Ammonia based soap is a no go apparently

Thought this might be helpful to any newbies. Correct me if I’m wrong. Washed a house the other day. SH mix seemed fine but couldn’t get the growth to come off. Increased the strength and still nothing. Figured I needed more soap. Added more Gain detergent. After 5 attempts it finally went away. Talked to someone later that evening and was informed that ammonia neutralizes SH. Checked the ingredients in Gain. Ammonia based! Feel pretty foolish but I’m glad there was an obvious explanation.

Gain dish detergent has been used for years mixed with SH for roof/house washing and it works great. I used to use it and am currently using it because I’m out of Elemonator. Never had an issue of it not working even on very dirty homes. I don’t see ammonia in the ingredients. I don’t see it in the laundry detergent ingredients either. Maybe your ratios were off. Elemonator works the best anyways

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My bad. Its ultra ajax triple action. 1st ingredient is water, 2nd is ammonia

Ajax almost the most worthless soap for even dishes. Its so thin half goes down the drain.

You don’t need surfactant. Have done several tests myself and notice no difference in SH effectiveness, wash speed, or final result with any kind of surfactant.

Buy the right soap.

@fredled I would completely agree except on two points:

Surfactant breaks the surface tension of other junk stuck to the siding. It does clean better and very little is necessary.

Second point, I’ve tried no surfactant and had trouble getting gutters and flashing to come clean in one pass. It does slow the descent just enough to do what you need up high from my experience.

@Jackson, a 5 gallon jug of elemonator will outlast 30 bottles of gain or Ajax. 8 oz per 35 gallons of SH is what I’ve found to be perfect for me. It’s also a visual cue when you’re finished rinsing or need to rinse more. Suds vs. no suds. Buy the right stuff. You’ll be glad you did.


Interesting. I have not used it on gutters before, as I usually just use stronher SH on them instead. But hey, to each his own, as long as it works for you.

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Good lord, you seriously mixed bleach with ammonia?! And did a house wash like that?! You had better stop whatever you’re doing now and thank God you’re still alive. Bleach mixed with ammonia creates chloramine vapor, which can most definitely kill you if you inhale enough. For the love of all meat that’s smoked, stop washing houses until you learn some very basic chemistry. You could have literally killed a customer, and most definitely could’ve killed someone’s children.


Damn Big Jake… I heard someone say “Shut up Gloria.” and an unseen gentleman say “Stop calling me Gloria.” No more than 45 minutes ago and thought it/they was/were my favorite phrase of the week… This is tearing my world upside down.


LOL! Just buy a bag of Royal Oak charcoal, a bottle of Dale’s seasoning, your favorite dry rub, and a few pounds of steak, and it’ll all start to magically work itself out.


Yes. I poured straight ammonia in with SH. The house fell over and I killed 10 people and mamed some wildlife. Smh. Ease up off the panic switch grandma! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Not gonna lighten up. What you did was absolutely ignorant and stupid. You should most definitely have known better as to what can and cannot be mixed with bleach. You have no business washing houses if you don’t. A lung full of chloramine vapor will kill you.


Then why am I not dead? I think you’re crossing the line calling me or what I do as ignorant or stupid. I’ve worked around CLo2 for over 16 years. I know plenty about what chemicals can due to harm people. I’m not saying it’s a good idea. I’m really thinking you’re just trying to get an “atta boy” from some of these veterans by telling a new guy to go run and hide, close up shop and go home. My post was not advice but an experience aimed to help anyone if possible. Back off

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Nope. It absolutely was ignorant, in the full definition of the word. Not trying to get an atta boy either. Don’t need one. You’re a handyman who dabbles in pressure washing with a 2.3 gpm machine. You’ve been on this forum for almost 2 years, yet have minimal read time. What did you expect from those who run professional pressure washing companies with $10k-20k tied up in equipment? A “thanks for the heads up?” I don’t care how much supposed chemical knowledge or experience you have, if you don’t know that bleach should never be mixed with ammonia, you’re ignorant. If you don’t know what can’t be mixed with what, but it’s sitting on your truck next to something it shouldn’t be, you’re extremely ignorant, and foolish. One clumsy move that knocks some ammonia based cleaner into a small puddle of sh that your nose happens to be near is potentially fatal.

@Jackson your ignorance is really something else.

Wow. Thanks

@Jackson, some on here have a flair for the dramatic.

Good thing is, you know better now. There are thousands of people that have done the same thing…and you don’t read about it killing people all over the place. Matter of fact, contractor in the town next to me uses Dawn dish detergent on everything he washes…never killed a soul…not even himself.

BUT…just because a lot people have not had issues with it does not mean that it is okay to do it…and you know that now.


While I don’t want to start a debate what surfactant is better…we all know Elemonator is the standard today for house washing surfactant…when you’re out of the good stuff, you use whatever you have on hand that’s going to make you money. I keep some Gain on my trailer along with Arm and Hammer w/oxyclean. I don’t use it…unless I’m out of Elemonator. A 5 gallon just lasted me 1.5 years. The only benefit I’ve noticed with Elemonator though is it keeps my mix hot for days if it goes unused after being mixed. I only mix 5 gallons at a time for each house so I rarely have that problem anyways.

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Thanks. I over reacted to Jake’s post a little. Just disappointing to see so many new guys get their balls busted over things on here when we post in the NEWBIE SECTION. I kinda figured that was a safe zone. Oh well, from now on I’ll just lurk in the back ground. Not much of a forum if you can’t discuss things.

There’s no ammonia in dawn. People say don’t use it for house washing because it has sodium hydroxide in it which can mess with oxidation. If you google bleach and ammonia I’m sure you’ll see a lot of stories of people getting hurt. There aren’t any companies out there mixing the 2. I said what I did because of his ignorant replies to Jake.