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Aqueous Ammonia | Uses And Handling

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Aqueous ammonia simply refers to a water and ammonia solution. It is also known as aqua ammonia or ammonium hydroxide. Aqua ammonia is made by bubbling ammonia gas through water. You can identify it by its colorless appearance and strong, pungent smell.

Correct handling and use of this product guarantee its share of benefits. The sections below go into deeper detail concerning the uses of aqueous ammonia.


Aqueous ammonia has several uses in different sectors and disciplines. It is either used singly or combined with other products to serve the intended purpose.

Household cleansing agent

Many cleaners, including floor, bathroom, carpet, metal, and other all-purpose options, include aqueous ammonia in their composition. Stain treaters and disinfectants also use this solution.

Household ammonia comes with an average of 5-10% ammonia. If you want an effective solution for grime, stains, or glass cleaning, try the ammonia solution.


Some manufacturing processes, including rubber, fertilizer, and plastic production, use aqueous ammonia. In addition, other processes that incorporate chemicals with acidic properties use it as a neutralizer.

Industries that manufacture circuit boards exploit this solution's high alkalinity and corrosive nature to etch specific patterns into the boards.

Food Industry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a regulatory body, identifies ammonia hydroxide as an agent that is safe to use in pH control, leavening, and surface finishing in the food industry. That means its use in food processing is extensive and affirmed.

Personal Care Products

A combination of ammonium hydroxide and lactic acid produces ammonium lactate. This is a medication used to treat the outer skin layer and improve hydration.

Various cosmetics like bleaching products, dyes, and grooming products use aqueous ammonia. You will also find it in a myriad of other products, including anti-aging creams, mascara, facial lotion, and cleanser sunscreen.

Ammonia Leaching

This process is essential in extracting metals like silver and gold from complex ores or their elemental state. A solution of ammonium salts, ammonia, and various oxidants is used in leaching.

Ammonia leaching's effectiveness is unrivaled in refractory gold ores.

Safe Handling and Storage 

Aqueous ammonia needs proper handling in its varied uses. Where personal protective clothing is advised, ensure you wear one.

Aqueous ammonia should always be kept in a well-labeled closed container and stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Ensure it's separated from any incompatibilities and protected against possible physical damage. Don't expose it to direct sunlight.

To Wrap It Up

Aqueous ammonia and other ammonia solutions have innumerable benefits. Check the labels of cleaning solutions in your household, and you will find out just how extensively used aqueous ammonia is.


9 June 2021