Ammonia is a common chemical in many homes. It is an ingredient in many products, most especially in many home-grade cleaners. While this chemical occurs naturally when organic materials decompose, the ammonia coming from different processed products at home further enhances it. It is by no means safe, especially around kids.
Ammonia comes with a strong smell and it can irritate the skin and the eyes. Prolonged inhalation can cause damage to the lungs, especially if it mixes with chlorine also found in other cleaning products. Ammonia fumes can also combine with nitrates to create ammonium nitrate particles. These particles can linger in the air and stay in curtains, household dust and carpets. Without proper air ventilation, it can be a prolonged health hazard. The only way to avoid them is by getting rid of ammonia-based products at home. Here are some of tips that can help.
Read product labels.
There are many household products found in the supermarket that contain ammonia. You can usually find them from various cleaning products since they are effective in cutting down grease and in cleaning windows. Some cleaning products do not list the ingredients as a trade secret. Try to avoid such products and prefer those that disclose what ingredients they contain that you can read on the label. This will make sure that you do not get harmful chemicals like ammonia into your home.
Use your nose.
If you are not sure whether a product you use contains ammonia, your sense of smell can sometimes help. You can identify ammonia by its strong smell. You can detect the sharp odor of the chemical even at 10 times lower its toxic threshold. If you sense a harsh and sharp odor on some home cleaning products, chances are they contain ammonia.
Use ammonia-free cleaners.
There are now a number of “green” and non-toxic cleaners available in the market. Most of these products do not contain ammonia as well as a host of other harmful chemicals like chlorine, triclosan, triclocarbon, lye and glycol ethers. These products are usually labeled as “petroleum-free” and are safe on the environment. They are also just as effective as cleaning products for the home.
Use home alternatives.
There are also alternatives available around the home if you really wish to shun using harsh cleaning products. Vinegar is a common and natural substitute for ammonia. It can kill molds and mildew upon contact and acts as an effective deodorizer. Use it with baking soda when some scrubbing is required. For some heavy duty cleaning, you can use kosher salt instead of baking soda to remove stubborn stains.