Have you ever walked through the aisles of the cleaning supplies and wondered to yourself “do I REALLY need all of these different cleaners?” I have. Many times. Until a few years ago, when I discovered one simple cleaner that could do the job of several.
That simple cleaner is ammonia.
When I discovered that ammonia could clean most surfaces, and even fabrics, just as well as the myriad of traditional cleaners on the market today, I was thrilled! Not only is it readily available, but it’s also dirt cheap and lasts forever! A jug of ammonia can last me a couple of months, depending on what sort of cleaning sprees I go on. And, I can usually pick up a jug of ammonia for only a buck or two! WIN!
Needless to say, I rarely spend the money on commercial cleaners these days. Ammonia it is for most jobs! Here are a few types of products that have been replaced by ammonia in my household…
Ammonia makes a fantastic all-purpose cleaner. Just mix 6 parts water with 1 part ammonia in a clean spray bottle. You make a stronger concentration for dirtier jobs. Use this all-purpose cleaner to clean counters, stove tops, microwaves, bathroom surfaces, and just about anything else you’d normally use an all-purpose cleaner on.
For sparkling clean mirror and windows, ammonia is my go to cleaner! A great homemade glass cleaner is nothing more than 3 parts water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol, and 1 part ammonia.
I have found very few household cleaners that cut grease better than ammonia! You can use ammonia to remove stuck on grime and grease on your stove top and even soak away grease that has built up on your oven hood filters. A good strong degreaser is just half water and half ammonia.
Ditch the oven cleaners and use ammonia instead. To clean your oven effortlessly, preheat it to 200 degrees F and turn it off. Place a small bowl of ammonia on the top rack of your oven and a boiling pan of water on the bottom rack and close the door. Let it sit for a few hours, then open the oven to air out the fumes a bit. When you come back, the greasy buildup should just wipe away!
No need to invest in special jewelry cleaner! Just soak your gold and silver jewelry in a mixture of ammonia and water. Give it a light scrub with a toothbrush and dry and buff with a soft cloth.
Do you have a tough stain on your favorite shirt or jeans? Dab a little ammonia and dish soap on it, and scrub it with a toothbrush. Ammonia can get rid of lots of tough stains. Make sure you do a spot test on an inconspicuous part of the garment before trying this, though.
Skip the expensive carpet stain removers and use an ammonia solution instead! I’ve found that a solution of half water, half ammonia, and a smal squirt of dish soap does an amazing job! I’ve also heard of people using ammonia instead of commercial carpet cleaners when shampooing carpets with fantastic results!
A Few Notes About Ammonia
- NEVER mix ammonia and bleach! Ever, ever, ever! This includes mixing it with other commercial cleaners that could contain bleach and keeping homemade ammonia cleaners in old commercial cleaner bottles. This causes a chemical reaction that creates something known as chlorine gas, which can be deadly. Chlorine gas is actually used in chemical warfare, and was first used during WWI. My mother apparently did not know this and found out the hard way when I was little.
- Ammonia fumes are crazy strong and can be dangerous if you’re exposed to them for long periods of time. If you use straight ammonia or a strong solution of ammonia to clean, either do it outside or make sure there’s proper ventilation. Also, never lean over the bottles or jugs when pouring or opening ammonia!
- If you really can’t stand the smell of ammonia, opt for lemon scented ammonia. It still has a bit of an ammonia smell, but it’s also lemony fresh!
- The ratios mentioned above are just guidelines. You may actually be able to use less ammonia and more water with decent results. Experiment a little and find something that works for you.