Ajax powder cleanser is a scouring cleanser that has long served as the flagship product of the Ajax brand. It's been used by generations of homeowners as a cleansing abrasive that helps scrub away tough stains. Concerns about household chemicals have been on the rise in recent times, especially with many green alternatives appearing in the marketplace. In response, manufacturers of traditional cleaning products have been making a greater effort to disclose the ingredients used in their products.

Cleaning the kitchen sink
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Cleaning a sink with powdered cleanser.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate, also known as monocalcium carbonate, is used in Ajax as a cleaning agent. It's also used in a wide range of other products, from arts and crafts putties to personal care items, including toothpastes and makeup. Ajax is made from limestone, which is heated and then mixed with water. Carbon dioxide is added and produces calcium carbonate, which is then dehydrated to form a powder.

Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate

Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, sometimes called Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate, is a second cleaning agent in Ajax cleaner. Among other things it's used in car waxes and other auto products, as well as many detergents and a few soaps. It can be dangerous if inhaled or if you get it in your eyes. While prolonged contact with the skin can cause some irritation, it doesn't often cause allergic reactions, which are the usual causes of injury by the use of detergents.

Trichlorocyanuric Acid

Trichlorocyanuric acid (TCCA) is a white powder that's used as a stain remover in Ajax cleaners. It is corrosive and, if mixed with acids or acid cleaners, it can release hazardous chlorine gas. The chemical is also used to control bacteria in swimming pools.

Fragrance and Dye

The scouring powder includes a pleasant-smelling fragrance to help deodorize the surface being cleaned and to cover up any chemical odor emanating from the cleanser itself. Colgate-Palmolive doesn't specify the chemical composition of the fragrance. A dye helps give Ajax Cleansing Powder its clean white color, but the manufacturer does not identify the ingredient.


Ajax Cleansing Powder is an eye irritant and should immediately be flushed out with water, but it shouldn't cause any permanent damage. If mixed with ammonia, as well as other cleaning products, the cleanser may release harmful fumes, so you shouldn't use other cleaners in conjunction with Ajax. Inhaling too much of the dust can irritate your respiratory system.