Social media gave birth to an ever-growing community of cleaning fans, with #hincharmy totaling over a million Instagram posts. Over on Generation Z platform TikTok, #CovidCleaning has 840,000 views, but experts are warning that mixing products at home can have lethal results.
‘Social media is a great place for life hacks, but when it comes to cleaning, especially with chemicals, there are things to be aware of in order to be safe,’ says Edward Tennent, an antimicrobial expert at Zonitise.
Namely, mixing bleach with vinegar, ammonia, or lemon juice can be fatal. This is because it creates chlorine gas, which is toxic and can kill if you breathe too much in. ‘I’m sure it will shock many to see that some of what they might be doing at home could be very dangerous,’ Edward adds.
A survey conducted by Zonitise (opens in new tab) revealed that half of us have tried out cleaning hacks we’ve seen online, and many of us have been making our own cleaning products at home. This, coupled with the fact we’re all more conscious of keeping our homes germ-free due to Covid, makes it all the more important to ensure you’re sanitizing your home safely. According to Zonitise experts, these are the top three most dangerous household cleaning products to mix.
Bleach and ammonia
This mixture creates toxic vapor, which causes burning eyes and respiratory problems, and organ damage. Not only that, if there’s enough ammonia in the mixture it will create a highly explosive toxic substance. Some household and industrial-strength cleaning products (like window cleaners) contain ammonia so mixing those with bleach is to absolutely be avoided.
Bleach and rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is sometimes used as a disinfectant. When combined with bleach it creates a substance so toxic that when it’s breathed in can knock you out and kill you if you inhale too much.
Bleach mixed with vinegar or lemon juice
This makes a toxic gas and in high quantities. The gas causes chemical burns on the skin and attacks the respiratory system. It can even cause death if it’s highly concentrated or in a room with no fresh air.
A good rule of thumb to remember when cleaning with a potent product like bleach? You really don't need to mix it with anything else in order for it to do it's job properly, and doing so could lead to some seriously harmful fumes.