Someone with cleaning gloves holds a bottle of window cleaner besides a reusable towel against a window.


Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Toxicity:  Minor toxicity expected in small, accidental ingestions of household liquid ammonia.

Expected symptoms:  One or two mouthfuls can cause throat irritation or an upset stomach with limited nausea and vomiting. Skin exposure can result in a “slippery” feel to the exposed area along with minor irritation.

What to do:  If ammonia has been ingested, rinse the mouth several times with water. After rinsing, drink some water or milk to make the ammonia less irritating to the stomach. If ammonia has gotten on your skin, flush the exposed area with several minutes under lukewarm water using soap freely.

Note:  If your child has gotten ammonia into their eyes, call the Missouri Poison Center now for help on how to rinse the eyes.

Quick Facts about ammonia:

What happens if your child swallows ammonia? We have all the answers for you! 

Household ammonia is used as a cleaner on its own, or as an ingredient in window cleaners and floor waxes.  Ammonia is also the ingredient in smelling salts because the sharp, pungent odor irritates the lining of the nose and lungs which triggers the inhalation reflex (breathing in).  

If household ammonia is accidentally confused as a beverage, the strong smell of ammonia will typically alert a person before much is actually swallowed.  If a small amount is ingested, expect a bad taste with possible throat and stomach irritation, which may lead to vomiting. Exposure to low level ammonia fumes can cause coughing, runny nose and eye irritation.  Individuals with asthma or other sensitivities may have more significant symptoms after exposure to the fumes.

If you find your child has gotten into ammonia, do not panic.  Take the ammonia away from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water or milk to drink.  If problems start or you have questions, call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222.  The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.

IMPORTANT:  If ammonia is more concentrated or “industrial strength” call the Missouri Poison Center right away for advice.

**Note: Don’t forget, every case is different. To make sure you are getting the best information for your individual situation, click below to call or chat. It is fast, free, and confidential.