While ammonia is a strong chemical, it is not considered household hazardous waste and may be safely disposed of when appropriately handled. Incorrect usage of ammonia, however, poses significant hazards. And most errors occur when disposing of ammonia. Ammonia has the formula NH3 and comprises Hydrogen and nitrogen. It is a colorless gas with a pungent odor.
Ammonia is used in many everyday products such as cleaning products, water purification, explosives, and more. Most of these household cleaners contain ammonium hydroxide, an ammonia compound that is effective on almost any surface.
Cons: concentrated ammonia is corrosive; however, in cleaners, it is mildly corrosive, so even then, gloves need to be worn. The upsides include that it helps keep soil nutrients and acts as a plant fertilizer. However, most accidents happen when users need to dispose of the liquids. All ammonia vapor and liquid need disposing of properly, as does ammonia contaminated water and soil.
If there is any release of anhydrous ammonia, it needs controlling because it creates a water disposal problem. (Learn How To Dispose Of Paint Thinner)
In our guide, you can learn more about how to get rid of ammonia. By the end, you’ll know how to safely neutralize any lingering ammonia droplets and dispose of the labeled recyclable container at your nearest recycling center.
Can I Pour Ammonia On The Ground?
Many users ask, can you pour ammonia down the drain?
Here are three safe ways to answer how do you dispose of ammonia. First, avoid direct contact with the chemical and keep it away from your skin.
When disposing of ammonia or ammonia-containing products, use one of the following procedures, even if the amount is small. When disposing of this chemical, wear gloves and a mask for your safety.
Dilute Ammonia With Water
The compound is water-soluble, so to dilute the ammonia with water, use a lot of water. The cheapest and easiest way to dilute ammonia is tap water.
There are many ways to dilute aqua ammonia with water, but the basic guideline is to use more water than ammonia and not more ammonia than water.
- Slowly pour ammonia into the sink while running the water from the water faucet.
- Flush down the toilet, although mixing ammonia with toilet water before flushing. Never use more ammonia than water in the toilet. (not advised if the toilet is connected to a septic system)
If your ammonia solution is concentrated, it needs to be diluted with plenty of clean water before disposal. Diluting ammonia is essential for if it is drained concentrated, it will harm your plumbing and the mixture; even diluted can harm the skin and lungs.
Water dilutes concentrated ammonia, thus making it a lot safer. It is always best to use running water to dilute concentrated ammonia.
However, if there is a lot of ammonia, a sink with running water will do.
It doesn’t matter which way you dilute the ammonia, and even if it isn’t a household hazardous waste, don’t inhale it or let it touch your skin. Instead, keep a well-ventilated area or open the windows. (Learn How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Baking Soda)
After disposing of ammonia, rinse the sink and dry it with a clean cloth.
Remember, such procedures are not recommended for homes using a septic system where they discharge wastewater into the ground.
Traces of ammonia can contaminate groundwater. If you have one, you can try these alternative ammonia disposal options.
Ammonia is also commonly neutralized. To do this, you’ll need a container, baking soda, dry sand and cat litter
Mix equal parts of these three items and use them to clean up ammonia spills or dispose of them.
The chances are that you have spilled ammonia while handling ammonia. Touching it with bare hands won’t be safe.
One thing you can do is sprinkle the mixture over your ammonia.
- Continue to sprinkle the dry mix over ammonia until it completely soaks up all the ammonia.
- To scoop this mixture containing ammonia, the right thing to do would be to use a plastic spoon.
- Collect the material using a plastic spoon and place it in an empty container.
- If the container is full, place the remaining dry mixture in a plastic bag, and throw it away.
Concentrated ammonia is a hazardous material, regardless of how much excess ammonia you have.
To dispose of ammonia, mix the above with the ammonia. After a while, it will dry, and you can then scoop this up and dispose of it as usual.
Ensure you wear a mask as you can inhale particles. Wear gloves for skin protection, and dispose of your neutralized ammonia right away by tossing it in the garbage can.
Dispose Of An Ammonia Container
You can’t dispose of a container that contains excess ammonia, even if it’s in small quantities, so don’t discard an ammonia container until you’ve emptied it.
The container must be rinsed to remove the remaining ammonia. Rinse with water to dilute any ammonia residue in the bottle.
If the container is not recyclable, throw it away in the trash can like any other container; otherwise, take it to your local recycling center.
What Do You Do With Ammonia?
The sink should be cleaned adequately once the ammonia has been dumped down the drain.
- There’s a good chance there’s still some ammonia residue in the sink. To get rid of any remaining ammonia leftovers, run a lot of water through your sink.
- To ensure that all ammonia is gone, wipe the entire sink with a clean tissue paper or a clean and dry towel after splashing it with water.
- You’ll avoid accidentally spilling toxic chemicals on ammonia, which may lead to a horrible situation.
- Allow at least one minute for the water to run. Then, use a spray nozzle to make rinsing easier.
Take Care With Septic Tanks
If you have a septic tank, you must take extreme caution. For example, ammonia poured down the drain may not be a good idea if you have a septic tank. (Learn How To Dispose Of Fireplace Ashes)
If you’re familiar with septic tanks, you’ll know that they dump wastewater into the ground so it can drain away naturally. Ammonia will contaminate your groundwater if this happens.
If you use a well for your water supply, this can be a concern.
If you’re concerned about ammonia leaking into the ground from your septic tank, neutralize it and dispose of it with ordinary household waste.
Neutralizing ammonia is a complex procedure. Using the dry mixture of dry sand, cat litter, and baking soda could be a more environmentally friendly option to remove all the ammonia.
What You Don’t Do With Ammonia
If not handled properly, ammonia is still a harmful chemical. Here are some things to avoid when using or disposing of ammonia!
Don’t Inhale ammonia
Ammonia corrodes and irritates. Inhalation causes mild to severe nasal and throat irritation and a burning feeling in the nose and respiratory tract from the dangerous gas it gives off. Symptoms of inhaling ammonia include difficulty breathing.
Inhalation of ammonia can induce coughing, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the respiratory airways.
Children and dogs are especially at risk if exposed to this chemical, storing it safely. Also, dispose of ammonia when no children or dogs are present.
Don’t Get Ammonia On Your Skin
Ammonia causes mild to severe irritation and burning of the eyes and skin. The symptoms and effects of ammonia exposure vary depending on the quantity of ammonia involved.
Cleaning products containing ammonia and colors are the most prevalent source of skin contact with ammonia. This can cause skin burns, eye irritation, blindness, or permanent eye damage. Remember that having ammonia in your eyes or being exposed to large quantities of ammonia may not cause symptoms for a week.
These concerns apply to all ammonia contact, whether gas or liquid and products containing high concentrations.
Don’t Mix Ammonia With Other Substances
Ammonia does not mix well with bleach and should not be used with other chemicals at home. When ammonia and bleach are combined, a hazardous gas is produced.(Learn How To Clean Stove Drip Pans)
Inhaling ammonia gas generated by mixing bleach with ammonia is harmful to respiratory and skin systems. Also, do not mix ammonia with bleach since this can cause harm to both people and the environment.
Don’t mix ammonia with other cleaners. Instead, dispose of each cleaner separately and safely. Clean all containers immediately after disposal of chemicals to ensure no residues remain in your home.
You can use the same ways to dispose of other compounds as you did for ammonia. Each cleaner should be poured down the drain using lots of water.