[Sca-cooks] A Warning Was Cleaning Metal

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 18 07:47:30 PDT 2008

Was written:

> A friend suggested putting the item in a black plastic bag, covering it 
> with ammonia, and putting it in the sun to heat up for a couple of hours. 
> Ammonia is not as toxic as oven cleaner, just don't mix it with vinegar
> another acid.  I haven't tried this myself.
Do we have a chemist on the list?

While I am not a chemist... please... please... under no cercumstances mix 
ammonia with chlorine bleach either.  It is my understanding that the gas 
generated in the reaction of those two substances is quite toxic.


Ammmonia + chlorine bleach equals = chlorine gas; there are some other nasty chemical reactions that can happen depending on the ratio of ammonia to bleach, and vice versa (think explosive).

While I was working at the Trenton Times, I recall the pool building at Princeton University had to be evacuated once because there had been a cleaning incident  - industrial strength bleach was used around the pools and somehow got into contact with some of the pool chlorine; that was a big oops. Luckily no one got really hurt.

Apparently ammonia and vinegar apparently react to produce salt water. Ammonia being alkaline, vinegar being acid, they neutralize each other ... still, while this reaction was happening, I wouldn't want to breathe in the fumes ...


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