Return to the Cleaning Tips Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Posted by dilly_dally (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 1, 08 at 18:13

Everybody already knows not to mix bleach and ammonia right?

My mother knows this too. What she did not know is that both Dawn and Joy contain ammonia. She does not read labels on things she buys even though I try to tell her this is always important.

She has been complaining recently of her voice going squeeky occasionally and not feeling right. During this past holiday she had the squeeky voice again. She said something about how she was "just cleaning the kitchen" and her voice went. I asked her if she had sprayed any cleanser, thinking she had inhaled something bad. She said "No".

Later in the kitchen my eyes started burning. My throat started burning. My lungs burned. I asked her if she had sprayed some sort of cleaning product around. Again she said "No". I couldn't stay in the room it was so bad for me. Something was wrong. She thought I was nuts.

Then I found out that she was soaking the roaster pan with what she said was "dish soap and bleach" to cut the grease. She was always a loyal Palmolive user. A light bulb went off and I asked her if she used Dawn. I told her Dawn has ammonia in it and it says right on the bottle not to mix with bleach. No, she said she used Joy. I did not know anything about Joy. I subsequently went home and looked it up using the Internet and found that it does contain ammonia. I called her. NOW, she decides to read the bottle and says "Oh. It does say on the bottle not to use with bleach." Geesh.

Mixing bleach and ammonia is dangerous and people have died from doing it. She could have killed us all with the fumes.

I got no apology from her for thinking I was nuts for my burning eyes and throat. Yeah, a real drama queen I am.

I am not saying that Dawn or Joy are bad products. I am just advising people to READ the labels, even on "simple" products like dish detergent so that they can be used properly. I'm sure that my mother is not the only one who has made this mistake.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Thanks for warning us. I often soak pots. and I buy whichever dish soap is cheapest-Dawn,joy,Palmolive. I'll read labels from now on.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

And do not mix bleach with windex...some formulas contain ammonia...nor toilet cleaner...
In fact....don't mix bleach with anything but soap!
And don't mix ammonia with anything but soap!
Our cleaning products today contain a lot of different chemicals....andw e have a tendency to think of the "old timey stuff" like vinegar and ammonia and chlorox as harmless and not "chemicals".
Not so....baking soda is a chemical as well as vinegar, ammonia etc.
Use plain soap if you don't know chemistry....or one product...but don't mix unless you know what you are doing!
Linda C


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

That's good to known and thanks for posting. But why would anyone use bleach in cleaning a greasy pan in the first place?


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

I would never think of using bleach in washing a greasy pan either. I've never heard of this ever!
I'm a loyal Dawn user, and find anything else just doesn't do the job.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Posted by graywings: That's good to known and thanks for posting. But why would anyone use bleach in cleaning a greasy pan in the first place?

Ya got me on that one. I don't know how my mother thinks of these things. I asked her the same question. She said she adds bleach because it "makes the glassware sparkle" and cuts the grease. She had the pan soaking in the sink and had washed other things in the water previously. She does not own a dishwasher BTW and everything is hand washed.

I know that when I was a kid we washed the kitchen floor with a bucket of Palmolive and bleach. Her idea. She never bought any special "floor cleaner". We cleaned the toilet with Palmolive and bleach. I guess it's her "thing". Shes been using her detergent and bleach combo for decades. It's just that nowdays some dish detergent contains ammonia and she did not think to read the label.

Nowdays dish detergent has many new additives that they did not use back in the '50s and '60s. Long time products on the market can change to a "new and improved" formula overnight.

Also, a lot of people just do not know the difference between DETERGENT and SOAP. Lots of people. Lots.

