20 Clever Uses for Ammonia You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
Ammonia often plays second fiddle to bleach, but it’s one of the most powerful cleaning products in your arsenal. Here are 20 smart ways to use ammonia all around the house.
Ammonia is a colorless, pungent gas. It is easily soluble in water, however, and the liquid ammonia products sold today contain the gas dissolved in water. Ammonia is one of the oldest cleaning compounds currently in use. It actually dates back to ancient Egypt. In fact, the word ammonia is derived from the Egyptian deity Ammon, whose temple in what is now Libya is credited with producing the earliest form of ammonia, sal ammoniac, by burning camel dung!
Use ammonia to clean your electric oven
Here’s a practically effortless way to clean an electric oven: First, turn the oven on, let it warm to 150° F (65°C), and then turn it off. Place a small oven-safe bowl containing ½-cup ammonia on the top shelf and a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, remove the dish and pan, and let the oven air out a while. Then, wipe it clean using the ammonia and a few drops of dishwashing liquid diluted in a quart of warm water. Even old baked-on grease should wipe right off!
WARNING: Do not use this cleaning method with a gas oven unless the pilot lights are out and the main gas lines are shut off.
Always take caution using ammonia! Never mix ammonia with bleach or any product containing chlorine. The combination produces toxic fumes that can be deadly. Work in a well-ventilated space and avoid inhaling the vapors. Wear rubber gloves and avoid getting ammonia on your skin or in your eyes. Always store ammonia out of the reach of children. Here are other cleaning products you should never mix.
Use ammonia to remove soap and grease scum
To get rid of those unsightly soap and grease scum buildups in your porcelain enamel tub and sink, scrub them with a solution of one tablespoon ammonia in one gallon of hot water. Rinse thoroughly when done. Don’t miss these ways you’re cleaning your bathroom wrong.
Use ammonia to clean bathroom tiles
Make bathroom tiles sparkle again—and kill mildew while you’re at it—by sponging tiled floors, backsplashes and shower enclosures with ¼-cup ammonia in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Don’t miss these other homemade cleaning products that really work.
Use ammonia to repel moths
Pesky kitchen moths seem to come out of nowhere! Send them back to wherever they came from by washing your cupboards, drawers, and pantry shelves, with ½-cup ammonia diluted in 1 quart (1 liter) water. Leave drawers and cabinet doors open to thoroughly air-dry. Check out 10 more disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.
Use ammonia to make crystal sparkle
Has the sparkle gone out of your good crystal? Bring back its lost luster by mixing several drops of ammonia in 2 cups of water and applying with a soft cloth or brush. Rinse it off with clean water, then dry with a soft, dry cloth.
Use ammonia to clean oven racks
Get the cooked-on grime off your oven racks by laying them out on an old towel in a large washtub. You can also use your bathtub, though you might need to clean it afterward. Fill the tub with warm water and add ½-cup ammonia. Let the racks soak for at least 15 minutes, then remove, rinse off, and wipe clean. Learn how to clean your oven hood too.
Use ammonia to eliminate paint odors
Your freshly-painted home interior sure looks great, but that paint smell is driving you up the wall! There’s no need to prolong your suffering, though. Absorb the odor by placing small dishes of ammonia in each room that’s been painted. If the smell persists after several days, replenish the dishes. Vinegar or onion slices will also work. Don’t miss these other brilliant household uses for vinegar.
Use ammonia to clean fireplace doors
Think you’ll need a blowtorch to remove that blackened-on soot from your glass fireplace doors? Before you get out the goggles, try mixing 1 tablespoon ammonia, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 quart (1 liter) warm water in a spray bottle. Spray on some of the solution, let it sit for several seconds, then wipe off with an absorbent cloth. Repeat if necessary—it’s worth the extra effort.
Use ammonia to clean gold and silver jewelry
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Brighten up your gold and silver trinkets by soaking them for 10 minutes in a solution of ½-cup clear ammonia mixed in 1 cup warm water. Gently wipe clean with a soft cloth and let dry. Note: Do not do this with jewelry containing pearls, because it could dull or damage their delicate surface. Don’t miss these other tricks for cleaning jewelry at home.