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Common Household Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix


Ignorance isn’t always bliss. These cleaning product combinations can be deadly.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can be wonderful, cheap alternatives to household cleaning products on their own, but together they’re not the best team. Because baking soda is basic and vinegar is acidic, combining them results in mostly water, which isn’t toxic, of course, but it’s not a cleaning powerhouse, either. 

Vinegar and Castile Soap

It may not be a dangerous combo, but it’s certainly an ineffective one! Combining vinegar and castile soap (fine, hard white or mottled soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide) merely creates a chunky, oily mixture, since the acid in vinegar breaks down the castile soap. 

Ammonia and Bleach

These two ingredients are found in quite a few cleaning products, so be sure to check the ingredients lists of your bottles before using them together. Inhaling the vapors can result in respiratory damage and throat burns. Yikes! 

Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

Alone they’re considered great natural cleaning ingredients, but when combined, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can result in paracetic acid. While the combination will sanitize, it can also be corrosive!

Different Drain Cleaners

There’s something satisfying about dumping drain cleaner into a clogged sink. But if the clog isn’t breaking up, you may find yourself at the store for more. Remember to purchase the same kind you put down your sink the first time! Mixing different drain cleaners can cause the release of chlorine gas and may even lead to an explosion.

Mildew Stain Remover and Bleach

Mildew stain remover contains acid, which, when combined with bleach, produces chlorine gas. Avoid irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs by steering clear of this combo.

Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

The mixture of an acidic-based toilet bowl cleaner with bleach is bad for your health. It releases toxic fumes that can cause breathing issues and watery eyes.

Bleach and Lemon Juice

It makes sense that if acidic commercial cleaning products mix poorly with bleach, a simple addition of acidic lemon juice does too. Avoid the harmful result of chlorine gas by choosing one or the other. 

Glass Cleaner and Bleach

Mixing bleach with glass cleaner like Windex releases toxic gases and produces toxic chemicals. One of the ingredients in Windex is ammonia. The combination of ammonia and bleach’s main ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, produces chloramine vapor.

Vinegar and Water (on Hard Wood Floors)

It may not be dangerous, but the combination of vinegar and water to clean your hardwood floors could be costly. Vinegar is acidic and can damage the finish on your floor, resulting in a dull appearance. Furthermore, a solution of vinegar and water to clean is mostly water and while the combination works for other surfaces, it can result in moisture damage to your hardwood floors. 

Drain Cleaner and Bleach

Drain cleaner combined with bleach can produce chlorine gas, which can have long-lasting effects that may ultimately require medical treatment. Keep your eyes, nose and lungs safe from the toxic fume by avoiding this mixture.

Certain Pesticides and Water

Cleaning up around the house can result in some yucky discoveries, like finding bugs and spiders! But before you combine a strong pesticide with water, don’t. Certain pesticides, when combined with water, create deadly phosphine gas

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