If you’re trying to save money, brand name household cleaners are one expense that you can easily cut from your budget — by using bleach, vinegar and baking soda instead.
Danger: Mixing these cleaning products is toxic
But there’s a very important warning from Good Housekeeping that we can’t stress enough: Do not mix bleach with anything but plain water.
The Washington State Department of Health explains on its website that sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in chlorine bleach, reacts with ammonia, drain cleaners and other acids.
Mixing bleach with ammonia produces toxic gases called chloramines, which can lead to these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
- Chest pain
- Irritation to the throat, nose, and eyes
- Pneumonia and fluid in the lungs
Meanwhile, mixing bleach with acids, including vinegar, will give off chlorine gas. Exposure can cause many of the same symptoms as mixing bleach and ammonia.
Not everyone got an A in chemistry class, so these mistakes are quite easy to make.
The bottom line is that many household cleaners do an excellent job on their own, so you don’t need to play chemist and risk serious injury by mixing them together.
Always read the warning and ingredient labels to make sure you’re using them properly.
And now that you know how to use these household cleaners the right way, put them to use with our list of 30 home cleaning hacks that will transform your routine.