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Cleaning Supplies That Don't Mix

If you are in a small area with no ventilation and bleach and ammonia are mixed together you could pass out, need to be hospitalized, or possibly die. The active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, can also found in other cleaning products around the home. This ingredient will also cause a toxic reaction when mixed with any product that contains a form of acid. You may be surprised at the number of cleaning products that can cause a dangerous situation when mixed.

The Great Danger of Mixing Bleach with Ammonia

Never mix bleach and ammonia together for any reason, the toxic gases that are produced by this mixture can have life threatening effects which include:

  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Pneumonia
  • Fluid in lungs
  • Death

Mixing cleaning supplies is a dangerous thing to do. If you are low on two cleaning products and you want to mix them in one bottle, think twice. The danger is not only from when you mix bleach and ammonia. Below are a few products used for cleaning that should never be mixed together.

  • Bleach and vinegar (vinegar is a form of acid)
  • Bleach and glass or window cleaners (glass cleaners may contain ammonia)
  • Drain cleaners and ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide and window cleaner
  • Oven cleaner and comet

There are so many cleaning products that contain some form of bleach or ammonia that you cannot be sure they can be safely mixed unless you read every label of every cleaning product in your home. The safest thing to do is not to mix any of them together.

It is not only cleaning products that can cause toxic reactions when mixed. Vinegar which would be considered a food product, is acidic and so is peroxide which would probably be in your medicine cabinet. Ammonia is an element in urine, so you should not use bleach to clean a cat litter box.

The complexities of the average products that are found in most homes are immense. It is best to use a product only for what it is recommended for. When you are unsure of what to use for cleaning, call the phone number on the label of the container and they will be able to give you a list of safe uses.

A lot of people are guilty of not following the instructions on a cleaning product label. This results in many hospitalizations every year. Some of these do not involve mixing cleaning supplies--simply not following the instructions. When a product says that you should wear gloves during use, you should do it. Something as simple as an oven cleaner contains lye and ammonia. Both of these will damage your skin and your respiratory system if not used safely.

Just remember that no products should not be mixed together, even if they are for the same purpose. One may contain a form of bleach and the other ammonia. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Bleach is composed of sevearl chemicals, but the one that causes the reaction with amoniona is sodium hypochlorite. Below are a few products that contain sodium hypochlorite.

  • Dishwasher detergent 
  • Bathroom cleaners 
  • Toilet Bowl cleaners 
  • Any product for cleaning mold and mildew
  • Disinfectants

Be especially careful not to mix the products above with anything else. Always read the labels on your cleaning products. 

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