What’s In Your Cleaning Cupboard? 5 Household Chemical Products and How to Handle Them

by emilysmaids - September 14, 2021

Household Chemical Products Emilys Maids

Maybe if you’re team DIY/Green/Homemade, your list of chemical products is reduced to vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and ammonia. On the other hand, you may prefer to keep a wide set of household chemical products for cleaning with all kinds of concentration, uses, and even fragrances.

Some of them might even have a commercial name but time went by and now you have no idea what they can be used for. Here’s when it comes into play the scientific name.

It’s time to go through a bit of a Chemistry class! Here’s a rundown of 5 chemical products that are probably sitting right now in your cleaning cupboard. Let’s find out what you should (and shouldn’t!) be using them for.

Ammonia, Powerful And Strong

Nitrogen trihydride is the correct scientific name, but It’s very uncommon to call it that way, even in the scientific world. This product is an effective degreaser and therefore useful for appliances and surfaces with a continuous presence of oil and grease.

It’s also effective at eliminating odors. Always keep your rooms well ventilated when using ammonia, and use all the protective measures.

It should be handled with extreme care, though, and you should never mix it with other products.

Spray Household Chemical Product Emilys Maids

Sodium hydroxide or Caustic Soda, A Tricky Household Chemical

Caustic soda is a very well-known cleaning agent that is mostly used to unclog drains. This is a risky technique because once the caustic soda reacts with water and it cools down, it solidifies, creating an even bigger problem. On top of your clogged drain, you would also have solidified caustic soda.

The secret here is to keep hot water running before and after caustic soda. This will help caustic soda to run through your drain normally, thus stopping it from setting in your plumbing.

Caustic soda is usually present in oven cleaners as well. It’s not a good idea to let our skin or our breathing come into contact with it so remember to wear gloves, a facial mask, safety goggles, and keep the room with proper ventilation.

Sodium hypochlorite or Bleach, Your Go-to Whitening Agent

Bleach is a great cleaning agent. As you might’ve heard already, it’s used as a whitening agent. Bleach is great if you want to clean and whiten at the same time. This means that you shouldn’t use this on anything that can be decolored such as clothing and floors.

Mixing bleach with any other chemical product is dangerous, especially if they are acidic. For example, mixing bleach with vinegar will create chlorine gas, which can be harmful to your nostrils and lugs.

If you mix it with ammonia, it’s even worse. A gas called chloramine is released, causing irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat.

Your health can be at serious risk if there’s a high concentration so please avoid mixing bleach with any other chemical product.

The exception here is baking soda. Mixing baking soda and bleach can be used for your laundry or for removing mold.

Clorox Bleach Container Emilys Maids

Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda, The Perfect Household Chemical To Combine With Others

This is another popular product known for its service as both a kitchen ingredient and a cleaning agent. It creates an effective cleaning mix when combined with vinegar, releasing salt and water.

There are dozens of combinations with other ingredients to create a cleaning mix for every use you can think of. It can be used for cleaning your washing machine, your floors, your furniture, your clothing, your plumbing, and much more.  

Your #1 Must-Have Household Chemical: Acetic Acid or Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most versatile, beneficial cleaners that can be found in both your cleaning cupboard and your kitchen. Depending on the concentration, it can be used for cooking (up to 5%) or cleaning (6% and up).

Vinegar is safe to use on most kinds of surfaces. It helps with sanitizing surfaces, removing stains, cleaning glass, and deep cleaning your belongings.

It can be mixed with (among many others) lemon, baking soda, detergent, essential oil, borax, salt, or even just plain water, and create an all-purpose cleaning product.

You can read more cleaning solutions using vinegar here.

Ammonia In Spray Bottle


Remember to keep a proper tag for each cleaning product you keep at home. If you lost the original tag, printing out a new one with instructions and warnings would be great.

Also, read carefully the ingredients of your cleaning products. Many of them contain ammonia or caustic soda, for example, and these are two products that need to be handled with care.

Using the right cleaning agent for every situation can take you time to learn, as well as a few errors along the way.

You can always hire a cleaning service if you want to let professionals take care of cleaning your home, including dealing with dangerous products so you won’t have to.

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