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What is Ammonia?

  • 3 min read

What are the effects of ammonia on the body? 

Ammonia is a colourless gas, which has been used in cleaning products for years.
Although it is highly popular, cleaning with ammonia has its dangers. The effects of ammonia on the body are something that people shouldn’t ignore. We believe that cleaning products should not be dangerous to humans or to the environment, that’s why at Spruce we broke up with toxic-chemicals like household ammonia and created natural and safe cleaning products

Ammonia is a colourless gas, which has a very pungent odour. Fun fact, people say the smell is similar to urine. It is composed of nitrogen and hydrogen and is a starting material for many commercial nitrogen compounds. It comes from natural and man-made sources. It is lighter than air and dissolves easily in water. The gas is considered as not highly flammable, however, it is treated as flammable because when it is exposed to high heat it can explode. It is found in both natural and manmade sources. Low levels of it are found in the environment when there is a breakdown of organic waste matter. Higher concentrations may be found in places where there is animal waste and sewage. Ammonia is commonly used in household cleaning products, fabrics, fertilisers, dyes, and plastics.


What is ammonia cleaner? 

Ammonia hydroxide, otherwise known as ammonia water is a mixture of ammonia and water which is used in cleaning products. You can find it in glass and window cleaners, oven cleaners, floor polishing waxes, toilet bowl cleaners, furniture polish, bathroom cleaners, multi-surface cleaners and so on. It's a frequent ingredient in household cleaning products because it's known to cut through dirt and grease. It is popular because it evaporates very quickly, so it leaves no streaks. Although it may be effective, cleaning with ammonia can be dangerous.

what is ammonia cleaner

Dangers of cleaning with ammonia

Ammonia is a strong irritant and although there are low levels of it in cleaning products, it can still have a negative effect on a person’s health. If there is little ventilation when a person is cleaning with ammonia, it can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs. If it is mixed with chlorine bleach, it produces toxic gases called chloramines. These gases can cause shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, chest pain, irritation to the throat, nose and eyes. It can also be fatal, where it can cause fluid in the lungs and pneumonia. If it is also swallowed, it can burn the mouth and throat, as well as cause severe stomach pain. It is advised that individuals wear gloves and even a mask when using ammonia based cleaning products. The effects of ammonia on the body are why people are turning to ammonia-free cleaning products. One thing to look out for when products say they are “ammonia-free” is that although that is a great thing, there may be other toxic chemicals in the product. Have a read of other toxic-chems to look out for in cleaning product. 

non toxic cleaning products

The effects of ammonia on the body range from irritating to fatal. It shouldn’t be used in cleaning products as household ammonia exposure is a major cause for concern. At Spruce, we ensure that our refillable cleaning products are ammonia-free and free of any other toxic chemicals. Do you want to break up with toxic-chems? Join us on our journey and switch to the best non-toxic cleaning products on the market. And no, we are not biased! 

Written by Zara Huxley

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