20 Cleaning Products Never to Mix Together

20 Cleaning Products Never to Mix Together

cleaning productsBetter Life

When you’re cleaning your house, it can be tempting to mix cleaning products to maximize their effectiveness or try killing two birds with one stone. Chances are, though, that your actions will not have positive results – and the results might even harm you.

Cleaning products are packed with all sorts of complex chemicals that can react with other complex chemicals to produce dangerous or toxic gases. At best, some of these bad reactions will damage the thing you’re trying to clean, At worst, they’ll poison you and those in your home. Here are 20 cleaning products to never mix together.

Never Mix These 20 Cleaning Products

1.    Ammonia and Bleach

Ammonia is commonly found in many window and glass cleaners. This is because ammonia is an incredibly powerful cleaning substance, and greatly enhances the effectiveness of just about any cleaning product.

When mixed with bleach, however, it creates chloramine gas. This gas can cause the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Nausea and watery eyes

2.    Detergent and Disinfectants

Sometimes, desperation moves our hand to try combinations that seem to be the potential answer. For example, detergents and disinfectants should create a positive result, right?

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Unfortunately, most market-based disinfectants use ammonia, which can react badly with most detergents and create all sorts of toxic vapors. Instead, you should try the following:

  • Create a soapy solution with detergent and warm water
  • Apply the solution directly onto the desired area
  • If all else fails, hire cleaning experts for help
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3.    Bleach and Oven Cleaner

Bleach is known to be a powerful cleanser, but it really should be used on its own. This is because it’s main ingredients – the secret behind its effectiveness – can have disastrous chemical reactions with other off-the-shelf cleaners, such as oven cleaners.

Mixing the two together can create chlorine gas, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Blurred eyes

4.    Bleach and Vinegar

Just like with bleach and oven cleaners, mixing bleach and vinegar also produces chlorine gas. This is because vinegar is an acid – when an acid comes into contact with bleach, it will create chlorine gas.

Even at low levels, chlorine gas is perfectly capable of causing:

  • Burning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin irritation

5.    Bleach and Drain Cleaner

No matter how much positive thinking tells you that this would result in something highly effective, drain cleaners and bleach do not mix. In reality, they combine to create chlorine gas – which is dangerous and corrosive.

If exposed to it in any way, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Move away from the chlorine gas if outdoors
  • Move to higher ground if indoors, as chlorine gas sinks
  • Remove the clothes quickly. Do not pull them over your head – cut them up instead
  • Seal the clothes in two layers of plastic bags to protect others and yourself
  • Inform health and safety personnel
  • Wash thoroughly with large amounts of soap and water

6.    Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol

Chloroform is infamous for being used in movies to knock someone out. In reality, you will need large amounts of chloroform to make someone pass out – but any amount created by mixing bleach and rubbing alcohol together will still be a problem.

Here are some of the things associated with chloroform:

  • Accumulates as carcinogenic substances in the lungs
  • Causes hepatic and renal damage
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions

7.    Castile Soap and White Vinegar

On their own, castile soap and white vinegar are some of the best natural cleaning products you can get. Combining them won’t give you a net positive, however. Unfortunately, they are both alkali and acidic, respectively. As a result, they neutralize each other’s beneficial cleaning abilities and create useless white gunk.

Instead, consider using them one after the other – a vinegar wash should easily remove any remaining scum that is left behind by castile soap.

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8.    Baking Soda and Vinegar

Both baking soda and vinegar on their own are fantastic natural cleaners. Unfortunately, when combined, they simply become useless – here are some reasons as to why it is so:

  • Both are acidic substances, so they do not create more extra cleaning power together
  • When mixed, they simply form lots of water and some sodium acetate
  • The resulting mixture will foam up and potentially explode

9.    Mildew Remover and Bleach

When combined, mildew stain remover and bleach produce chlorine vapors – a dangerous and toxic kind of gas. Here are some of the more acute symptoms of chlorine gas:

  • Blisters, redness, and pain on exposed skin
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Tissue damage

10. Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

You will have to use either bleach or toilet bowl cleaner – combining the two can otherwise create disastrous results. More specifically, it can create chlorine gas. Here are a few ways to identify chlorine gas, should an accident occur:

  • The gas itself takes on a yellow-green color
  • The gas sinks to the bottom, as it is heavier than air
  • There is a pungent and irritating odor, much like the scent of bleach

11. Two Different Kinds Of Drain Cleaner

Unless you’re willing to reach in physically and pull out whatever it is that’s clogging your pipes, you will normally reach for the drain cleaner. If the first round doesn’t work, however, the solution is not to pour in a different drain cleaner. You might create an explosion by accident!

Instead, you should do the following:

  • Choose a product proven to work
  • Ensure that you have followed the instructions correctly
  • Be prepared to call the plumber, should the product fail to work

12. Vinegar and Water – For Certain Floor Types!

Vinegar and water is a handy, natural cleaning solution that works for most floors. However, the acidic nature of vinegar can actually damage hardwood floors, dulling their otherwise beautiful appearance. Additionally, water can also cause warping and moisture damage to your hardwood floors if you’re not careful.

Instead, reserve your mixture for cleaning these types of floorings:

  • Ceramic tiles
  • Carpets with synthetic fibers
  • Vinyl floors

13. Bleach and Glass Cleaner

The main ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite – a substance that interacts with ammonia to create toxic chloramine fumes. Unfortunately, most glass cleaners feature ammonia as their main cleaning ingredient.

As a result, mixing them with bleach is an idea fraught with danger – no matter how much positive thinking suggests that this combination might double their cleaning power.

Instead, consider keeping the following tips in mind for clean and streak-free windows:

  • Invest in a good quality squeegee
  • Wipe down the squeegee regularly
  • Replace the rubber blade of the squeegee when it gets dull

14. Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

On their own, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are two excellent cleaners. They can be used one after another to clean fruits and countertops, so long as each one is wiped clean before the next.

When mixed, however, the two create peracetic acid. This acid could potentially be a decent cleaner in and of itself – if it wasn’t so dangerous to use in most households without preparation.

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At low concentrations, this acid is:

  • Corrosive
  • Potentially toxic
  • Irritating to the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory tract

15. Bleach and Lysol

Lysol and bleach are, on their own, excellent cleaners and disinfectants. That does not mean that they can be combined for a more effective cleaning solution, however.

When mixed, bleach interacts and oxidizes the 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol found in Lysol. This creates fumes that are corrosive and harmful to human health.

The potentially harmful effects of 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol include:

  • Toxic vapors
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation

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