Cleaning Products That Aren't Good Mixers - Clean Cleaner
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Do NOT Mix These Cleaning Products.

Clean Cleaner are here again for your cleaning needs. This time we’re watching out for your health, and spreading the word about which commonly used cleaning products you definitely shouldn’t be combining.

The human body is a delicate construction, and these three mixes that will undoubtedly cause you harm with enough exposure. As it turns out, bleach is the common denominator in all three mixtures so bare that in mind next time you’re scrubbing your toilet bowl.

 Bleach + Vinegar

Household bleach contains sodium hypochlorite which, in a water solution (i.e. liquid bleach), is called hypochlorous acid.

Hypochlorous acid is a strong oxidising agent, this means it removes electrons from compounds that it comes into contact with. By doing this, it has the ability to disrupt biochemical pathways that are essential to living organisms, hence why it is used as a disinfectant.

If bleach and an acid (vinegar) interact with one another, chlorine gas is released. Your lungs have a mucous membrane that enables the transfer of oxygen from the outside to the inside, we don’t need to tell you that lungs + chlorine gas = irritation.

scientist mixing chemicals blogNever a good idea to mix chemicals.

Too much irritation in the lungs can cause dyspnea (upper airway obstruction), violent coughing, vomiting, lightheadedness, headache, chest pain, muscle weakness, pneumonia, pneumonitis, hyaline membrane formation, multiple pulmonary thrombosis, ulcerative tracheobronchitis - you get the idea. None of these are good for the body!

Bleach + Ammonia

Ammonia is commonly found in window, and toilet bowl cleaning products. It can often be identified by its pungent aroma, but not always!

Mixing bleach and ammonia-based products generates chloramine gas which, when it touches our watery mucous membranes (those things again), i.e. our lungs or eyes, hydrochloric acid it produced. The same hydrochloric acid that’s a primary constituent in stomach acid. Moreover, free radicals are released - these are highly reactive chemical species and are particularly likely to damage our cells. They’re a contributor to oncogenesis (cancer), and aging.

Prolonged exposure will result in similar symptoms as mixing bleach and vinegar together.

Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol

I bet you didn’t know this one... What do you get when you mix bleach and alcohol together? Chloroform. The same chloroform that’s been used in every kidnap scene in every movie you’ve ever watched.

In case you’ve forgotten or you’ve never watched a film before, chloroform depresses the central nervous system and induces a coma in high enough concentrations. Enough depression of the central nervous system will make breathing impossible.

It’s primarily absorbed by inhalation but can also get into the body via the skin or ingestion. Once absorbed, it wreaks havoc on the liver and kidneys, causing tumours in mice. Very unpleasant stuff!

If you believe you’ve mixed bleach with any of the chemicals already mentioned above, remove yourself from the area immediately. However, this is especially important advice with bleach and rubbing alcohol because of its anaesthetic effects, you don’t want to go unconscious and continue breathing more and more in.

There are many other cleaning products that you are best to avoid combining. It’s vital that you stay informed about the harmful effects even the most basic of cleaning products can cause. If in doubt, don’t bother.

Thanks for reading this blog post, it's very kind of you. If you enjoyed it, please give it a like or share it with someone you think would appreciate it too! We've written about some other interesting topics as well, including why bleach is a terrible cleaner, and how to get rid of mould - both are well worth a read!

Make a change to your life. Avoid the cleaning chemicals from now on.