Not to derail the topic here.............but I can't convince my mother the importance of reading any label on a product including food. The doctors want my father to drink a glass of cherry juice every day. She was buying some crap that was just cherry flavored sugar water. No real juice. No cherries. I pointed this out to her. She just insists that the front of the label says in screaming letters *Cherry* so it must be good! And "who is gonna read the backs of of the jars?!?" I try explaining to her the importance of reading the labels on those aerosol dessert topping as some of them are real dairy, and some are just a bunch of chemicals, (Neither one is healthy.) and my father is lactose intolerant. No wonder he is always feeling poorly. OK. Enough of my rant. I guess I should be thankful that we are not all dead from her cleaning mix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry Juice for Pain.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

DD - I feel your pain. I know from personal experience that there comes a point where some (not all) elderly people simply refuse to take in and process new information.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

dilly dally:
Your mother and my father think the same way. My father has crazy mixed up ways of doing certain things that none of us can figure out. At least your mother tries to be clean! Many of these odd things my dad does center around cleaning (or lack thereof) processes. He will use one sponge for everything. Washing dishes (refuses to use the dishwasher), cleaning up bird poop from the deck, paint spills whatever strikes his fancy. All with the same sponge. Last summer at our shore house I caught him washing the toilet brush in the same plastic tub that he washes our dishes in. He could not understand at all why we were all screaming about this. I threw away the bird poop sponge by waiting until he left the kitchen and jamming it all the way down to the bottom of a very full garbage bag. Coffee grinds, egg shells, table scraps, etc were all on top of the sponge. Can you believe he actually dug this 39 cent sponge out of that garbage and put it back in the sink for use? And, he was absolutely furious with me for tossing it!!
I could go on and on and on with stories of my dad and his odd and unsanitary habits, but I don't want to make anyone sick!


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Cearab, OMG! I would refuse to eat at his house and I'm not even a germ nut. I clean everything but I don't go too heavy on the disinfecting because I think it's good to be exposed to some germs but the toilet brush going anywhere near where dishes are cleaned ughck. Bird poop... gross!I think you gave me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it! Uhhh *shudders*

dilly dally,
Thanks for the tip. I knew not to mix cleaning products because the bleach ammonia thing but I had no idea dish soaps would have ammonia. I have chickens and after cleaning the dishes I wash the eggs in the rinse water which has some soap residue in it I also add a little bit of bleach to disinfect the eggs. I've been lucky so far that it's been small amounts because I use dawn. I purposely use vinegar to clean almost everything in the house to avoid toxic chemicals, it figures that the one place I use a strong chemical I end up slowly poisoning myself. I'm gonna end up getting one of those Lotus sanitizing systems I read about on this forum so I can kick the bleach too.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

I'm glad I may have saved someone's health or life. You can use bleach with other dish detergents that do not contain ammonia. The ones that contain it usually advertise themselves as being the 'grease cutters' like Dawn. I was going to recommend Ivory. I was browsing Google reading about soaps and saw that Ivory is now called ULTRA Ivory and touts grease cutting ability. The word 'ultra' is in teeny tiny letters above the word Ivory. You can hardly see it. I bet that it has ammonia in it now. I'll check a bottle at the store.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Thank you for this warning! I use Joy in my sink mounted soap dispenser and I also occasionally used a bleach based cleaner to disinfect my sink. I had no idea that I was mixing chemicals that were dangerous. I am so glad that I came across this information, thanks.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Google for more info. I have been telling my family Thanksgiving story about my mother's folly, to a few people and I am AMAZED at how many people do not know about the Bleach/Ammonia thing. I thought that was common knowledge, but that not many people knew that the manufacturers were now adding ammonia to the "new and improved grease cutting" dish detergents. I hope this thread prevents someone from mixing cleaners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bleach and Ammonia


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

But remember it's not just ammonia...it is any ingredient that "alkalanizes" the detergent.
I don't mix bleach with anything but launcry detergent and I keep the lid of the washer shut.
Bleach alone is an awesome cleaner and a 10% solution a remarkable disinfectant.
Linda C


