With the shortage of cleaning supplies in the stores lately, many people have started making their own household cleaners. At Angelic Touch this has been our preferred method for many years, however caution should always be taken when mixing different chemicals. A cleaner may be safe to use alone, but the combined product when mixed can be harmful to your health. Below is a short list of some household cleaning products you should never mix.
I’m sure we all remember this combination from school science experiments. Although this combination is harmless, using this duo for cleaning is a waste. Vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base so the two cancel each other out. The cleaning power of both ingredients is neutralized, leaving behind mainly salty water. While this team can be helpful in naturally unclogging a drain, stick to using these items separately on cleaning day.
A drain clog can find us returning to the store more than once before the problem is solved. When dealing with a severe clog, it is important to always buy the exact kind of cleaner you used on the first attempt. Mixing two different types of drain cleaners can release toxic chlorine gas and even cause an explosion! This can also be the case when using one product immediately after the other, so calling a professional plumber is sometimes the safest option.
While both alone are great cleaners and disinfectants, combing these two results in peracetic acid. Together this duo will sanitize, but peracetic acid is potentially toxic and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide when used properly on the same surface (thoroughly rinsing and drying the area being cleaned between applications) can be effective, but they should never be mixed in the same container.
Bleach is a household cleaner that we all know doesn’t play well with others. One example, mixing bleach and rubbing alcohol, results in chloroform. Think of the stuff bad guys use to knock out their victims in old movies. Inhaling even low levels of this chemical reaction can make you nauseous and dizzy. Exposure to high levels can damage your lungs, eyes, kidneys, and even lead to death. One general rule to always remember when using bleach is that it should never be mixed with anything other than plain water.
It is important to remember that more isn’t always better when making homemade cleaning products. We must be sure to read the labels before mixing to prevent any accidents. Many cleaning products contain either bleach or ammonia so they should be kept separately. For example, Windex is known to contain ammonia while certain drain cleaners such as Drano have bleach as one of the ingredients. Not being aware of the products you are using can lead to chemical reactions that can be extremely harmful to you and your family.