammonia with bleach. This could result in a dangerous chemical reaction that could cause your solution to becoming extremely toxic. You should also avoid breathing in any fumes that come off it while working with it; this can irritate your lungs and make them feel sore afterwards if you aren’t careful.

Now that you know more about household ammonia let’s look at how you can use it around your home!

Give Your Oven a Good Scrubbing

Ovens get dirty quickly because of the oil and grease residue left after cooking. You might not see it, but the inside of your oven is probably covered in a layer of grease and grime. 

The grease and oil can drip down your oven’s bottom and become trapped there over time. 

Dirty ovens are painful to clean, as the grime and grease stick to the walls and burners. This is terrible news for your home and health, as dirty ovens can lead to fires and other problems.

In this situation, ammonia is your saviour. Here’s how to use it to clean your oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 150°F and then turn it off
  • Pour about ½ cup of ammonia into an oven-safe bowl and place it in the oven
  • Add a large bowl filled with boiling water below the one containing ammonia
  • Let the ammonia and water sit overnight in the closed oven
  • The next day, remove everything from the oven and open the door to let it air out for a bit
  • Finally, use the ammonia and soap to scrub away all the grease
  • Et voilà, now you have a clean oven!

Eliminate Odors Any Odor in Your Home

If you notice a stale or musty odor from your dishcloths or towels, that’s likely caused by moisture. Moreover, if you have hard water, it can leave mineral deposits on the fabric, which can lead to odors if they’re left in the wash.

Another reason unpleasant smells can occur is mold. For instance, if you leave a dishcloth lying around wet for too long, mold will start to grow on it and develop an odor. Add some ammonia to your washing machine to get rid of this scent. The smell will be gone in no time! To prevent this from happening in the future, make sure to wash any dishcloths or towels as soon as you’ve finished using them. 

In addition, ammonia isn’t just helpful in removing odors from clothes; it can also help you make your home smell better. Place a bowl or container filled with ammonia in any room that has an unpleasant scent. Open the windows and leave the room for the night. 

When you come back, you’ll notice a big difference in how things smell!

Remove Mildew

A common enemy of most households is mildew. Mildew is a fungus that grows on organic materials such as damp walls, shower curtains, and clothing.

It’s also usually found in moist environments, like bathrooms, kitchens, or bathroom tiles and carpets. Mildew can grow in various colors, but it most often appears black or white and can grow on many different surfaces. 

So what can you do to get rid of mildew? Use ammonia!

Ammonia is an effective cleaning solution that kills mildew and removes the smell. You can find ammonia in your local grocery store or hardware store.

Put ¼ cup of ammonia into one gallon of water and spray the mixture on mildewed surfaces. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe it with a clean cloth.

If the surface you are trying to clean allows it, use a brush or sponge instead of a cloth. These will help you get into every nook and cranny!

Bring Back Brilliance to Your Wardrobe

If you’ve noticed that your clothes are slowly becoming less and less bright, the culprit may be in how you’re washing them.

One of the common causes of dullness in clothes is too much detergent. You can also get discoloration if you use antiperspirants, or even live in an area with heavy pollution.

Moreover, you can easily stain yourself by accident while doing something. For example, you may work in the garden and get dirt on your clothing.

If you’re facing any of these issues, try washing clothes with ammonia, soap, and water solution!

You can eliminate sweat or grease stains by mixing ¼ cup of ammonia and ¼ cup of washing soap in about a gallon of water. Spray some of this mixture on the stain and set it for a couple of minutes.

After that, you can rinse it out, and the garment will look brilliant again!

Plus, you don’t need to worry about damaging your clothes with ammonia; it’s kinder to them than bleach and won’t fade colors.

However, it can be too strong on delicate fabrics like silk. In this case, it’s best to use a gentler cleaning method.

Make Your Clothes Softer

You know that feeling when you put on a shirt you haven’t worn in a while, and it feels different? Like when it has a weird texture? It’s not just your imagination. The reason behind this could be the water!

Some households use hard water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

Sadly, hard water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium, which can leave an unpleasant residue on your clothing. This residue can cause fabrics to feel rougher and stiffer over time.

This isn’t just true of clothes—it’s also for other items you don’t wear, like towels. You might notice a change in their texture after using them for quite some time. 

