Household hazard: don't mix these cleaners

Hazards of mixing cleaners
Posted at 2:26 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 14:33:46-05

Coronavirus is causing Americans to rethink their sanitization skills, but surprisingly, two cleaners are not better than one!

According to the CDC, there has been a 20.4 percent increase in calls to the Poison Control Center since this time last year. Since we clean now more than ever, we’ll share what not to mix so you can avoid toxic concoctions.

You may think cleaners are stronger together, but it could result in fatal fumes! One toxic pairing is hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. When combined, peracetic acid is created, which can cause corrosion.

If you run out of one drain cleaner and start to use another brand … don’t! They could potentially react, creating toxic fumes, and could cause an explosion inside the drain! A less-toxic mixture is probably one you heard of in school … vinegar and baking soda. While it’s not dangerous, placing the two in a sealed container can cause an explosion, since carbon dioxide is trying to escape.

The most powerful of any of these mixtures is bleach. Combining it with anything other than water can result in chlorine gas, and if inhaled, causes a number of respiratory issues. Large quantities can knock you out, or even be fatal, like mixing bleach and rubbing alcohol. To stay safe, open nearby doors and windows, and wear gloves to avoid skin irritation and chemical burns.

If you bleach a surface, be sure to wash off with water before adding on any other cleaners. If you do feel chest pain and shortness of breath, either seek medical attention, live chat with someone on or call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.