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Funny you should mention this. Last week I was at the store and I tend to watch prices on common items I purchase and since Joy went up about 45% recently and dropped a few cents I wanted to see what the current prices were. I have become a fan of the Dawn with bleach alternative. I find it does a better job on the microwave cookware. Anyway I was looking at the bottle to see what was in it and saw the warning not to mix with bleach. I was curious. I know about not mixing bleach and ammonia in an unventilated area. And I know about the paranoia that was around a while back when one poster was saying I'd blow up the world by mixing them to kill off snakes and rodents. So I started thinking about it, I started wondering just how dangerous it REALLY is. First of all in a sink of water, what, 5 gallons? Maybe more? You use what, a teaspoon to a tablespoon of detergent? Then, how much ammonia or ammonia-like substance is in that tablespoon? Couple drops maybe? I'm skeptical about the size of the real danger. Now, I do know from experience that using a lot of bleach, and bleach users tend to use a LOT of bleach, right? But using a lot can really have an impact on breathing and the lungs as you described. And that's without using ammonia with it. I'm wondering if your experience is more with the bleach than the mixture. I'd have to wonder how many bottles she put in there to get a reaction. I find it very plausible that a lot of bleach was used, though.

If this is the case, then there's a sanitizing issue on the "wash, rinse, sanitize" procedure recommended by health departments. I should ask the next time I see an inspector and see what their position is.

Let's not forget people that use vinegar. I do. Does anyone else? Washing salad plates, cruets and prep bowls also have vinegar in them and should not be mixed with ammonia, in certain amounts. If we go by the warning on this post, you can't use Dawn or Joy to wash salad plates! Sorry folks, I just don't buy that.

I'm not an expert (and sure don't claim to so be), nor it seems is anyone else here, but I don't think I'm going to lose sleep over bleaching my sink, brushes and sponges as I do occasionally and then wash some dishes in that sink or with the brush or sponge. And I'll continue to use Dawn and Joy on my salad plates too.

But I'll keep an eye to the sky in case something starts to fall. ;)


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Cynic posted: "If this is the case, then there's a sanitizing issue on the "wash, rinse, sanitize" procedure recommended by health departments. I should ask the next time I see an inspector and see what their position is.

Yes you should. You need to become informed! It is important.

It varies city by city due to local ordinances. In general health departments want heat sanitization in large scale, food serving establishments. In situations where chemical disinfectents are allowed, iodine based sanitizers are used predominantly. Where bleach based sanitizers are used there is a certain detergent that is used for the wash and the two are sold as a set to work together. Same with the iodine ones, they are sold as sets. And workers are warned not to switch out one or the other if they run out of one.

BTW detergent that is used for washing dishes and glassware in commercial places is no/low suds. Sudsing agents are just put into the home products to impresse the housewife.

Here is an interesting story in a blog about mixing Windex with bleach and burning lungs and throat titled "Bleach and Ammonia; Who Knew??". Duh.
http://emotionalcaseofglassimin.blogspot.com/2008/05/bleach-and-ammonia-are-bad-mix-who.html

If you want it explained a scientific manner ;) read here....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A795611

and here ;) for more.........

http://www.parish-supply.com/chemicals_in_closet.htm

I have no idea how vinegar got brought into this????? What the heck does vinegar have to do with this topic? Vinegar and bleach are two entirely different things. The ammonia in the dish detergent, and the vinegar neutralize to form a buffer FYI. ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: The Experts


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

My MIL thinks it is a complete waste of her son's money that I buy toilet bowl cleaner.

She just pours some bleach in the bowl with a squirt of dish soap.

It does work -- can't say I ever thought it was a bad idea.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Dilly Dally, I had no idea any DW detergents had ammonia and have to say I wish they wouldn't do that. I use a "natural" brand from Williams Sonoma/Caldrea, but actually there have been times when I might put a dash of Clorox in with some Joy in a bucket to do a special chore. I will be more careful now, there are too many chemicals out there already, we don't need to mix up our own potentially harmful or at best irritating concoctions. Thanks for alerting us.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Keep in mind that when adding water (H2O) or even by adding heat by using HOT water you can get even different chemical reactions. When you mix ammonia and bleach in a bucket of water there are more hydrogen atoms from the water to grab. The whole thing turns to a toxic "soup" while releasing gas. You do not SEE the gas. You may not even smell it since your nervous system becomes impaired and your senses become numb. Of course water itself is harmless but think of how lye works........When it hits water there is a chemical reaction with the water and it becomes active. One of the most difficult equations in my chemistry classes, well difficult for me at least, was to hammer out those that would involve heat. It was like a wild card. Don't ask me to hammer the equations for this stuff here. I haven't studied chemistry in decades. Here are some simple explanations of the process though.

