Can You Use Ammonia for Laundry Odor?

Have you ever experienced mildew laundry and a pungent smell from the piles of clothes? There is no wonder, that bacteria and mildew make the clothes smelly, causing troubles in cleaning and washing. On the other hand, you can find innumerable laundry detergents in the market that ease your workload.

But does ammonia remove stains? Can you use ammonia for laundry odors? It may seem unusual when you hear about ammonia as a washing staple. However, there is no doubt that ammonia has been an effective and versatile cleaning additive.

Ammonia does not only remove laundry odor and stains but also helps you achieve an impressive level of cleanliness. Besides removing odor, Ammonia also adds shine to white clothes and helps in removing grease and oil stains as well.

the featured image of article "can you use ammonia for laundry odor shows a women holding clothes in the basket and seems happy that the odor is gone.

How does Ammonia help remove Laundry Odor?

If you’re having sweaty or musty clothes, try using ammonia in your washing routine. As mentioned earlier, household ammonia formed by hydrogen and nitrogen serves various purposes around the home. More importantly, ammonia does wonders when it comes to laundry.

Moreover, Ammonia would also help in removing the pungent smell caused by underarm sweat if you are someone not using deodorant.

Furthermore, ammonia is a powerful washing agent that fights against multiple issues such as stubborn stains, mildew buildup, fabric, and white dullness, etc. But can you use ammonia for laundry odors? Yeah ammonia, the strong laundry addictive aids in getting stinky smells out of the clothes.

Whether your clothes have become the victim of cooking smell or gasoline odor, household ammonia can help. However, it is crucial to know the right ways of using ammonia as a laundry aid.

Note: ‌Never try mixing ammonia with chlorine bleach‌ as their combination produces a toxic gas called chloramine. This gas causes headaches, chest pain, and nausea and can be life-threatening.

Ammonia itself smells unpleasant, although removes foul odors from the garments once mixed with your detergent. Take ½ cup of the ammonia and put it in the warm hot wash cycle with your detergent. On the other hand, don’t forget to run the second rinse cycle. This cycle ensures that there is no ammonia left on the items.

a man holding his stinking socks which is taken out from closet and his holding his nose in disgust

Here the readers may be wondering can you mix ammonia with laundry detergent? so the answer is yes. Combining detergent with household ammonia is safe in fact quite useful. Although, the detergents ensure that there is no bleaching property present in them. Otherwise, the bleach with ammonia can produce toxic fumes.

Besides that, if your clothes have strong smells that have been ingrained like perfume smell or stain then you need to soak the garment first. For this purpose, take a bucket of cool water and add 1 cup of soda bicarbonate. Submerge the item into the solution, leave for 4 hours, and let it get soaked.

When the time is up, take the item out of the solution and wash it with ammonia. Turn on your washing machine and add 1 cup of ammonia with detergent. Hopefully, your clothes will not stink.

Moreover, in some cases, people leave the clothes in the washer after filling the washer with one cup of ammonia and warm water. The clothes stay in the water for 2 to 3 hours. When the soaking time is over, take out the clothes and wash them as you do daily.

Other Reasons to Use Ammonia in the Laundry

You must have got all the answers if you can use ammonia for laundry odor. Though, the great news is that household ammonia is a complete and all-rounder laundry companion.

Moreover, if you sprayed perfume on your favorite shirt and now you want to remove the smell and maybe use another one then soaking in ammonia mixed with baking soda can help you.

Yeah, you heard it right! Along with removing foul smell, ammonia can be used for different reasons. What are they? Let’s explore them.

1. Removes Stains

There comes an embarrassing moment when you inevitably spill a drink on your new outfit or get a blood stain. The condition becomes worse when you can’t remove the stubborn mark and wear your favorited dress again. In this regard, household ammonia can help right away especially when the fabric is cotton and polyester.

lysol laundry ammonia liquid usage scenarios are shown which is helpful in removing laundry odor

You can take equal parts of ammonia, water and detergent. Add this solution into the spray bottle and spritz on the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes.

