Wow! You can really see a lot better through a clean window than a dirty one. Cleaning products such as window cleaners often contain strong chemicals. They have to in order to remove all that dirt.
News You Can Use
- Many cleaning products, including window cleaners, contain ammonia. Ammonia is a substance called a base.
- Bases are the opposite of acids. They have a slippery feel.
- Think “bar of soap” and you’ll know how bases feel, because soap is also basic.
- Why do bases make good cleaners? Chemical reactions explain it. Watch this video to learn how: http://www.nbclearn.com/portal/site/learn/chemistry-now/chemistry-of-household-cleaners
Show What You Know
With the links below, learn more about ammonia and bases. Then answer the following questions.
- What is ammonia? What are its chemical formula and properties?
- Explain why water alone doesn’t work well to clean up greasy dirt.
- What are acids and bases according to the Brønsted-Lowry definition? What are protons?
- How does adding ammonia to water help it clean up grease?
- If you wash windows with soapy water, the soap leaves a streaky residue on the window after the water evaporates. Washing windows with ammonia and water leaves no streaks. Explain why.
- Besides cleaning, what are some other uses of ammonia?