We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Ammonia?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Ammonia is a chemical compound that consists of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms tightly bonded, which gives it the chemical symbol NH3. It can take the form of a strong-smelling liquid or gas. Many consumer and commercial products contain this alkaline substance, including many products that are used to clean grime or fertilize crops. This chemical is hazardous, and even in low concentrations, inhaling it or getting the solution on the skin can cause burning, fainting or possible death. Caution should always be used when one is handling this chemical.


A tiny amount of ammonia forms when organic matter decomposes, so the gas can be found naturally in the Earth's atmosphere. Most of the ammonia that is used is produced through artificial means, however, by bonding the nitrogen and hydrogen atoms together by force. Then the gas can be pressurized to form a liquid for easy distribution to manufacturing plants.


As a gas, this substance is lighter than air, so it won't pool indoors like other dangerous gases, such as propane. Although ammonia has a pungent, distinctive odor, it is clear and difficult to ignite unless it is highly concentrated. This makes it safer than other chemicals for household use, because most people will recognize the smell and avoid touching the chemical or inhaling its fumes.


Ammonia is easily incorporated into water as a solution, so it is used in many cleaners. Window sprays, oven cleaning foams, toilet bowl cleansers, wax removers and other household cleansers often contain 5 percent to 10 percent ammonia. Some types of cleaners should never be mixed. For example, ammonia and bleach form a very dangerous gas, called chloramine, that shouldn't be inhaled.

Commercial cleansers, which often contain 25 percent to 30 percent ammonia, are extremely dangerous because they are highly corrosive. Under careful oversight, liquid ammonia also is used to etch metals such as aluminum and copper, to refrigerate rooms or trucks and to dissolve other elements in chemistry labs. Most of the ammonia that is produced goes to fertilizing crops by providing absorbable nitrogen to plants. Manufacturers of plastics, pesticides and dyes also use the liquid at some point in their synthesizing processes.

At one time, cotton balls were often soaked in ammonia and sealed inside bottles. People who fainted were revived with a whiff of the strong smell. This was generally safe, as long as it wasn't done frequently.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon260734 — On Apr 12, 2012

There is 3.5 percent w/v Cutaneous Emulsion Ammonia in the insect bite and sting solution I have here.

By anon259704 — On Apr 07, 2012

My son is doing an experiment with the below items to make a snow tree: ammonia, bluing, salt, water.

But I am confused since ammonia is glass cleaner. Is that right? Please can you tell me? If you could let me know, it would be a great help for us.

By anon257332 — On Mar 26, 2012

How does ammonia affect potatoes?

By anon236174 — On Dec 22, 2011

Does all the bleaching cream contain acid ammonia?

By anon218373 — On Sep 28, 2011

I was told that ammonia will stop aches and pains if rubbed on the skin. Is this true?

By anon185353 — On Jun 11, 2011

I live close to an aluminum dross landfill? When the dross comes in contact with water, ammonia is created and my neighborhood is breathing this on a daily basis. What are the dangers? My state put this landfill in the city limits of the town I live.

By anon176075 — On May 14, 2011

can i spray it on outdoor plants to keep deer away?

By anon157281 — On Mar 02, 2011

how does ammonia act as a solvent?

By anon155986 — On Feb 25, 2011

I was wondering if you could answer this question: Why is ammonia a gas at room temperature? I cannot find a decent answer on the internet and in the chemistry book there is no answer either. They shouldn't ask a question that a student can't answer.

By anon151640 — On Feb 11, 2011

i want to know what is the part of ammonia in preparing natural rubber?

By anon145502 — On Jan 23, 2011

I used ammonia in a bluing solution to grow crystals for my son's science fair experiment, with temperature being the control. We placed open trays with about four tablespoons of ammonia, one of each, in the freezer and fridge.

After an hour or so, I opened the fridge and was hit with the strong ammonia odor.

My question: was the four tbsp quantity enough to poison my unsealed food, like fruit, veggies, etc.?

Any prompt info much appreciated. Thanks.

By anon100428 — On Jul 30, 2010

I want to know about ammonia safety kits available in India. thanks, Ajit

By anon98437 — On Jul 23, 2010

someone said that ammonia would help with flea bites. How is that, seeing as how I read earlier that it is deadly?

By anon95707 — On Jul 13, 2010

ammonia is a strong base or weak base?

By anon92931 — On Jul 01, 2010

i wanted to know what would happen if i eat or drink a chemical with ammonia in it.

By downieville — On Jun 17, 2010

what happens when ammonia and bleach are mixed together?

By anon90666 — On Jun 17, 2010

can i use the ammonia to improve in my health? is it right for my health?

By anon88658 — On Jun 06, 2010

can i use ammonia to wash my walls?

By anon71917 — On Mar 20, 2010

how does ammonia become an air pollutant?

By anon66874 — On Feb 22, 2010

What is the different between ammonia and ammonium hydroxide?

By anon64945 — On Feb 10, 2010

I'm doing an assignment about fritz haber at riddelsdown collegiate and I'm going to fail because i don't know anything bout him. So can someone help me about ammonia?

By anon51329 — On Nov 05, 2009

Hi, I am concerned as I use a coloring agent for my hair which contains ammonia. Please advise

By anon47805 — On Oct 07, 2009

What do i do if i got ammonia in my mouth?

By anon47804 — On Oct 07, 2009

Don't bleach your eyebrows. it won't make you cool.

By anon46451 — On Sep 25, 2009

is ammonia regulated in canada?

By anon41621 — On Aug 16, 2009

i got in a wreck 4 days ago and the airbags poppped and nitrogen gas is in it and my throat is messed up. what is going to happen?

By anon39300 — On Jul 31, 2009

are we going to die if we inhaled it?

By kelvin4me — On Jan 25, 2009

how many tons of Nitrogen and hydrogen can produce 1000 tons of ammonia per day?

By anon24167 — On Jan 08, 2009

is Ammonia an acid, a base, or a neutral??? i need to know!!!

By anon18869 — On Sep 30, 2008

how is ammonia related to the formation of renal stones?

By anon17369 — On Aug 28, 2008

halo sir

i want to know what is the diffusion of ammonia in 940C and 880 C. basically i want to know the relation between ammonia diffusion with its temperature, especially in heat treatment in vacuum F/C (carbonitriding process)

By sourappleblowpop — On May 18, 2008

you should see a doctor immediately for any possible injuries due to your contact with ammonia!

By anon13012 — On May 17, 2008


I use strong ammonia in bleaching my body from professional people. It is my first time to do personal bleaching, I mixes all materials needed and lastly is the strong ammonia. But when I open the bottle the gas goes through to my eyes, and it hurts now. It swollen and reddish. This morning I can't open my right eye which is infected by ammonia. I want to know what happen on my eyes, what is the effect of that gas through my eyes and also I inhaled some gas I think. Is this harmful to my lungs and other organ. Please help me to know more about using this chemical. Thanks!

By anon6882 — On Jan 11, 2008


I wanted to know what would happen to you if you accidentally were to eat or drink a chemical with ammonia in it. Even if it would be a tiny bit!

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.