If you think you will get better cleaning results by mixing different household products together, you are falling victim to a common misconception. In reality, mixing these products is dangerous, as you never know the outcome of the experiment you are conducting. There is no point risking health problems. Likewise, before you mix any two different types of cleaning products, you must read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
It is also recommended that you should not transfer these cleaners into any other container. This way, you will not be able to read the instructions listed on the original bottle in case anything goes wrong. The best way to save this hassle is to use every cleaning product and natural compound separately. If you must mix two products together, read all instructions carefully. It also helps to hire a cleaning expert to help you with your cleaning routines. Don’t turn your kitchen into a science lab and avoid mixing the following cleaning products.
1. Baking soda & vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are poles apart in terms of their composition. Vinegar is highly acidic while baking soda is a weak base. Therefore, by combining them, you are neutralizing their effect. This will produce nothing but mostly water and the solution is almost useless. However, the most dangerous thing that can happen is an explosion, particularly if you mix the two in a closed container.
2. Different drain cleaners
You might be tempted to mix a couple of different drain openers to clean your clogged drains. Do not try it! Mixing two different drain cleaners can result in the discharge of chlorine gas, which will be harmful for you and your children.
3. Bleach & vinegar
Mixing a weak acid to bleach leads to toxic gases. These gases can cause serious lung damage or eye burn. Avoid bleach at all times as the compounds in the chemicals can’t be found in nature and they also form more toxic byproducts such as furans and other organochlorines. You might want to consider trying hydrogen peroxide as it’s composed of water and oxygen and is kinder to the environment.
4. Vinegar & hydrogen peroxide
When we mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in a container, the two compounds produce peracetic acid. The acid can damage your skin and irritate your throat, nose lungs and eyes when it is produced at a high concentration.
5. Rubbing alcohol & bleach
Mixing these two products together, you get hydrochloric acid and chloroform. You must’ve seen kidnappers using rags soaked with chloroform to knock out their victims. Even though it is not strong enough to make you pass out, it can be toxic and cause irritation. Don’t try combining these two or you can end up hurting yourself whilst cleaning. In fact, avoid bleach altogether.
6. Certain disinfectants with detergents
Some particular disinfectants have sodium hypochlorite, which when added to detergents generate an acidic reaction and harmful fumes are discharged.
7. Bleach & ammonia
When we combine both these products, a gas call chloramines is produced, which is toxic. It causes the same symptoms you experience while using excess vinegar and bleach, such as shortness of breath and chest pain. Some window and glass cleaners contain ammonia so no need to mix anything with these products.
8. Castile Soap & Vinegar
Castile soap and vinegar are important green ingredients, which serve several purposes, but when used separately. While vinegar is acidic, castile soap is basic. This means that by combining the two, you get a reaction that produces a mixture that looks a lot like a curdled white gunk. Do not combine Castile soap with lemon juice or vinegar. You can use the soap first and leave the rinsing part for vinegar in your dishwasher or washing machine.
Your health comes first, always.
You may be tempted to mix other cleaning products for an enhanced effect. However, as soon as you notice the following symptoms, make sure you get rid of the mixture you have just created, even if the cleaning products you’re using claim to be ‘eco-friendly’ on the label:
- Pain in chest
- Watery eyes
- Irritation to skin, eyes and throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
Keep all cleaning products in their original containers that have clear instructions. Avoid using bleach and ammonia in your home, especially if you have children.
Some other things to remember…
It is important to remember that certain products are safe when used on their own and cause harmful effects when mixed with other chemicals or substances. Sometimes, people keep mixing and adding chemicals until they get an explosion or notice the emission of toxic gases.
You can never be sure what you will get if you add different chemicals together. Also, the effect these mixtures will have on the surface or the fabrics you are cleaning are also unknown. Make sure you read the precautions and ingredients that are labeled on the cleaning products. Even if you are mixing natural compounds, such as salt or vinegar, to a substance, ask an expert for harmful reactions.
- Never mix bleach with other concentrated cleaning products.
- Practice safety standards at all times by following the instructions on cleaning products as indicated.
- Be mindful of our environment and stop using products containing bleach and ammonia.
Do you purchase cleaning products or make your own? Share your green cleaning tips with our community by leaving a comment below!