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Cleaning Products You Should NEVER Mix

Mixing cleaning products! The following cleaners are common (and helpful to have around), but the wrong combo can be quite dangerous. “Certain products, which are safe when used alone, can sometimes cause unsafe fumes or other chemical reactions when mixed with other products,” says Nancy Bock, Senior VP of Education at the American Cleaning Institute.

Even if your ad-hoc cleaner combo isn’t dangerous or toxic, you can never be sure what effect two products can have on a surface or fabric when combined. Always read the warning and ingredient labels on cleaning products — and never mix these:

1. Drain cleaner + drain cleaner

Use one product according to package directions (typically, only half a bottle is needed per treatment). If it doesn’t work, don’t try another product. Instead, call a plumber!

2. Baking soda + vinegar

Baking soda is basic and vinegar is acidic so when you put them together you get mostly water and sodium acetate. Also, vinegar causes baking soda to foam up and if stored in a closed container, the mixture can explode.

3. Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar

Combining these two products creates peracetic acid, which is potentially toxic and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

4. Bleach + vinegar

The combination sounds like it’d be a powerful disinfectant, but the two should never be mixed as together, they produce chlorine gas, which even at low levels, can cause coughing, breathing problems, and burning, watery eyes! Oh no 🙁

5. Bleach + ammonia

Bleach and ammonia produces a toxic gas called chloramine, which causes the same symptoms as bleach and vinegar — along with shortness of breath and chest pain. Many glass and window cleaners contain ammonia, so never mix those with bleach.

That’s some of the most important tips when mixing cleaning products!

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