Ajax cleaner is a well known scouring powder used to provide an abrasive and to help scrub away tough stains. Concerns about household chemicals have been on the rise, especially with many green alternatives taking place on the commercial market. Over the last few years, cleaning product companies have been making more of an effort to disclose the ingredients used in their products.
Fragrance and Dye
Fragrance is added to the scouring powder to improve its scent and to cover up any chemical odour. Colgate-Palmolive doesn't specify what type of fragrance is used. The dye is also unnamed but is included to give the Ajax its clean white colour.
Calcium carbonate, also known as monocalcium carbonate, is used in Ajax as a cleaning agent. It's also used in a wide range of other products, from arts and crafts putties to personal care items, including toothpastes and make-up. Ajax is made from limestone, which is heated and then mixed with water. Carbon dioxide is added and produces calcium carbonate, which is then dehydrated to form a powder.
Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, sometimes called Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate, is a second cleaning agent in Ajax cleaner. Among other things it's used in car waxes and other auto products, as well as many detergents and a few soaps. It can be dangerous if inhaled or if you get it in your eyes. While prolonged contact with the skin can cause some irritation, it doesn't often cause allergic reactions, which are the usual causes of injury by the use of detergents.
Trichlorocyanuric acid (TCCA) is used as a stain remover in Ajax cleaners. It's a solid white powder. It is corrosive and, if mixed with acids or acid cleaners, it can release hazardous chlorine gas. It's also used to control bacteria in swimming pools.
Ajax scouring powder is an eye irritant and should immediately be flushed out with water, but it shouldn't cause any permanent damage. If mixed with ammonia, as well as other cleaning products, it may release harmful fumes. You shouldn't use other cleaners in conjunction with Ajax. Inhaling too much of the dust can irritate your respiratory system.
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- Colgate-Palmolive Co: Ajax Ingredients
- Household Products Database: Ajax Cleanser with Bleach
- Household Products Database: Calcium Carbonate
- Household Products Database: Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate
- Home Chemistry Society: Trichlorocyanuric acid
- The Houston Chronicle: Activists Want Makers to Come Clean on Cleansers