I regularly use ammonia in my laundry, but when the whites won’t come clean I use bleach. Should I be worried about the ammonia and bleach interacting?
Bleach and ammonia should NEVER be mixed since when the two combine, toxic gas is formed that could be fatal. And it’s not just ammonia or products containing ammonia (like window cleaner) that can be a problem. Therefore, as a general rule, bleach should not be mixed with other household cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and acids (vinegar, for example) since toxic gas can also form.
Washing your whites in hot water using a good detergent + ¾ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 will give you excellent cleaning and whitening—definitely don’t add any ammonia! For your other loads, you may want to try using Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster along with your regular detergent to give you improved cleaning and brightening. Then you wouldn’t need to worry about ammonia carrying over into other loads – otherwise you should be running a clean out cycle after washing a load that contains ammonia. Finally, take a look at how you are storing your ammonia and your bleach, and make they are kept apart so they can’t combine together (for instance being knocked to the floor during an earthquake).
Have any readers switched from using ammonia to bleach and seen greater success?