If you’re tackling an especially gruesome household cleanup – maybe a pet had an accident, or you’re cleaning up after a sick family member – you might be inclined to throw every single household cleaner at the mess. After all, more products mean less mess – right? Wrong. While it might be tempting to mix multiple household cleaners to get your home sparkling, this can cause a variety of dangerous chemical reactions. Keep your family safe by learning more about the dangers of mixing household products.
Dangers of Mixing Household Products
Combining household cleaning products can be toxic and, in some cases, even lethal. While cleaning products like bleach, ammonia, and vinegar are great on their own, mixing them can create highly toxic gases. These gases can cause sneezing, itching, respiratory problems, or burns to your skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs. Some of these toxic gases can also damage your nervous system, liver, and kidneys. Below, we’ll explore several common toxic combinations as highlighted by the U.S. Fire Administration, a branch of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Bleach and Ammonia
Bleach and ammonia is an extremely common combination, since many household cleaning products contain ammonia. However, mixing ammonia and bleach results in chlorine gas. Large enough amounts of chlorine gas can cause chest pain, coughing, and excessive tearing. Chlorine gas can also be fatal in large quantities. In fact, the gas was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. Keep in mind that combining bleach and vinegar can also result in chlorine gas.
Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be an effective germ-killing agent, but the highly alcoholic compound can be dangerous if accidentally mixed with bleach. Bleach and rubbing alcohol combine to create chloroform, a highly toxic compound you’ve probably seen used as an immediate sedative in thriller films. Chloroform can also be highly explosive if mixed with additional chemicals.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are two of the most common household cleaning agents, but combining them can be deadly. Mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates a highly corrosive acid called peracetic, or peroxyacetic, acid. This acid is corrosive to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.
Avoiding Toxic Combinations
Household product reactions can be extremely dangerous. Fortunately, they’re also fairly easy to avoid. When in doubt, stick to using just one household cleaner at a time per surface, and make sure to wipe down freshly cleaned surfaces with water before you use another product. Unless you know the exact chemical makeup inside a cleaning product bottle, it’s crucial to use one product at a time. You should also wear protective gloves to safeguard your skin when you clean, and ventilate your space by opening windows. Finally, make sure to be especially careful with reactive substances like bleach. Bleach’s high reactivity makes it especially volatile in the face of other chemicals.
The dangers of mixing household products are certainly alarming. Fortunately, you can avoid these hazards by choosing cleaning products that stand alone – like the SafeSpace® Germ Fogger.
If you need some help finding household cleaning products you can trust, look at what SafeSpace Company® has to offer. Disinfecting your home thoroughly, efficiently, and conveniently can be easily done with the SafeSpace® Germ Fogger. This product contains a hospital-grade disinfectant that generates 6,000 cubic feet of disinfecting and deodorizing fog. It is EPA-approved and does not leave any harmful residue. If you would like to purchase the SafeSpace Germ Fogger today, please visit the SafeSpace® website. For more information, please give us a call today at 1-800-735-2506.
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