[Sca-cooks] A Warning Was Cleaning Metal

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Fri Sep 19 06:23:48 PDT 2008

> What about vinegar and ammonia?
> Gianotta (who had to watch a lot of film strips in high school chem class
> because the teacher was too afraid a student would accidentally gas the
> lab during a bench experiment)

Vinegar is primarily acetic acid, CH3COOH.  Ammonia is ammonium hydroxide
NH4OH.  Both are usually in a 5% solution.  Since both of these are
relatively weak, I would say you will get some free nitrogen and carbon
molecules (probably in solution), some carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
gases, water, and a little carbonic acid.  I'm not quite sure how they would
interact, but the base molecules are relatively innocuous.  I wouldn't mix
them in a closed space, but I wouldn't worry about spilling the two liquids
together until we started reaching tank car scale.

The worst result of mixing them would likely be degrading each's cleaning

I took chemistry in the U. S. military school system in Germany.  Carbon
tetrachloride was prohibitted on base, so the teacher warned us we would be
using a substitute to meet the regulations.  Then he says, "Be sure to read
the poison warning in your textbooks.  If anything, the substitution is more
deadly than carbon tet."  The teacher didn't keep us from the dangerous
experiments, but he did spend quite a bit of time working with us on using
the safety equipment in the lab.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list