A simple way to soften your clothes is to add ½ a cup of ammonia to the wash cycle. This will soften your clothes to the desired level without any extra effort!

Get Rid of Annoying Bugs

Bugs and insects are a part of nature, but they don’t have to be a part of your home!

These little creatures can be a significant inconvenience to homeowners in many ways. The most obvious problem is the damage they do to your home. Some insects chew through wood, while others burrow or lay eggs inside it. 

This can make your home unsafe and compromise its structural integrity.

Another issue is how annoying it can be when insects constantly fly around your home, buzzing relentlessly and getting into everything. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with any of that. 

Mix a quarter of a gallon of water with half a cup of ammonia, and wipe down all the shelves, drawers, and cupboards. Let them air for a while, and the ammonia will keep out moths, roaches, and ants.

Keep Your Garden in Tip-top Shape

It may surprise you that ammonia can be used as a fertilizer and a plant killer! Let’s see how you can use it in your garden.

One way to use ammonia in your garden is to spray it on weeds, as they can be a real nuisance. They make the garden look messy and compete with crops for nutrients and water, resulting in poor crop growth.

Ammonia is a very effective weed killer. Unlike other weed killers, it destroys the entire weed from roots to top. The moment the plant absorbs ammonia, it starts to dehydrate and slowly fades away.

The only issue is that ammonia is not selective; if the weed is too close to another plant, it may also absorb the ammonia. In this case, you may have to opt for another method.

On the other hand, you can use ammonia to help your plants grow! Certain plants, such as cucumbers and lilacs, respond well to this nitrogen boost.

To give your plants a lovely treat, dilute less than a quarter cup of ammonia in two gallons of water and spray them with the mixture.

Make Your Jewellery Shine Again

Gold and silver are the most popular materials used in jewellery making. This is primarily due to their beauty and their ability to withstand wear and tear. However, these metals also lose their lustre and shine over time. 

For some people, jewellery is more than just a piece of adornment. When their precious gems lose their lustre, it may feel like their own sense of sparkle has been dulled.

Luckily, you can restore any tarnished trinket by soaking it in a solution of ½ cup of ammonia diluted in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes.

Once you’ve done that, you can use a soft-bristled brush to polish the jewellery or wipe it with a soft cloth, and it’ll sparkle again.

Important note: Avoid using this solution with any jewellery containing pearls, as it could damage their delicate surface.

Unclog Your Drain

We’re all familiar with the clogged sink problem. It’s one of the most common problems we face in our homes.

No matter where sinks are located in the house —the kitchen or the bathroom— they can become clogged. Kitchen sinks can clog easily with greasy and food scraps, and bathroom sinks often have to deal with soap and hair buildup. 

Fortunately, all you need to unclog your drains is little ammonia. 

First, block the drain with a stopper. Then, boil one quart of water. When the water boils, add one cup of ammonia to it and mix well. Finally, pour this solution down your sink. 

Let the hot water sit for a few seconds, then remove the stopper with your gloved hands. 

The hot water will flush away everything in its path as it speeds down the pipes and removes grease or other buildups.

Keep Your Trash Bins Safe

It’s easy to understand why animals love trash bins. They’re hungry and will eat anything, especially raccoons!

Raccoons can eat almost anything, including fruits and vegetables, meat products, candy, and even trash. When you put out food for birds, raccoons won’t turn it down!

Thankfully, there’s a way to keep these masked thieves and other critters at bay. 

Just fill a spraying bottle with ½ cup of ammonia and one cup of water. Then spray the outside surface of your garbage bins. For more protection, you can also spray the garbage bags inside.

When raccoons smell ammonia, they think the place is dirty; hence, they leave it as it is. It makes you wonder what ammonia must smell like to them if garbage is preferable!


So, now you know what household ammonia is and how to use it properly!

Household ammonia is one of those things that you didn’t know you needed until you found out it existed. It can clean everything from your bathroom sink to your kitchen countertops and is easy to use.

If you’ve ever wondered if household ammonia is suitable for you, we hope this article has convinced you to try it!

After all, who wouldn’t like to have a clean house without spending money on expensive chemical cleaners?

About Emily Leake

Check Also

How To Clean Office Chair

Reading Time: 5 minutes Just like any other piece of furniture, office chairs can get dirty and smelly over …