Ammonia hydroxide, also referred to as ammonia water, ammonia solution, or (incorrectly) just ammonia, is a mixture of ammonia (NH3) and water.
It’s a common ingredient in household cleaners because it breaks down grease and grime and evaporates quickly, leaving your surfaces streak-free.
You’ll find ammonia hydroxide in all sorts of products, including window and glass cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, oven cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, among others.
Although it’s an effective ingredient in many household cleaners, products that contain ammonia hydroxide can be dangerous. Direct exposure can irritate your eyes and skin, and breathing too much of it can burn your respiratory tract.
Even worse, accidentally mixing ammonia and bleach results in a chemical reaction that releases toxic gases, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
So, if you’re trying to avoid or minimize your use of cleaning products that contain ammonia, keep reading.
In this guide, I provide a list of cleaners that contain ammonia and offer recommendations for viable ammonia-free alternatives.
Let’s get into it!
Use the links below to navigate:
- Cleaning Products That Contain Ammonia: 19 Examples
- Cleaning Products That Don’t Contain Ammonia: 19 Examples
- How to Determine If a Household Cleaner Contains Ammonia
- Other Products That Contain Ammonia
- Does Mr. Clean Contain Ammonia?
- How to Use Cleaners That Contain Ammonia Safely
Cleaning Products That Contain Ammonia: 19 Examples
The table below shows 19 popular cleaning products that contain ammonia.
These include floor cleaners, glass cleaners, carpet cleaners, pet stain removers, multi-purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and disinfectant sprays.
Each product contains a link to more info on The Environmental Working Group Website — EWG.org.
|Product||Type of Cleaner||View Details|
|Pledge 4-in-1 Tile & Vinyl Floor Cleaner||Floor Cleaner||Details|
|Easy-Off Professional Glass Cleaner Spray||Glass Cleaner||Details|
|Resolve High Traffic Foam||Carpet Cleaner||Details|
|Resolve Instant Eraser||Pet Stain Remover||Details|
|Armstrong Floor Cleaner||Floor Cleaner||Details|
|Pledge Tile & Vinyl Floor Finish with Future Shine||Floor Finish||Details|
|Windex Advanced Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner||Multi-Surface Cleaner||Details|
|Pledge 4-in-1 Wood Floor Cleaner||Wood Floor Cleaner||Details|
|Walmart Great Value Original Glass Cleaner||Glass Cleaner||Details|
|LA’s Totally Awesome Clear Ammonia||All Household Cleaner||Details|
|Total Home Disinfecting Spray||Disinfecting Spray||Details|
|Parsons Ammonia All-Purpose Cleaner||All-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Lysol Aerosol Bathroom Cleaner||Bathroom Cleaner||Details|
|Lysol Professional Disinfectant Spray||Disinfecting Spray||Details|
|MOP & GLO Triple Action Floor Shine||Floor Cleaner||Details|
|Windex Original Glass Wipes||Glass Cleaner Wipes||Details|
|Up & Up Ammonia Lemon||All-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Safeway Bright Green Glass and Window Cleaner||Glass Cleaner||Details|
|Lysol Disinfectant Spray for Baby’s Room||Disinfectant Spray||Details|
Cleaning Products That Don’t Contain Ammonia: 19 Examples
Fortunately, many companies that make cleaning products understand the dangers of ammonia. They are pivoting towards safer — and still effective — ingredients.
You’ll find lots of options, across all categories, that don’t contain ammonia.
If you’re searching for ammonia-free cleaning products, the table below contains some of the top options.
|Brand||Type of Cleaner||View Details|
|9 Elements Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|AspenClean All-in-One Concentrate||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar Wipes||Cleaning Wipes||Details|
|Common Good All Purpose Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap||General Purpose Soap||Details|
|ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Earthy Glass & Window Cleaner||Glass Cleaner||Details|
|Greenshield Organic All-Purpose Cleaner Degreaser||All-Purpose Degreaser||Details|
|Lion Bear Naked Soap Co. Everything Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Bathroom Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|MamaSuds All-Purpose Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Nature Clean Multi-Surface Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Ology Glass Cleaner||Glass Cleaner||Details|
|Pur Home All-In-One Cleaning Concentrate||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Pur Home Multi-Surface Scrub Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner Scrub||Details|
|Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner||Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner||Details|
|Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
|Whoa Nelli Natural Home Cleaning Spray||Multi-Purpose Cleaner||Details|
In addition to these ammonia-free products, there are several brands focused on producing cleaning products with natural ingredients only, including:
- The Laundress ( Amazon)
- Mrs. Meyers (Amazon)
- Seventh Generation (Amazon) – check out my in-depth comparison of Seventh Generation vs. Mrs. Meyer’s.
- Method (Amazon)
- Better Life ( Amazon)
- Biokleen (Amazon)
- ECOS (Amazon)
- Ecover (Amazon)
- Puracy (on Amazon)
- Dr. Bronner’s (on Amazon)
Most of these brands don’t use ammonia within any of their products, but you should always check the label to be sure.
How to Determine If a Household Cleaner Contains Ammonia
How do you know if your cleaner contains ammonia?
First, read the label. Most products list all the ingredients, so do a quick search for ammonia. However, some products don’t state all the ingredients on the packaging.
