When you think about cleaning, you should be very careful about safety. Mixing together cleaning detergents can be risky if you are not fully aware about the consequence of different combinations. Ammonia and bleach is a dangerous combination due to production of poisonous chloramines. Similarly there are several unsafe combinations of cleaning products. However, there are some household cleaners that are safe to mix and use as effective cleaning products.
Safe to Mix Cleaning Products
- Vinegar and Baking Soda: These two can handle a variety of cleaning tasks and serve as an all-purpose cleaner when used in different combinations. They can be used for cleaning garbage drains, kitchen sink, carpet stain and many other areas. You can mix two parts of vinegar and one part of baking soda to use as an effective cleaner for bathroom tiles and counter tops.
- Borax: Borax and vinegar work together as a good floor cleaner. ¼ cup of borax mixed with one cup of vinegar and two gallons of warm water can be used for cleaning floors. ¼ cup of borax with ½ teaspoon of lemon oil mixed with a vegetable based liquid soap can be used as a good disinfectant tub cleaner.
- Tea Tree Oil: It is a natural anti-septic used for household cleaning. 1 teaspoon of tree oil mixed with 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of borax can be used as a general purpose cleaner.
Dangerous Combinations of Cleaning Products
- Bleach and Ammonia: Ammonia is found in some glass cleaners or window cleaners, and paints. Mixing of ammonia with bleach will produce some toxic gases called chloramines, resulting in respiratory problems, and irritation to eye, nose and throat.
- Bleach and Acid: Acid is contained in vinegar, glass & window cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, dishwasher detergents, drain cleaners and lime & rust removal products. Bleach and acid combination will produce chlorine gas, causing breathing problems, vomiting, chest pain, and irritation to eyes and skin. It could be fatal at very high levels.
- Multiple Drain Cleaners: Do not use different brands of drain cleaners one after the other to remove clogging. This will result in a deadly mix of chemicals causing toxic gases.
- Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner: If you think that you will get better result by mixing your toile cowl cleaner with bleach, you are mistaken. It is not safe, but it will result in deadly fumes.
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar: Even though vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are good natural and harmless cleaners on their own, their combination can produce corrosive acid called peracetic acid, which is dangerous and can damage your skin and corneas.
- Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach: Sodium hypochlorite is an ingredient in your household bleach, which when reacts with rubbing alcohol can produce chloroform. Chloroform will produce several damages to your nervous system, kidneys and lung, and may even become fatal.
Cleaning, being one of the most important tasks in everyday life, we forget about the different dangerous combinations of cleaning products most often. Our sole concentration is on the result. But, both the means and the end are important. Always be aware about the means so that the end will be rewarding.