If you’re trying to do a tough cleaning job, it can be frustrating when that stain just will not get out. It can be tempting to start mixing cleaning products to just get the job done.
DO NOT DO THAT! It can be extraordinarily dangerous to just start mixing cleaning products together without knowing how they will react.
Certain chemicals, when mixed together, will create dangerous gases or chemical reactions that can cause damage to your eyes, throat, nose, skin, and lungs. Even if they do not create a dangerous reaction to YOU, it may react and damage your surface or flooring.
Cleaning products contain strong chemicals – it is always better to be safe. Below are five examples of chemicals that you should not mix together.
This is not an all-inclusive list – if you ever are not sure, call the manufacturer or Ontario Poison Control at 1-800-268-9017.
Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar
Combining hydrogen peroxide and vinegar produces a gas called peracetic acid, which is potentially toxic and causes respiratory issues.
Some experts recommend spraying counters, alternating between hydrogen peroxide and vinegar and wiping in between. That should not be a problem – as long as you are not mixing the two cleaning products together.
Peracetic acid is also a corrosive. That means that when mixed together, it will be dangerous and damage any surface that you put it on.
Bleach & Rubbing Alcohol
Depending on the strength of your rubbing alcohol, bleach and rubbing alcohol can create chloroform and chloroacetone. Both are incredibly dangerous and toxic.
Chloroform can make you unconscious and chloroacetone was actually used as tear gas in World War I. We can not overstate the danger of these chemicals.
Bleach & Ammonia
Bleach and ammonia mixed together produce chloramine. It causes breathing issues, coughing, as well as shortness of breath and chest pain.
Ammonia is mostly found in window cleaners so do not mix any of those cleaning products with bleach.
Bleach & Vinegar
Bleach disinfects….vinegar disinfects…they should be great together. They are not – mixed together, bleach and vinegar produce chlorine gas.
Even low levels of chlorine gas can cause coughing, breathing problems, and watery eyes.
Lysol & Bleach
Lysol contains all sorts of acids and alcohols – do not mix it with bleach! As a general rule of thumb, do not mix ANYTHING with bleach, just water.
What if I mix two cleaning products?
What if you have mixed two chemicals together that should not have been mixed? First of all, do not panic!
You can prevent damage by wearing proper personal protective equipment when doing any cleaning. Most cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals and so wearing gloves and/or a mask is never a bad idea.
Open windows to get as much air as possible and leave the room. Call the Ontario Poison Control to find out how to properly, and safely dispose of these chemicals.
If you feel symptoms such as shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately!