The Dangers of Mixing Household Chemicals
Now more than ever, utilizing hot water and household cleaners to protect your home is very important for the safety of your family. With the rise in household cleaning products usage, we need to be aware of the dangers that can arise when cleaning our homes and work spaces.
While this may be common knowledge (at least we hope that it is!), it is worth repeating that there are common household cleaners that should never be mixed. That’s because when certain cleaners are combined, they can produce very toxic chemicals that can cause serious injury. Keep reading to learn which common household cleaners and chemicals should never be mixed.
Never Mix Ammonia and Bleach
These two cleaners are probably two of the most common found in just about every household. Using one by itself, can be effective in killing bacteria and viruses. However, when combined, these two chemicals form chlorine gas, which can cause chest pain, coughing and, in some cases, even death.
Example: Windex is ammonia based and Comet contains bleach – these two chemicals should not be stored together.
Never Combine Bleach and Vinegar
Much like ammonia and bleach, mixing bleach with vinegar, which is an acid, can also produce chlorine gas. Just to give you an idea of how harmful this can be, this particular mixture was used way back in WWI and can result in damage to your eyes, nose and lungs.
Example: Mrs Meyer’s, Cleaner Vinegar No Rinse Lemon Verbena and Clorox Bleach should not be mixed or stored in the same location.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar- A dangerous combination
When these two are mixed, they form a chemical known as peracetic acid, which can be toxic and corrosive to many surfaces, including your skin.
Example: Lysol Bleach Free Hydrogen Peroxide Bathroom Cleaner Spray and Heinz Cleaning Vinegar are not good storage companions.
Don’t Mix Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol
Bleach mixed with rubbing alcohol can produce chloroform and chloroacetone, both of which are toxic and dangerous. Chloroform in particular can cause unconsciousness and chloroacetone has been used as tear gas.
Example: Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Spray and your everyday rubbing alcohol are also another good example of two products that should never be mixed.
Safety First- Best Practices
- Always read the labels of your cleaning products before use, to keep you and your family safe.
- Handle cleaning products safely by following the manufacturer’s directions
- Be sure to rinse cleaned surfaces with plenty of hot water
If you ever combine household chemicals accidentally or think you have breathed, touched or ingested these products contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222
Speaking of cleaners, we should mention that plenty of other cleaning products contain these ingredients, so always check the label if you are thinking of combining any cleaning products. For example, you should never mix two different types of drain cleaners together and never mix bleach with any other product such as a toilet bowl cleaner. The combination may prove to be harmful and, again, possibly even deadly.
We understand the urge to create the perfect cleaner, but combining cleaning products just doesn’t make sense. Use each one individually, as directed.
We hope this has been helpful, and although this may not be a complete list, please take the time to further educate yourself about the potential harmful effects of mixing cleaners and other various chemicals. Eliminating bacteria and viruses such as Coronavirus, should be done with your family’s safety in mind.
Water Heaters and Chemical Safety
Finally, a word about water heaters because that’s what we do: We have mentioned time and again that you should never store anything next to your water heater and that includes chemicals. Certain chemicals can be highly flammable and though most water heaters are now made with sealed combustion chambers, it’s never worth the risk, so always store any chemicals away from your water heater.
Keep your family safe and your home clean by following a few simple safety guidelines given with each product and always store chemicals away from your water heater.