Is Ajax Flammable? (A Comprehensive Overview)

Is Ajax Flammable?

Ajax cleaning products are not flammable. But they can act as combustible materials.

Ajax powder cleanser with bleach, Ajax Dish Soap and Ajax Spray & Wipe have a fire hazard degree of 1 according to the safety data sheet provided by the company website.

A fire hazard degree of 1 refers to materials that require considerable preheating before ignition can occur, according to the information found on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of the United States of America website. 

The same degree of fire hazard (1) is attributed to Ajax dish soaps and Ajax Spray & Wipe.

In other words, the above mentioned ajax cleaning products pose a significantly low risk of catching on fire under normal conditions. For them to possibly be ignited and sustain a fire, intense preheating would be necessary.

What are Ajax Fire Hazards?

The fire hazards associated with the forego ajax cleaning products are low.

Increase in Electrical Conductivity of Water

When mixed with water, some cleaning products can increase electrical conductivity, given the increase in electrolytes in the solution in comparison with pure water.

A furniture or floor that was recently cleaned can momentarily turn more electrically conductible.  Posing a small risk for sparks to occur.

Cleaning Products Contain Substances that can Produce Hazardous Gases if in Contact with other Chemicals

Mixing the cleaning products with reactive substances such as ammonia or strong oxidizers. Besides producing toxic vapors, mixing cleaning products with ammonia can produce flammable or explosive gases.

Some hygiene products or other cleaning products may contain trace amounts of ammonia. Therefore, mixing different products may pose some danger.

Under What Circumstances Can Ajax Cleaning Products Burn?

In situations of extremely high temperatures, above 800 ºC, some cleaning products can become able to catch on fire if in contact with a naked flame or sparks.

Further Insights on Selected Ajax Cleaning Products

Following three ajax cleaning products will have their ingredients listed along with individual properties of each ingredient (that is the pure substances).

  • Ajax Dish Soap
  • Ajax Powder Cleanser
  • Ajax Spray & Wipe

Some Information on Ajax Dish Soap (Without Bleach)

This cleaning product has a variety of formulations, none of them is considered flammable. The specific information in regards with its ingredients and safety precautions are in the products label.

Ajax Dish Soap Ingredients

Listed below are the ingredients of one specific dish soap (adapted from the company website). The main difference in the formulations of dish soaps is in regards to the colorants and with the fragrances.

As with most cleaning products, these dish soaps do contain substances which are flammable in pure form such as acetic acid. However, in mixtures containing mostly water and other non flammable substances, limone does not pose a significant fire hazard.

Ingredient nameChemical formulaIs it flammable?Is it combustible?
Acetic acidCH3COOHYesYes
Ammonium lauryl sulfate CH3(CH2)11OSO3NH4NoYes
Ammonium C12-15 alkyl sulfateCH3(CH2)nSO4NH4 (n = 11 – 14)NoYes
Ammonium C12-15 pareth sulfateNoYes
BenzisothiazolinoneC₆H₄SNCOYes
Lauramidopropylamine oxideC17H35NO3NoYes
MethylisothiazolinoneC4H5NOSYes
Pentasodium pentetate C14H18N3Na5O10No
Poloxamer 124HO(C2H4O)n(CH3CHCH2O)m(C2H4O)nHNoYes
Sodium bisulfiteNHSO3NoNo
Sodium chlorideNaClNoNo
WaterH2ONoNo

Ajax Powder Cleanser

This ajax product may catch on fire only in severe conditions. It is estimated that it would need to be heated to above 800 ºC based on its fire hazard degree.

If isolated from the whole formula, limonene and turpentine are themselves flammable substances. But for these substances to be isolated from the powder cleanser a very laborious (if not unfeasible) procedure would need to be performed.

Ajax Powder Cleanser Ingredients

Below the ingredients of this cleaning product are represented along with some fire related characteristics.

It is important to note that mixtures and pure substances have different behaviors. The information provided in this table is for the substance in its pure form at normal conditions. The cleaning product formula itself cannot be inferred from only these properties.

Ingredient nameChemical formulaIs it flammable?Is it combustible?
Calcium carbonateCaCO3NoNo
Sodium carbonateNaCO3NoNo
LimoneneC10H16YesYes
TurpentineC10H16YesYes
Trichloroisocyanuric acidC3Cl3N3O3No*Yes
Sodium chlorideNaClNoNo

(*)Trichloroisocyanuric acid is a strong oxidizing agent with possible chemical hazards.

Ajax Spray & Wipe

This cleaning product does contain some flammable substances in its formulation, such as ethanol, dipropylene glycol butyl ether and ethoxylated alcohols. Nonetheless the product itself is not flammable because the flammable substances are diluted in water.

This product can act as a combustible if exposed to continuous high temperatures.

Ajax Spray & Wipe Ingredients

Below the main ingredients for the formulation of Ajax Spray & Wipe adapted from the company website. The ingredients may be different in some cases, therefore the specific composition and safety recommendations to follow are provided in the product label.

Ingredient nameChemical formulaIs it flammable?Is it combustible?
EthanolCH3CH2OHYesYes
Ethoxylated alcoholsYesYes
Dipropylene glycol butyl etherCH3(CH2)3OCH2CH2OCH2CH2OHYesYes
Lactic acidC3H6O3YesYes
Sodium Dodecyl Benzene SulphonateCH3(CH2)11C6H4SO3NaNoYes
Sodium HydroxideNaOHNoNo
Sodium chlorideNaClNoNo

Mixing Different Cleaning Products is Dangerous

Mixing different cleaning products or even cleaning products with cosmetics can be quite dangerous.

Cleaning often contains strong oxidizing substances in their formulations, bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and trichloroisocyanuric acid are common examples. They can react violently with substances from different products, in rare cases flammable gases can be produced.

If bleach (or a bleach containing product) is in contact with ammonia (or an ammonia containing product), monochloramine (ClNH2) is produced. Monochloramine, also called just chloramine, is extremely dangerous to human and animal health.

Besides its high toxicity, chloramine is also capable of catching on fire under high temperatures.

Although bleach can be present in high amounts in cleaning products, ammonia is less likely to be present in significant amounts in most common products.

Symptoms of Chloramine Exposure

The severity of symptoms of chloramine exposure depend directly on the amount of chloramine gas that was inhaled and on the conditions of the individual.

Symptoms include:

  • Irritation to the eyes causing tearing to the eyes.
  • Irritation to the nose.
  • Irritation to the throat and airway.
  • Irritation to the lungs, causing coughing and short breath. Higher exposure can lead to pulmonary edema.
  • High exposure can lead to coma or death.

Bleach and Ammonia Chemical Reaction

Below the chemical reaction equation of bleach (NaClO) and ammonia (NH3) is represented.

Chloramine is a volatile liquid at regular temperature and pressure.

The chemical reaction between bleach and ammonia also forms sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide can promote the reaction to further produce hydrazine (N2H4) and water, hydrazine is also highly toxic to humans.

Brief Introduction On the Flammable and Combustible Terms

What does Flammable Mean?

A substance or mixture of substances are considered flammable if they can catch on fire when all the following conditions are true:

It is in contact with air.

A naked flame, spark or other ignition source is subjected to the given material.

The temperature is not above a specific value, usually 93 ºC.

The flammability of a given material is more accurately determined by classifications. Two different materials can both be flammable, while one of them produces a mild fire and the other burns violently and can even cause an explosion.

The competent authorities and associations provide more specific classifications which are based on tests, base knowledge and research.

What does Combustible Mean?

A combustible material is one that can catch on fire and sustain this fire in the presence of air.

A combustible material is not necessarily flammable.

Conclusion

The question ‘is Ajax flammable?’ was answered. Ajax cleaning products are not considered flammable. Only under severe conditions can they catch on fire.

Most cleaning products formulations do contain flammable substances, however these substances are diluted in non flammable substances such as water.

The main hazards associated with cleaning products were also briefly discussed.

For precise information the specific product label or company should be referred to.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is Ajax Flammable?

What happens when you mix bleach with Ajax?

Ajax dish soap may contain trace amounts of ammonia, which means that mixing it with bleach will produce toxic fumes such as chloramine.

What should you not mix with Ajax?

Cleaning products should not be mixed with bleach, ammonia, cosmetics, sanitizers, alcohols, acids, or any other reactive chemicals.

Is there bleach in Ajax?

Some ajax products do contain bleach. This information is clearly provided in the given product label.

Can I mix Ajax with Clorox?

No, mixing these two products can cause the release of highly hazardous fumes. For instance, ajax dish soap may contain trace amounts of ammonia and the bleach in Clorox can react with ammonia releasing potentially fatal chloramine gas.

Can you mix Ajax with vinegar?

That is not recommended, vinegar contains acetic acid which in turn can react with basic substances present in many cleaning products.

These can cause the effectiveness of the cleaning product to be reduced.

It can also lead to release of potentially toxic fumes.

Does Ajax have ammonia in it?

Some ajax cleaning products undergo processes that use ammonia during production. Therefore it is possible they contain ammonia. The specific data is provided in the product label.

Many formulations do contain the ammonium cation (NH4+) which is the conjugate acid of ammonia (NH3).

Is Ajax harmful to skin?

Yes most of the substances that make up cleaning products are harmful to skin and the eyes. Using rubber gloves is recommended.

Is Ajax an abrasive?

If used on the recommended surfaces they should not be abrasive. If used extensively or on non recommended surfaces they can act as an abrasive.

References

Safety data sheet for Ajax Cleanser Powder with Bleach:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/smartlabel/35000053640 (Accessed March 29th, 2022)

NFPA standard system:

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=704 (Accessed March 29th, 2022)

Ajax Dish Soap Ingredients:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/smartlabel/35000498632 (Accessed March 29th, 2022)

Ajax Powder Cleanser Ingredients

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/smartlabel/35000053640 (Accessed March 29th, 2022)

Ajax spray & wipe ingredients:

https://www.colgatepalmolive.com.au/brands/ajax/ajax-spray-wipe/ajax-spray-wipe-bathroom (Accessed April 11th, 2022)

Information on the dangers of mixing bleach with ammonia: https://www.healthline.com/health/bleach-and-ammonia (Accessed April 11th, 2022)

K. Hahn, J.A. Weber, Bleach, Editor(s): Philip Wexler, Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition), Academic Press, 2014, Pages 519-521, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00699-0.

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment