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Cleaning Agent Combinations You Must Avoid

cleaning agents and products you should not combine

Many households have a great variety of cleaning agents. Some of these agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, can be used successfully together. However, other cleaning agents must never be combined. It’s not even a good idea to store them in the same place. Here are some cleaning agents that must never be mixed:

Bleach and Ammonia

The mixture of bleach and ammonia produces what is essentially chlorine gas. This was a weapon of war during World War I and caused such damage that it was banned. Combining bleach and ammonia can burn the esophagus and mucous membranes and damage the respiratory system.

Vinegar and Bleach

vinegar and bleach as cleaning agent

Vinegar and bleach are almost as bad as bleach and ammonia. Vinegar is an acid, and when it’s mixed with bleach it produces chlorine gas, which can burn the eyes and the lungs.

Toilet Bowl Cleanser and Bleach

If a toilet bowl cleanser contains acid and it’s mixed with bleach, chlorine and other toxic gases can result.

Lysol and Bleach

Lysol has a compound called 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol, and when it’s mixed with bleach, the compound is oxidized. This results in toxic chemicals.

Bleach and Glass Cleaner

That bright blue solution that is window cleaner may contain ammonia. Don’t mix it with bleach.

Bleach and Lemon Juice

Bleach can’t even be used with lemon juice, which is an acid. If it’s mixed with bleach, it produces chlorine gas.

Bleach and Dish Detergent

Some people may be surprised to learn that some dish detergents contain ammonia to make them even more effective. See above for what happens when ammonia is mixed with bleach.

Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach

Mixing rubbing alcohol and bleach produces chloroform, which surgeons used to give to patients before an operation to knock them out. A person who’s cleaning their home may not mix rubbing alcohol and bleach in such strength that it can render them unconscious, but the combination should be avoided.

Drain Cleaners

Different drain cleaners shouldn’t be mixed with bleach or with each other because of the risk of chlorine gas being produced. So, if one brand of drain cleaner isn’t doing the job, the homeowner needs to wait a while before they try another brand. Household cleaning experts discourage the use of chemical drain cleaners in most cases anyway.

Bleach and Mildew Stain Remover

Cleansers meant to remove mildew stains often contain acid, and when they’re combined with bleach they produce chlorine gas.

Some Types of Bug Spray and Water

The homeowner should avoid mixing strong pesticides with water. There are some pesticides that produce phosphine gas when they are mixed with water. Phosphine gas smells like rotten fish or garlic and is extremely dangerous.

Lessons Learned

The reader can’t help but notice that combining just about any cleaning agent with bleach results in hazardous chlorine gas. It is good practice to never use bleach with any other cleaning agent and to be careful when combining other cleaning agents with each other. Try out these safe household cleaners instead.

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