What Neutralizes an Ammonia Smell?

A common cleaning ingredient, ammonia features a pungent odor that can last after you have used the liquid. Much more long lasting, though, is the ammonia smell associated with cat urine; it can fill an area with a pungent and unpleasant odor even in a litter box; if a cat has done its business where it wasn't supposed to, it's a mess you'll absolutely have to clean up as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a few common household items you can use to neutralize the ammonia odor.

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Cat urine produces a strong ammonia smell.

Vinegar

A sour-tasting liquid, vinegar contains acetic acid and removes a wide array of odors from a variety of surfaces. Vinegar will neutralize ammonia while getting rid of the smell. Since vinegar is inexpensive, many people use the versatile liquid to clean their homes from top to bottom. To remove the ammonia odor, blot or spray the area with pure, undiluted white vinegar. Let the vinegar dry on the surface. Reapply the vinegar as needed until the ammonia odor is no longer present.

Baking Soda

Found in the baking aisle of grocery and department stores, baking soda is an inexpensive, all-natural and versatile powder that has many uses inside the home. Remove ammonia odor from carpets by covering the fibers with a thin layer of baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the ammonia smell as well as any lingering odors trapped in the carpets. Work the baking soda into the carpet fibers with a broom or scrub brush. Leave the baking soda on the surface for 24 hours. After the allotted time, suck the baking soda off the carpet with a vacuum cleaner. If the ammonia smell remains, repeat the process.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Most people keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in a medicine cabinet, as it serves to clean and disinfect minor scratches and scrapes of dirt, germs and bacteria. Located in the health and beauty sections of retail stores, hydrogen peroxide will neutralize ammonia and remove the accompanying odor. When removing ammonia odors, use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and dilute it with water -- use a ratio of 70 percent water and 30 percent hydrogen peroxide. Dampen a white cloth in the peroxide mixture and blot the surface affected with the ammonia smell for several seconds. After you have removed the odors, rinse the mixture off the surface with cool water.

Considerations

If you're dealing with cat urine, rinse the surface with cool water before neutralizing the ammonia odor. This will help remove all traces of the urine and make neutralizing the odor easier. Furthermore, never clean or try to neutralize ammonia or its odor with bleach. Bleach and ammonia mixed together will create noxious fumes that can cause various health problems.