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Difference Between Ammonia and Bleach

Ammonia vs Bleach

As both, ammonia and bleach, are being used as household cleaners, it is useful having an understanding on the difference between ammonia and bleach before using any one of them. Cleaning can be a challenging task especially when one has to pay exorbitant amounts for expensive commercial cleaners. However, ammonia and bleach which are two cheap yet effective cleaners provide the perfect solution for this issue since most commercial cleaners contain either ammonia or bleach. Both these cleaners can be used diluted with water or as it is is. However, in order to use these two products efficiently, one must know the difference between ammonia and bleach.

What is Ammonia?

NH3, widely known as ammonia is composed of three atoms of hydrogen and one atom of nitrogen. Nowadays, ammonia is artificially produced by combining all four atoms by force. However, ammonia can be found naturally in the atmosphere because during the decomposition of all organic matters, ammonia is produced. Ammonia can clean any object or surface without changing the object’s or the surface’s color. This is the reason ammonia is quite popular when it comes to cleaning glass, tiles and other hard surfaces. Ammonia has a characteristic pungent smell that makes it easy for it to be identified. It is also considered to be caustic as well as hazardous.

What is Bleach?

Bleach is another form of widely used cleaner. Typically used on fabrics, bleach can also be used on dishes and ceramics as long as it is in its diluted solution.Bleach is commonly used to lighten or remove the color, whiten or disinfect the object that is being cleaned. This type of bleach is called oxidizing bleach. An oxidizing bleach works by breaking the chemical bonds known as chromophore or the molecule responsible for the color. Bleach is produced by combining chlorine, water and caustic soda. Bleaches that do not contain chlorine are based upon peroxides such as sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate or hydrogen peroxide.

What is the difference between Ammonia and Bleach?

Finding inexpensive yet effective household cleaners is a good way of saving up. Both ammonia and bleach are such low-cost cleaners that have also proven themselves to be quite efficient when it comes to difficult-to-clean objects, areas and surfaces. However, both have to be diluted in water prior to using them and should never be mixed together as mixing them together results in a substance that produces toxic fumes. Bleach is suitable for fabrics and, therefore, it can be used in laundry. However, it is not advisable on coloured fabrics as some types of bleach cause discolouration. Ammonia, on the other hand, can cleanse without changing the colour of the object.

Difference Between Ammonia and Bleach


Ammonia vs Bleach

• Ammonia and bleach are cheap yet effective alternatives to commercial cleaners.

• Both ammonia and bleach can be used on difficult-to-clean areas and surfaces.

• Ammonia can clean without discoloring the object. On the contrary, bleach usually makes the object’s color lighter.

• Ammonia is made up of three atoms of hydrogen and one atom nitrogen while bleach is made up of chlorine, water and some type of soda.

• Ammonia is usually used on hard surfaces whereas bleach is used on fabrics.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Clorex and Bleach
  2. Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium Hydroxide
  3. Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium
  4. Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium Nitrate
Image Attribution: Ammonia and Bleach by caesararum (CC BY 2.0)


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