(WHTM) – When you have a very difficult mess to clean up, you can use many cleaning supplies at once. However, there are some chemicals that should never be mixed or used together.
Mixing chemicals can create large clouds of vapor and even explosions if used improperly. This can lead to health problems, injury or even death.
In 2019, an employee at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Massachusetts died after inhaling fumes created when two chemicals were mixed by another employee to clean the restaurant’s kitchen floor.
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Here are a few household products that Good Housekeeping says should never be mixed together.
bleach and rubbing alcohol
The only thing you should ever mix with bleach is plain water. Mixing bleach with rubbing alcohol produces chloroform, a colorless, strong-smelling liquid that vaporizes into a gas. The result is highly toxic and can damage your eyes, lungs, and even your liver.
bleach and ammonia
Many window cleaners like Windex contain ammonia. When mixed with bleach, it creates a toxic gas called chloramine. Vapors from this gas can cause sinus congestion, choking, shortness of breath, and coughing. In some cases, it can even cause chest pain.
bleach and vinegar
As mentioned above, you should never mix bleach with anything other than plain water. However, mixing it with vinegar can create chlorine bleach, which contains sodium hypochlorite. This can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even death if ingested in large amounts.
Two different types of drain cleaners
Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute of Cleaning, explains that people should never mix two different drain cleaners together, or even use them one after the other. Each drain cleaner can contain different chemical formulas and can even explode when combined. Only use one type of cleaner. If that one product doesn’t work, call a plumber instead.
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hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
Some may have heard that you should spray countertops with alternating mists of these two items, but you should never combine them in the same container. These products combine to form peracetic acid, a corrosive liquid that can be very irritating to the eyes and burn the skin.