After that rinse out and wash properly. Moreover, for blood stains take the equal amount of water and ammonia, and use a cotton cloth to apply solution on the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse it off and launder as you would do.

For laundry use my personal favorite is Lysol laundry liquid ammonia. It is amongst the best seller on amazon and do what it is supposed to.

2. Gives Freshness to Clothes

You may have plenty of clothes that have lost their brightness and have become dull. Also, the whites look yellowish, and toned down. Do you want to make them shiny and fresh again? Add ammonia in your laundry list when you go out for grocery.

Ammonia, a best laundry aid gives brightness to your outfits and make them look new again. Unlike bleach, household ammonia does not affect the colors in fact whitens the whites.

Additionally, ammonia does not harm the fabrics unlike the bleach as the bleaching agents wear down the fibres of the fabric after some time. Just add 1 cup of ammonia to the wash cycle and see the magic!

Note: Ammonia is not safe for woolen and silk clothes alongside bamboo socks.

3. Tackles Grease – Can You Use Ammonia for Laundry Odor?

Did you get a splash of oil on your dress while cooking or accidentally spill grease on the bottoms when dealing with your car’s battery? Ammonia can help immediately, however, like all stainlifters, it works effectively when applied to the stain as soon as possible.

Dab the affected item with equal parts grease-fighting dish detergent and ammonia. Wash with 1 cup of household ammonia and your regular detergent.

liquid ammonia bottle is shown in the picture

4. Treats Bacteria and Mildew

There is great chances of bacterial growth when you’re sweating. The sweat itself doesn’t produce any odor however, when it comes in contact with the skin cells, bacteria arrives. Therefore, you need to get rid of them through washing. In case of Polyester clothes, odor takes long time to go away since theses are not aerated much, like cotton clothes.

On the other hand, your clothes may have built-up moisture over time. This causes the growth of mold and mildew which are hard to remove from the fabrics. Here in both cases ammonia can help you. But, before adding ammonia in the garments, wipe out the visible mildew and dry the affected item to avoid spores spreading.

For solution, dilute ammonia with equal amount of warm water. After that use a scrub or sponge, clean the affected areas properly, and leave for roughly 15 minutes. Then rinse off and clean like you normally would.

Also if you are someone who is suffering from body odor due to intake of spices and turmeric then read this post to educate as to how to get rid of the problem.

5. Softens the Fabric

Do your towels become thick and hard after a wash? If you’re living in a hard water area then you might face this problem. The residues of hard water and minerals tend to cling on your towels. As a result the piles to stick together and makes the towel hard and less absorbent. Well, no worries you can use ammonia in the laundry for quick solutions.

Next time when you wash the clothes use ammonia in the wash cycle. In the presence of ammonia, the deposits will dissolve and release the stuck pieces of fibers. Thus, you will get your soft towel again.

Additionally, some perfume lingers into your cloths and might give you a headache if the smell does not suit you or is very strong for your liking. If you want to remove it then ammonia can come in handy.

Final Thoughts- Can You Use Ammonia for Laundry Odor?

If your detergents are not working well, combine ammonia in your wash cycles. Ammonia is an excellent washing agent that does not only removes the bad odor but deals with several laundry issues.

Furthermore, household ammonia is completely safe to use. However, make sure you wear the gloves and ventilate the area well while using ammonia for the laundry.

Hopefully, there will be no confusion when washing clothes with ammonia as we have clearly answered your queries.


1. Can you put ammonia on colored clothes?

Ammonia is safe for colored clothes as well. It will not ruin the colors of the fabric like oxygen bleach and chlorine bleach. Though, make sure to use household ammonia only.

2. Does ammonia bleach clothes?

No, it does not. A cup of ammonia in the wash cycle is a great way to whiten and brighten your light-colored clothes.

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