Scroll to the bottom for the science:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/F95205?thread=3046522

In a nutshell:
http://www.chemistryquestion.com/English/Questions/ChemistryInDailyLife/3c_bleach_cleaner.html


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

I agree, education is important. Your Palmolive mixture got me curious. Many sites warn about mixing Oxi products with bleach and the like so I wondered about the dish liquids that use, or claim to use, Oxi, such as Palmolive. You may wish to look at the Colgate-Palmolive site under the heading "Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid". "Remember never use your dish liquid in an automatic dishwasher, and never mix your dish liquid with bleach or ammonia." (emphasis added) So it appears your other brands may not be as safe as you assume. I haven't checked out any other brands as yet, but I suspect they may be similar in warnings. I'm surprised you've survived this long! ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Palmolive FAQs


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Bleach fumes: Back to wash, rinse sanitize: so for those of us who may have kept more than a few critters at a time and carefully considered quarantines and zoonoses, we learned wash, rinse sanitize because if you use bleach solution for example to sanitize surfaces still having dirt as in waste products as in Ammonia, you don't sanitize anything and release fumes. Also seems to me decades ago on health show I listened to it was explained that the ammonia/bleach combo released PCB's? Anyway, remember it wasn't all that long ago we consumers started seeing "germicidal" or higher concentration bleach for sale which meant lugging home less liquids so I did. I was using bleach/water to sanitize clean, rinsed surfaces near to floor with door open and fans on at what I thought was my usual modest level and I was nearly overcome with fumes. This was probably a combination of putting in more than I thought and fact fumes stay near floor where I was working and breathing, and too many years of cumulative sensitization. I've become very fussy about using bleach and strongly suggest such caution to others. It's been a few years but I also remember reading veterinary research write-up saying that sanitizing was properly accomplished through wetting clean surface with 5% bleach solution for 15 minutes exposure, and that higher bleach concentrations did not decrease exposure time required but actually increased it in addition to cost and fumes hazards.


 o
RE: Warning: Dawn and Joy Detergent

Posted by cynic: I agree, education is important. Your Palmolive mixture got me curious. Many sites warn about mixing Oxi products with bleach and the like so I wondered about the dish liquids that use, or claim to use, Oxi, such as Palmolive. You may wish to look at the Colgate-Palmolive site under the heading "Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid". "Remember never use your dish liquid in an automatic dishwasher, and never mix your dish liquid with bleach or ammonia." (emphasis added) So it appears your other brands may not be as safe as you assume. I haven't checked out any other brands as yet, but I suspect they may be similar in warnings. I'm surprised you've survived this long! ;)

Cynic, you have to follow the thread carefully. I never mixed Palmolive with bleach or anything. Never. I never said to assume other brands were safe. I always advise people to do their own research.

The whole point is..................Dish detergents that at one time were just simple products are now being made with other features. They tout "antibacterial", "oxy", "ultra", "sensations", "mircro beaded", and these new chemicals being added to long time favorite brands, are likely to react with other cleaning products in a dangerous way, where as in the past they did not. A consumer who was brand loyal using the product for decades probably does not read the label every single time they purchase the product and may not realize that IT HAS CHANGED. They may not realize that the *new and improved* version is a completely different product. They may not give a thought to new words on the label like 'Ultra" and just assume it is a marketing ploy.

I have no idea why you are surprised that I "have survived this long", as you put it. It would seem that a person who is cautious about using chemicals around their home and always reads the labels, is safer and healthier than one who is not. Big Wink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palmolive Choices


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Cleaning Tips Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here