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6 Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix

Cleaning days are hard enough. Make sure you avoid these mixtures to prevent accidents or other harm.

cleaning products you should never mixFamily Handyman

Never Mix These Cleaning Products

When faced with tough stains and big messes, it's tempting to mix multiple household cleaners together. While it may seem counter-intuitive, these concoctions are not only less effective but also dangerous.

Don't Mix: Ammonia and Bleach

Combining these two household cleaning products can create toxic chloramine vapors. If you inhale these vapors it can cause respiratory problems and throat burns. Make sure to read the labels on your cleaning products before you mix them to prevent any accidents. For example, Windex typically has ammonia in it, and some brands of pipe cleaner, such as Drano, have bleach in them. Here are some other mistakes you're making when cleaning with bleach.

Don't Mix: Vinegar and Bleach

When you mix an acidic product with bleach it releases toxic chlorine and chloramine vapors. This can cause a chemical burn, most likely in your lungs or eyes.

Don't Mix: Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

Combining hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates peracetic acid or corrosive acid. It can create an irritant that, in high concentrations, can harm the skin, eyes, throat, nose and lungs. These two products can be used on the same surface (make certain the area dries between applications), but they can't be mixed together in the same container. These are the cleaning products that professional house cleaners always buy.

Don't Mix: Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach

Mixing these two products creates chloroform. When exposed to low levels of chloroform you may become dizzy or nauseous. Higher levels can lead to damage of the nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver and kidneys — even death. Here's a good time to use rubbing alcohol in your workshop.

Don't Mix: Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

If you mix bleach with an acid-based toilet bowl cleaner containing sodium bisulfate, it can release toxic fumes that will cause breathing problems and watery eyes. Make sure to avoid the ways you may be cleaning your bathroom all wrong.

Don't Mix: Different Drain Cleaners

If your drain is really clogged, you might be tempted to try this. Don't. Mixing different drain cleaners can cause the release of chlorine gas and may even lead to an explosion. Avoid mixing drain cleaners in the same container as well as using one right after another. Avoid using drain cleaner altogether by never putting these things down the drain.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest