20 Common Household Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix

Updated: Aug. 02, 2023

Ignorance isn't always bliss. These cleaning product combinations can be deadly.

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Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can be wonderful, cheap alternatives to household cleaning products on their own, but together they’re not the best team. Because baking soda is basic and vinegar is acidic, combining them results in mostly water, which isn’t toxic, of course, but it’s not a cleaning powerhouse, either. Check out these 15 clever uses for baking soda in your home.

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Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

Alone they’re considered great natural cleaning ingredients, but when combined, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can result in paracetic acid. While the combination will sanitize, it can also be corrosive! Check out how hydrogen peroxide is one of four alternatives to bleach for keeping your whites white.

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Ammonia and Bleach

These two ingredients are found in quite a few cleaning products, so be sure to check the ingredients lists of your bottles before using them together. Inhaling the vapors can result in respiratory damage and throat burns. Yikes! Check out these cleaning products that cause more harm than good.

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Vinegar and Bleach

Despite the combination making for a good disinfectant, when combined, these common cleaning agents are a no-no. The acid in vinegar releases toxic chlorine and chloramine vapors when added to bleach. Beware of this combination causing chemical burns to your eyes and lungs. Play it safe when DIYing with these items every DIYer should own and use.

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Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol

Bleach and rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol make chloroform—the scary stuff you see the bad guys in movies put on rags to knock people out! Although you might not pass out, cleaning with this combo is not recommended. Here’s why you should keep rubbing alcohol in your car this winter.

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Different Drain Cleaners

There’s something satisfying about dumping drain cleaner into a clogged sink. But if the clog isn’t breaking up, you may find yourself at the store for more. Remember to purchase the same kind you put down your sink the first time! Mixing different drain cleaners can cause the release of chlorine gas and may even lead to an explosion. Better yet, skip the harsh chemicals and use this technique for clearing clogged sink drains.

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Mildew Stain Remover and Bleach

Mildew stain remover contains acid, which, when combined with bleach, produces chlorine gas. Avoid irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs by steering clear of this combo. Here’s how to get rid of mildew and mold.

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Bleach and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

The mixture of an acidic-based toilet bowl cleaner with bleach is bad for your health. It releases toxic fumes that can cause breathing issues and watery eyes.

Here are nine simple toilet tune-ups you’ll be glad you know.

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Vinegar and Castile Soap

It may not be a dangerous combo, but it’s certainly an ineffective one! Combining vinegar and castile soap (fine, hard white or mottled soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide) merely creates a chunky, oily mixture, since the acid in vinegar breaks down the castile soap. Take a look at these 50 unusual cleaning solutions that actually work.

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Lysol and Bleach

The disinfectant Lysol shouldn’t be mixed with bleach. The bleach oxidizes the 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol that is in Lysol, resulting in various irritating and toxic compounds. Here are 50 cleaning secrets to make your home shine.

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Oven Cleaner and Bleach

Bleach is often considered the go-to for getting all sorts of cleaning jobs done, but there are many things it shouldn’t be mixed with, and oven cleaner is one of them! The combination can produce chlorine gas, resulting in irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

Many ovens today are self-cleaning, but is this safe? Here’s everything you need to know about using your self-cleaning oven.

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Dish Detergent and Bleach

Many dish detergents on the market today, like Dawn, add ammonia to boost cleaning power. If used in combination with bleach, the reaction will result in toxic gas being formed.

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Bleach and Lemon Juice

It makes sense that if acidic commercial cleaning products mix poorly with bleach, a simple addition of acidic lemon juice does too. Avoid the harmful result of chlorine gas by choosing one or the other. Check out these 10 unexpected ways to use lemon around the house.

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Glass Cleaner and Bleach

Mixing bleach with glass cleaner like Windex releases toxic gases and produces toxic chemicals. One of the ingredients in Windex is ammonia. The combination of ammonia and bleach’s main ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, produces chloramine vapor. Here’s how to clean windows just like a pro.

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Vinegar and Water (on Hard Wood Floors)

It may not be dangerous, but the combination of vinegar and water to clean your hard wood floors could be costly. Vinegar is acidic, and can damage the finish on your floor, resulting in a dull appearance. Furthermore, a solution of vinegar and water to clean is mostly water and while the combination works for other surfaces, it can result in moisture damage to your hard wood floors.

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Antibacterials/Disinfectants and Detergent

Mixing a disinfectant that uses quaternary ammonia with a foaming cleanser (think of mixing Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner with a foamy soap), may seem like the perfect combo to double down on picking up grime, but it actually results in quite the opposite. The combination neutralizes the disinfectant.

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Certain Pesticides and Water

Cleaning up around the house can result in some yucky discoveries, like finding bugs and spiders! But before you combine a strong pesticide with water, don’t. Certain pesticides, when combined with water, create deadly phosphine gas. Read through this super collection of our best tips for dealing with all kinds of pesky pests.

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Drain Cleaner and Bleach

Drain cleaner combined with bleach can produce chlorine gas, which can have long-lasting effects that may ultimately require medical treatment. Keep your eyes, nose and lungs safe from the toxic fume by avoiding this mixture.

Dust create when while doing DIY projects is bad for your lungs, too. Here’s how to choose the right dust mask.

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Different Brands of Cleaning Products

With all the potential combinations listed so far, it’s best to avoid using multiple cleaning products at once! You never know if the mixture could cause irritation, or result in a medical issue. They may even neutralize each other! Avoid dangerous chemical reactions and more by keeping things simple with only one of each cleaning product on hand. Check out these 100 essential cleaning hacks for your home.

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Bleach and Other Cleaning Products

Whether it’s a glass cleaner, dishwasher detergent, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner, wood cleaner or more, combining bleach with various other cleaning products can result in the production of chlorine gas, resulting in severe respiratory and ocular problems. If you must use bleach, use it by itself.

Some people recommend using chlorine bleach to remove roof stains. Here’s what we recommend along with instructions for the best way to get rid of those ugly stains.