Ammonia for Easy Handwash Dishes

When you start to wash dishes by hand, plug the sink (of course, LOL) and start the hot water. Fill the sink only halfway up (or less) and squirt dish detergent in the sink. Then pour a couple of ounces of ammonia into the sink. Sounds crazy, right? But you will find you have the richest, soapiest abundance of soapsuds you have ever had!


At that dilution, the smell isn't noticeable, but the ammonia does the scrubbing for you. I don't care what it is; dried egg yolk, dried stuck on spaghetti, doesn't matter. Put the plates in the sink one at a time, letting each one get wet, and then the forks and spoons, etc., off to one side. By the time you get the rest of the table cleaned off and wiped and the water is cooled enough to put your hand in, just wipe the plates with the sponge. Repeat this process with glasses and cups, letting them sit in the sink while you rinse the plates, and they will sparkle when they are rinsed! Pots and pans are so much easier to clean with the ammonia in the water, too.

I can't remember the last time I had to really scrub anything. The soapy ammonia water is great for washing the cutting blade of your electric can opener or getting a shiny, squeaky clean coffeepot carafe. When wiping down the stove top, if something is cooked on, lay a rag over it and dampen the rag with a little of your ammonia dishwater and let it set for a few. Then wipe it up, easy as you please. Same for wiping down the toaster, can opener, food processor, etc. Just be sure to go back over them with another rag wet with just clean water.

You can also pour a little ammonia in your dishwasher at the beginning of the wash cycle; the dishes get SO much cleaner.
Note: Do not, DO NOT use bleach or Comet or Ajax or anything else with chlorine in it, to clean, while you are using the ammonia! If you want to bleach anything, do that with water without ammonia.

And a bonus reminder; mix your shampoo roughly half and half with vinegar; richer suds, cleaner hair, lots less cost.


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November 14, 20152 found this helpful

I use ammonia for lots of cleaning tasks. I have never thought of adding it to dish water. But then, I rarely have enough dishes to warrant filling the sink with water. I would imagine it is very effective. I would be cautious of soaking aluminum pots and pans in water with any appreciable amount of ammonia added. Ammonia is corrosive to aluminum and will dull a bright aluminum finish. The two together produce aluminum hydroxide and hydrogen gas.

Remember the old Wisk commercial, 'Ring Around The Collar'? For about one twentieth the cost, household ammonia would have done a better job. By being a superb grease cutter, it is very effective at removing body oils.


To make sure all body oils are removed from my bed linens, I always add ammonia to my wash water. As you pointed out, one must never add ammonia to water in which chlorine bleach will be added.

I've said it before. I'll say it, again. Household ammonia is the cheapest, most effective grease cutter you can buy. Without researching, I'm sure, producing a half gallon of household ammonia would be far more environmentally friendly than producing a half gallon of regular laundry detergent. Clear, non sudsing ammonia is nothing more than water and ammonia. Both are natural components of our atmosphere.

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October 9, 20170 found this helpful

I just tried ammonia for the first time. Prior to this, I've used either baking soda or washing soda to soften my hard dishwater. The ammonia makes the water feel more soapy and has the added benefit of being a liquid, not a powder, and therefore not producing any sediment or leaving a residue on the dishes.


Thanks! I found you after I thought of trying ammonia, but googled and found you to see if this was a good idea.

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