What are the uses of ammonia?

Ammonia is one of the most recognisable chemicals. It is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen that was already known in ancient Egypt. However, it got its name much later, and we started using it relatively recently. In nature, this compound is formed by rotting protein substances.

Published: 18-08-2021

The application of ammonia is very wide. It is mainly used in the chemical, food and agriculture industries. Despite the unpleasant smell, ammonia is a compound with many useful properties.

Application in industry and cosmetics

Ammonia is a chemical compound commonly used in industry. It is most often used in the production of fertilisers. It is abundant in nutrients that enrich the soil. Ammonia is also used in agriculture because it has no negative impact on the environment and soil. Other chemical compounds contained in fertilisers are expected to regulate soil parameters. This translates into much better yields.

Another beneficiary of the capabilities offered by ammonia is, of course, the textile industry. Liquid ammonia has found wide application in the tanning industry, as well as in the production of dyes used in textile colouring. Liquid ammonia is essential in the production of synthetic fabrics. Ammonia solution allows fabric colouring to obtain almost any colour.

Weapons manufacturers use a very large amount of ammonia. Are you wondering what ammonia is used for in the arms industry? Primarily for the production of explosives. It is a flammable compound and it ignites spontaneously at temperatures above 630oC.

Ammonia is widely used in cosmetic industry. This substance, used at a specific concentration, is considered a completely safe substance, therefore, it is very widely used in the production of hair dyes. This compound is meant to open up hair cuticles, increasing dye adhesion. This has a significant impact on the effectiveness of hair colouring, even if it comes with an unpleasant smell during the entire procedure.

As you can see, ammonia is a popular compound in industry and cosmetics. But let us focus on how to use ammonia at home. This topic is probably much more interesting for you.

Ammonia and its application at home

Although ammonia gives off an unpleasant smell, when used properly, it is not dangerous to health or life. Food grade ammonia finds wide application in our households.

In the Middle Ages, ammonia solution was used very often – mainly for disinfection and cleaning. Today, its use is much broader. Manufacturers also provide ammonia powder, which has been used, among others, in the food industry.

Ammonia as a cleaning agent

At home, ammonia is most often used as a cleaning agent. For this, as a rule, an ammonia solution is prepared, and you can do it yourself. It is enough to combine the compound with water. It is true that the smell is not too pleasant, but the effectiveness is guaranteed.

The prepared solution is perfect for cleaning glazed tiles and joints. You can buy a ready-made ammonia-based chemical. It is intended for regular cleaning of ceramic and glazed tiles.

The ammonia solution will not only cope with typical dirt very well, but will also get rid of stubborn, even very greasy stains. You can use food grade ammonia for cleaning glazed tiles, or buy a ready-made product.

For many years, homemakers have been using ammonia solution to clean glass surfaces and windows. Most liquids manufactured for this purpose contain ammonia solution.

If you want to get rid of smudges and greasy stains on glass, mix ammonia powder with water and wash the glass surface with the solution. This will help you avoid leaving unsightly streaks on the glass.

Back in the Middle Ages, ammonia was already used to clean jewellery, gilded and silver-plated cups and dishes. Of course, the smell of the vessels after this operation was not very pleasant, but the jewellery and golden bowls and goblets shined like new.

Ammonia is an excellent cleaning agent. It is worth taking advantage of its properties and getting rid of stubborn dirt from smooth surfaces cheaply and ecologically.

Ammonia as a bleach and ingredient in washing agents

Dried blood on clothes, a persistent stain, or maybe heavily soiled shoe soles? With ammonia, this type of dirt is not a problem any more. All you have to do is soak the footwear or clothes in an ammonia solution. CAUTION! Do not soak them for too long – otherwise you will damage the material! After soaking, clean the shoes and wash the clothes. The stains will disappear quickly without a trace.

Ammonia as a fertiliser for plants in the home and garden

Since ammonia is used in the production of fertilisers for agriculture, you can also successfully use it as a fertiliser for your plants. It is best to spray the leaves with the ammonia solution. However, you should not do it too often, too much ammonia is just as bad as too little.

Is ammonia harmful?

Ammonia, if used in small amounts, is not harmful to health or life. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous for people who have inhaled or contact allergies. Make sure you are not allergic to ammonia before you use it.

Ammonia powder or its solution does not cause poisoning unless you swallow it. However, it is used in industry and people who work with it and are constantly exposed to ammonia are at the highest risk of ammonia poisoning.

The amount of ammonia in cleaning, washing and cosmetic agents does not exceed 5%. At this concentration, poisoning is practically impossible. However, you should always exercise extreme caution when using and preparing ammonia solutions.

Ammonia – a simple compound with great potential

Ammonia has found very wide application in our lives. If you know how to use its full potential, you can make your daily chores significantly easier. If used properly and in the right proportions, ammonia is safe and effective. Therefore, it is produced on a large scale in the chemical industry.

It is also worth adding that, as a result of adding ethylene oxide in the production process and its reaction with ammonia, we can obtain such by-products as diethanolamine and triethanolamine. They are available in the PCC Group offer. These compounds also find a number of applications in various industries.

If you are interested in a wide range of products with equally good cleaning and disinfecting properties, and also used in the cosmetic, food and construction industries, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the offer of sodium hypochlorite and soda lye. The PCC Group is one of the leading manufacturers of these compounds, distinguished by high quality and a production process based on the principles of sustainable development.

Join the discussion
There are no comments
Assess the usefulness of information
- (none)
Your rating