Ammonia Vs. Bleach for Cleaning

Bleach and ammonia are inexpensive and effective cleaners. These cleaners can be used diluted or full strength to effectively clean different surfaces or items. They are especially useful for hard-to-clean areas and stains. However, be aware of some differences so you can use them efficiently.

Mother and child (21-24 months) doing laundry
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Commercial Cleaning Products

Many commercial cleaning products include either ammonia or bleach, but you can combine either with water to make your own cleaning solution.

Dangers

Bleach and ammonia should not be combined for any purpose, as their combined fumes are toxic and possibly deadly. Keep in mind that dish washer detergent and other commercial products may contain bleach or ammonia, so check ingredients before combining.

Composition

Ammonia is made out of three hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom, while bleach is created from chlorine, caustic soda and water. The composition of the chemicals makes bleach a stronger disinfectant, although both chemicals kill germs.

Uses

Bleach is commonly used on fabrics to lighten and brighten them; a diluted bleach solution can also be used on dishes and other hard surfaces. Ammonia works effectively on hard surfaces--including glass, tile and most jewelry (except foil-back jewelry, glued jewelry and some antique jewelry)--and is a good cleaner for grease.

Discoloration

Ammonia cleans surfaces without lightening them, while some types of bleach cause discoloration or lightening.