Most of the time, when we’re cleaning our house, we use whatever cleaning products we have. We also think that mixing the products will speed up the cleaning process. However, there’s no proven explanation that mixing products do help.
When mixing cleaning products, sometimes it does more harm than good. Keep in mind that cleaning products are mainly chemical. So combining them might result in a toxic substance that isn’t safe.
Never mix these cleaning products because they’re bad not only for you but also for the environment. To learn more about these products, keep reading!
Complete Guide to Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix
In the first place, you shouldn’t use cleaning products together. They have their purpose, and unless stated that you can mix them with other products, you should avoid doing it.
Even though you’re wearing protective gear while cleaning, you’re still at risk of getting sick because of the fumes. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so never mix the following products:
Bleach and Alcohol
People know this combination as a fantastic disinfectant because it contains chemicals that quickly kill germs. However, you shouldn’t mix these two because it forms chloroform.
Chloroform is a chemical that acts like a solvent. It helps dissolve other substances, which makes people think it’s a good cleaning solution. However, exposure to it can damage your lungs, heart, and kidneys. It can also be fatal at high doses, so never touch it or breathe its fumes.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar are cleaning products that work well on their own. The former is a good antiseptic, while the latter is a natural cleaning solution. When you mix both of them, you create peracetic acid.
When you get exposed to this acid, it can irritate the eyes and skin. Additionally, it might damage the surface that gets in contact with it.
Bleach and Ammonia
Bleach and ammonia are unique products for dissolving stains and grime on any surface. When they’re combined, they create chloramines. If you’re planning on using these two, use them as they are instead of mixing them.
Chloramines are toxic and poisonous gases. If you have asthma, avoid these products because they can cause shortness of breath and even choking. If inhaled, they will congest your respiratory system.
Different Drain Cleaners
Most drain cleaners in the market are already harsh. You’ll never know what kind of toxic gases they will produce, and aside from irritations, they can cause respiratory problems. This is why you shouldn’t mix two different drain cleaners. They still contain bleach and other extreme chemicals.
Often, drain cleaners have a warning label that says you shouldn’t mix them with cleaning products. Stick with the instructions provided, and don’t put your health at risk by using two different drain cleaners simultaneously.
Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Toilet bowl cleaners are acid-based and contain detergents, alcohol, and phenol. Phenol is already toxic because it’s a harsh chemical compound. High exposure to it can cause muscle aches, weakness, and vomiting.
When you mix bleach and toilet bowl cleaner, chlorine gas is released. It’s poisonous, and it’s considered a pulmonary irritant. Exposure to the said gas will damage your respiratory system.
Bleach and Vinegar
Bleach and vinegar also produce chlorine gas. You’ll know that chlorine gas is present in the air when you smell a distinct irritating and foul odor. Even at low levels, it can cause serious health issues. Its severity can go from eye irritation to death.
It’s better to avoid continuous exposure to chlorine gas as it can be fatal. However, if you get exposed to large amounts of it, seek immediate medical attention. In addition, you should seek an open area where you can breathe fresh air.
Laundry Detergent and Disinfectants
You shouldn’t mix chemical cleaning products such as disinfectants with laundry detergents. This is due to disinfectants having ammonia content.
When ammonia merges with other chemicals, it can trigger a toxic chemical reaction that might put your health at risk. On the other hand, laundry detergents are also made with potent chemicals. We never know what materials they’ve used to produce said products, so it’s better to use them as intended.
Vinegar and Castile Soap
Castile soap is a fantastic wound cleaner, window cleaner, dish soap, and even body wash. However, mixing it with vinegar isn’t ideal because the soap reacts to the acidity of the vinegar. It’s not toxic, but you should avoid it as much as possible.
When the soap comes in contact with the vinegar, the ingredients cancel out. The soap will turn back to its original state, which is oil. It also leaves a white film which is a huge burden if you’re cleaning.
Bleach and Disinfectants
All-Purpose disinfectants such as Lysol aren’t good partners for bleach. They contain high amounts of various acids and alcohol. When you use the two together, they’ll produce toxic gas, and it will affect your respiratory system.
There are lots of instances when people accidentally mix the two. They experienced choking, especially when they were in an enclosed space. Others experienced passing out due to the toxic gas.
Bleach and Dish Soap
If you’re one of the people who think adding bleach to dish soap will instantly kill germs and remove stains, you’re mistaken. Mixing the two doesn’t create a powerful cleaning solution.
Instead, it produces toxic vapors that can constrict your respiratory system. You might vomit, get nauseous, or even faint.
Dish soap and bleach creates chloramine gas when combined. This is because dish soaps contain an organic form of ammonia which is amines. It quickly gets released into the air, which makes it dangerous.
Bleach and Mildew Stain Remover
Most, if not all, mildew stain removers in the market contain potent acids. Like most other cleaning products, you shouldn’t mix it with bleach because it will result in harmful fumes irritating you.
If you want a safer alternative for mildew stain remover, combine two teaspoons of borax and a half cup of vinegar. It will work just as well as the store-bought stain remover, and its advantage is that it’s not toxic!
Vinegar and Baking Soda
People often use this combination when they’re cleaning. Though it’s not harmful, it’s not the best cleaning solution you can use.
When you mix the two, it just foams up, and after that, you’re left with a concoction of carbon dioxide, acetate, sodium, and water. It’s just a salt solution.
If you don’t have any choice but to use vinegar and baking soda, the right time to use it is when it’s still bubbling. Keep in mind that it’s doing its job as long as it’s still bubbling. You should also apply it directly to the surface you’re cleaning; otherwise, it won’t clean the surface properly.
Water and Vinegar
A water and vinegar solution is one of the best DIY cleaning solutions because it’s non-toxic, and you always have these products at home. But it would be best if you didn’t use that combination for cleaning any wooden surface.
Vinegar is acidic, and it can ruin the finish of your floor. It makes the surface dull, and sometimes it can discolor it too. Water is also a no-no for wood surfaces because excess water can swell the surface. Over time, it will start breaking down, forcing you to have it replaced.
Any Chemical Cleaning Product
Store-bought cleaning products are the products you should avoid mixing at all costs. Doing so can instantly produce fumes that are harmful to your health. You might be allergic to the chemicals and acids, so using them alone is better than combining them.
Exposure to the fumes will immediately result in symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. Seek medical help whenever you experience symptoms before it worsens.
Impact of Mixing Cleaning Products on the Environment
Pollution in the air and water is a collective impact of mixing cleaning products. Since we use water to get rid of any residue, the water you’ve used gets washed into rivers and streams. If you’re using chemical cleaning products, it has a high possibility of polluting the bodies of water.
In addition, these chemicals might enter the food chain, which affects the living organisms dwelling there.
Lastly, mixing cleaning products produces an absurd amount of toxic fumes, polluting air quality. Even if you do it outside, it adds to the smog in the environment. It will make the air quality in your house poor, which can lead to other health issues.
There’s a reason why other people say less is more. It might be tempting to mix products, especially when conscious of our house’s cleanliness. Using one product to clean a specific household item or surface is better because it reduces the possibility of toxic fumes.
Now you know what cleaning products you should never mix. Make sure to pass the information on to your friends and family because they might put themselves at risk!