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DIY Cleaning products you should never mix

DIY Cleaning products you should never mix

With COVID-19, many people are using more bleach and homemade 'disinfectants' in their homes, but did you know there are some potentially dangerous combos that you wouldn’t normally think of?

Here's a list of what NOT to mix when cleaning or making DIY products....

  • bleach + vinegar
  • bleach + ammonia (ie: windex, or glass cleaner)
  • bleach + rubbing alcohol
  • hydrogen peroxide + vinegar
  • vinegar and baking soda

While these ingredients seem harmless on their own, they can actually become dangerous when mixed, releasing toxic fumes or corrosive acids that can harm both your body and the surfaces in your home! Yes, even if they are organic and all-natural they still include substances and chemicals that can interact.

Here’s the deets on what happens inside your DIY bottle when you mix these chemicals:

Vinegar and baking soda:

White vinegar and baking soda are very popular all-natural cleaner ingredients, but they’re also cleaning ingredients you will want to avoid mixing. While they form all sorts of bubbly suds, they’re actually canceling each other out, not becoming a stronger cleaning agent.

This is because they’re opposites, with vinegar being acidic and baking soda being alkaline, and they do NOT attract! In fact, if they’re stored together in a closed container, the vinegar can cause a reaction that makes the baking soda foam and causes the container to explode!

Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar:

Two other natural cleaning ingredients you should never mix are vinegar and hydrogen peroxide! Together, they create a compound that is called peracetic acid. Peracetic acid releases fumes that can hurt your lungs if inhaled, and cause long lasting lung damage if exposed often. It can also have corrosive effects and irritate your eyes and skin.

Vinegar + Bleach:

For years bleach has been a staple in most households and people love to mix it with just about everything! Vinegar and bleach is a common DIY for homemade all-natural washing machine cleaner. However, they should never be put in together! Mixing vinegar and bleach creates chlorine gas. At low levels, chlorine gas irrigates the lungs, causing coughing, difficulty breathing and chest pain. At higher levels, the gas can put you at risk of chlorine gas poisoning and cause serious harm, including death.

Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol:

Although this seems like a simple combo, this mixture actually creates Chloroform. Not only can it cause you to pass out, but it can be irritating and highly toxic- irritating your lungs at best and landing you in the hospital at worst. Therefore, never mix bleach with anything other than water! This goes for other products like window and toilet bowl cleaners which can have ingredients, like acids or ammonia, that shouldn't be mixed with bleach.

Bleach and Ammonia:

As we mentioned, bleach should actually never be mixed with anything other than water! Mixing it with ammonia is also very dangerous, as it can create a harmful gas called chloramine. Be mindful that ammonia can be found in many household cleaning products, so always be careful to ensure you aren’t mixing it unintentionally.

So it’s safe to say…. that unless you are an expert in chemistry and have the tools to measure fancy things like molecular compounds and VOCs, it’s hard to know if a DIY cleaner can be safe. It’s best to avoid questionable concoctions and stick to cleaning products from brands you can trust like Sensitive Home.