So here’s the sitch: one of the chemicals found in typical window cleaner, ammonia, is super harmful to your health. Most companies use it in their window cleaning solutions because it has a rapid evaporation rate, so it’s not supposed to leave residue on your windows. What they don’t tell you is that it can be potentially dangerous to you and your family. If you’re reading this, I highly suggest that you read the bottle of your window cleaner and throw it away ASAP if it has ammonia in it!
Don’t get me wrong; you don’t have to forgo window cleaners altogether. If you’re like me, looking through a messy window will drive you crazy, and let’s face it, using a product that leaves streaks doesn’t help anything. That said, you don’t have to compromise your health either. There are a load of alternative ingredients you can use and products that don’t emit harmful fumes. You also don’t have to break the bank. My favorite window cleaner is this plant-based one: Papilion’s Window Cleaner.
What Is Ammonia?
Ammonia hydroxide, commonly known as household ammonia, is a colorless gas. It occurs naturally in humans and animals. We make it while breaking down protein into acids and ammonia and expel it through our urine.
As with most chemicals, humans have manipulated ammonia in manufactured products and in fertilizers to break down grim and mass-produce foods. It’s actually very common too because it’s cheap to produce.
Why Is Ammonia Bad For You?
So you might be thinking, if this chemical occurs naturally, it can’t be that bad. The unfortunate truth is that we, as humans, shouldn’t expose ourselves to high doses of airborne ammonia. When we are, it can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs. Before you start freaking out, there are no known long-term effects from it, but many have complained about a burning sensation in their eyes and throat from the harsh chemical properties. Plus, if you splash ammonia in your eyes, you can go blind.
Worth mentioning, ammonia isn’t that great for the surfaces it cleans either. If you use it on your car, ammonia can damage your windshield. When used over prolonged periods, you’ll notice that ammonia can strip off the tint on your glass. Here’s an excellent article that will detail cleaning your windshield while avoiding these harmful fumes.
I know I just threw a lot of mumble-jumble at you, so here’s the main takeaway: even though ammonia occurs naturally, airborne ammonia can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs. That means ammonia can be especially harmful to kids and babies because they have extra sensitive skin. But it’s not all gloomy - if you’re reading this, you’re already on the first step of becoming informed and making better decisions about your health.
Next time you’re making a purchase, look at the label and choose better ammonia-free products for you and your family.