Another option is to check out the product online. Go to the manufacturer’s website and search the ingredient list. I also love SmartLabel.org — it’s a great resource boasting a massive database of products. All the ingredients are listed with an explanation about each one.
You could also search for the product on the EWG website. This website lists all the ingredients with a rating from A-F, depending on their safety.
If none of the above works, reach out to the product manufacturer. Check the company website for contact details. That usually includes an 800 number, an email address, or a contact form.
Other Products That Contain Ammonia
Besides household cleaners, what other products contain ammonia? Here, I’ll list some other products to look out for if you’re trying to avoid ammonia.
Fertilizer: Ammonia is commonly used in fertilizers because, when combined with soil, it promotes plant growth.
Fermentation: Ammonia solutions are often used for fermentation, as a source of nitrogen for microorganisms, and to adjust pH levels during the fermentation process.
Antimicrobial agent: Specifically, in food products, ammonia is used as an antimicrobial agent. It kills bacteria, including E.coli. It has been deemed safe in limited quantities, but many customers avoid it for health and taste reasons.
Other uses for ammonia include refrigeration, neutralizing fossil fuels, making diesel gas, textiles, woodworking, aquaculture, and much more.
The point is — ammonia isn’t just used in cleaning products. It’s commonly used in other everyday areas of life. Of course, it’s not always a harmful ingredient. But you should be cautious, especially when it comes to cleaning products, vaporous products, and food.
Does Mr. Clean Contain Ammonia?
One of the most common questions I get asked on this topic is:
Does Mr. Clean contain ammonia?
The short answer is no, Mr. Clean products do not contain ammonia. Mr. Clean offers a range of multi-surface cleaning solutions, sprays, and wipes, and all of its products are ammonia-free.
I confirmed that information by reading the ingredient lists on SmartLabel.org for each product, but I also called Mr. Clean’s customer service line and validated it with a product specialist.
So, what’s in Mr. Clean?
The ingredients vary by product, but here’s a quick breakdown of Mr. Clean’s most popular formulas:
Mr. Clean Liquid Multi-Purpose Cleaners (view detailed ingredients list on SmartLabel):
- Water: A processing aid to keep all the ingredients together and allow for easy dosing.
- C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine Oxide: A cleaning agent.
- C9-11 Pareth: A cleaning agent formulated for floors.
- Carboxymethyl Inulin: A water softener reduces hard water marks (streaks).
- Sodium C10-16 Alkylbenzenesulfonate: A cleaning agent that breaks up and removes stains from particulate soils.
- Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Citrate: pH adjusters to break down grease.
- Benzisothiazolinone: A preservative that prevents bacteria growth.
- Fragrances: These provide a pleasant smell.
- Polyoxyalkylene Substituted Chromophore: Colorants.
Here are the ingredients for Mr. Clean Antibacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner (view detailed ingredients list on SmartLabel):
- Water: A diluent that keeps the ingredients together and allows for easy dosing.
- C9-11 Pareth (NA): A cleaning agent.
- Sodium Carbonate: A builder that breaks down greasy stains and makes it easy to remove them from the surface.
- Sodium Hydroxide: An antimicrobial ingredient that kills bacteria.
- Citric Acid: Controls the pH level.
- Pentasodium Pentetate: A water softener reduces hard water marks (streaks).
- Benzisothiazolinone: A preservative that prevents bacteria growth.
- Green 8 and Acid Yellow 3: Colorants.
- Fragrance: Perfume to add a pleasant scent.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the ingredients in the Mr. Clean Clean Freak Spray (view detailed ingredients list on SmartLabel):
- Water: A processing aid that keeps all ingredients together and allows for dosing.
- Triethanolamine: A solvent and pH adjuster that breaks down greasy stains.
- Lauryl Betaine: A cleaning agent that breaks up and removes greasy stains.
- PEG PPG Ethylhexyl Ether: Another cleaning agent.
- Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether, Sodium Carbonate, and Ethanolamine: Solvent and pH adjusters to break down greasy stains.
- Xanthan Gum and PEG: A viscosity modifier that allows the solution to mist evenly and stick to surfaces.
- Perfume: Fragrances to provide a pleasant scent.
As you can see, Mr. Clean products contain several ingredients, but not ammonia.
How to Use Cleaners That Contain Ammonia Safely
What if you already have ammonia-based products in the house that you don’t want to waste? Or maybe you have to use an ammonia-based product as a requirement for work? Don’t panic. There are ways to use ammonia cleaning products safely.
First, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The packaging will state what to do if ammonia comes in contact with your skin, eyes, or mouth. Familiarize yourself with this advice before you use the product.
Wear equipment to protect your eyes, face, and skin. If you’re working with liquid or gaseous ammonia, wear respiratory protection, such as a mask.
Always ensure proper ventilation—open doors and windows.
When storing ammonia-based products, keep them separate from other chemicals and away from heat and ignition sources such as ovens, microwaves, and furnaces.
Prepare for what you’ll do in the case of a spill, leak, or splash.
Seek medical attention if the ammonia has come in contact with your mouth, skin, or eyes. If you’re using ammonia at work, make sure there is emergency eyewash in an accessible place.
The bottom line—lots of products contain ammonia, but ammonia-free alternatives are gaining popularity and easily accessible. If you need to use ammonia-based cleaners, have a safe plan of action.
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