When it comes to cleaning, you may be looking to common household ingredients to get a “green clean”, such as cleaning with vinegar. However, it’s important for you to know the active ingredients in such products, and to understand that not all products can be mixed. Sometimes, mixing a cleaning product can have disastrous, or even fatal, results. We’ll go through some of the common cleaning products you should never mix.
Bleach & Vinegar
Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent on its own, but you should never mix it with other things. Bleach, mixed with vinegar, actually produces chlorine gas, which is a pulmonary irritant. Chlorine gas was also used as a chemical agent in World War I, so you definitely don’t want to invite this mixture into your house. If you do accidentally mix these two, the CDC has guidelines on what to do next.
Bleach & Ammonia
While you might not immediately think of mixing straight ammonia with bleach, many glass cleaners contain ammonia, so be aware of these when using bleach. Mixing these two creates a gas called chloramine. Inhalation of chloramine gas can kill you, eventually. Here’s what you should do if exposed to chloramine gas.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Remember in middle school someone would always do the “exploding volcano” experiment? Vinegar plus baking soda was the chemical reaction. While it’s not necessarily unhealthy to mix, it certainly doesn’t make a better cleaning agent this way, and if you store it in an airtight container, the offgas can cause the container to explode, which is dangerous.
Bleach & Rubbing Alcohol
Basically, if you’re reading this list, mixing bleach with pretty much anything is a bad idea. Mixing bleach with rubbing alcohol actually creates chloroform, and you certainly don’t want to gas yourself with a dose of chloroform. If you must mix bleach with anything, take care to only mix it with water.
Household cleaners & other household cleaners
Since you can never really know exactly how much chemical is in a household cleaner, you should never experiment and mix one household cleaner with another one. Take care to read all instructions on the label, and heed each warning. Manufacturers usually will warn you not to mix with other things, but even if they don’t, you should avoid mixing any household chemicals with others.
What kind of products do you find provide the most effective clean in your home? Let us know in the comments below!