Home Health Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Health By Monica Gray -

In science class, you probably watched your teacher mix chemicals to make things erupt and explode. That’s where the home volcano experiment came from! But that doesn’t mean you should open up all your cupboards and start mixing a bunch of chemicals. It can be extremely dangerous to mix certain chemicals. Professor Vy Dong Ph.D, from the University of California, studies chemicals and their reactions with each other. She said, “Molecules are like people with their personalities, and how they behave depends on who they are around…unless you understand the personalities of all the molecules in your bottle, don’t try this at home.” They’re unpredictable, and in this case, knowledge is power. And if you do happen to accidentally combine these chemicals, and experience symptoms like shortness of breath, call your local emergency number.

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

We’ve compiled a list of household chemicals that you should never even think about combining. Keep them as far away from each other as possible to avoid an unwanted disaster, or a potentially deadly combination. Always take necessary safety precautions when handling harsh chemicals like bleach. Wear gloves and protective goggles, and make sure your home is ventilated. Open any doors and windows you can, so you’re not cleaning your home in clouds of toxic fumes. Science can be both fascinating and dangerous, so always take precautions when dealing with chemicals.

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

Bleach And Drain Cleaner

You likely have bleach and drain cleaner lying underneath your kitchen sink. Bleach is an excellent chemical to use to clean, and drain cleaner gets rid of clogged drains. But if you mix them, you’re looking at toxic chlorine gas. If you accidentally inhale this, you could have breathing difficulties and other health issues. If you do accidentally combine bleach with chemicals, like drain cleaner, take Vy Dong’s advice. She says, “The toxic chemicals formed from bleach are gases, so it is best to work with good ventilation, where the toxic gas can escape and be replaced with fresh air.” Don’t mix one drain cleaner with another, since they’re concentrated. Combined, they can be dangerous (Good Housekeeping).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

Bleach And Vinegar

Even though bleach is great for cleaning clothes, you should never mix it with vinegar. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, and mixed with vinegar, the two produce chlorine gas which can cause respiratory problems if you accidentally breathe it in. Professor Vy Dong Ph.D., said, “This gas was used as a chemical weapon in World War I, causing damage to soldiers’ eyes, nose, and lungs with prolonged exposure.”And in high volumes, it can even be deadly (Grove).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

Drain Cleaner and Vinegar

We’ve seen vinegar, and we’ve seen drain cleaner on this list already. But what happens when you combine the two? The result is more deadly than you think. The combo produces toxic fumes and could result in chemical burns. UH Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Tom Teets, said, “It’s going to release a chlorine gas. It doesn’t matter what type of acid it is. Any acid will cause that, and vinegar could do that.” You’ve heard the professor, just don’t do it (ABC13).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

Hydrogen Peroxide And Vinegar

Although you probably love both of these chemicals by themselves, the two together could be hazardous. Combined, it forms peracetic acid. This is corrosive and can cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation that’s uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can alternate between spraying vinegar and hydrogen peroxide on surfaces to clean them, just don’t mix them (Houston Methodist).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix

Bleach And Ammonia

This is probably the most toxic, harmful combination on this list. Bleach is great for clothes, ammonia is great for cleaning surfaces. But you should never mix the two chemicals. It releases toxic chloramine gas, which can cause eye irritation, and respiratory issues, and can lead to coma and death if ingested. It can also lead to coughing, wheezing watery eyes, chest pain, nausea, and pneumonia, with fluid buildup in the lungs (Healthline).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Daily Express

Toilet Bowl Cleaner And Vinegar

Keep these two chemicals away from each other, they don’t combine well. You can use each chemical on its own but don’t use the two together. The mixture can create harmful fumes and may even damage your toilet surface. This is because toilet bowl cleaner contains bleach, which we learned is toxic (Good Housekeeping).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Good Housekeeping

Bleach And Rubbing Alcohol

Bleach doesn’t go well with any chemicals, and rubbing alcohol is included in that long list. The reason for this? Mixing these chemicals creates chloroform. Other toxic compounds can be hazardous if accidentally ingested, and can damage your liver, eyes, and lungs. It also makes peracetic and peroxyacetic acid, which is corrosive and can damage your eyes. Vy Dong Ph.D. said, “Chloroform can be used to knock people unconscious, and it is suspected to cause cancer. Chloroacetone is no better, having been used as tear gas in World War I.” Avoid making these chemicals in your own home, especially if you have children. There’s no reason to combine these two anyway, so you’ll likely never find yourself in this position (DPH).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Going Green with Lisa Bronner

Vinegar And Castile Soap

If you’re one to make natural, homemade cleaners, definitely avoid this combination. We’re sorry to tell you but there’s nothing worse than combining vinegar and Castile soap, as tempting as it may sound. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the castile soap, and in turn, creates a chunky, oily mess that’s hard to clean up. You’ve just given yourself an extra few hours of work if you combined these two. That defeats the cleaning purpose! (Purdy And Figg).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
The Robert Little Group

Water And Vinegar

Even though these two together won’t cause something deadly, they can seriously damage your hardwood floors. That’s because the two together may cause excessive moisture, which can harm your floors. The acid in vinegar will break down the finish on your wood floor, damaging it. Just don’t take any chances with vinegar when it comes to your hardwood floors, and instead use a floor cleaner (RD).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Good Housekeeping

Rubbing Alcohol And Ammonia

Combining rubbing alcohol and ammonia can lead to the formation of toxic gases. This can harm your liver, eyes, and lungs if you accidentally ingest it, so it’s better to never combine the two. The combination is mostly harmful to your airways if you breathe in the toxic fumes. It’s important to store these substances separately and use them in well-ventilated areas to minimize any potential risk of dangerous chemical reactions. If you suspect exposure to these toxic fumes or experience symptoms of irritation, it’s advisable to seek medical attention promptly to ensure your safety and well-being. (Core Products Co).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Trustey Man

Different Drain Cleaners

Just because you have a clogged drain, doesn’t mean it’s sitting there waiting for you to turn it into a chemistry classroom. Never combine different drain cleaners. These cleaners contain chemicals like bleach, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid. If you use different drain cleaners with different chemicals, the combination could be extremely dangerous for your eyes, lungs, liver, and skin. Worst of all, some could even explode if they’re combined. It’s time to get out of your contact list and call your plumber (The Hill).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Fantastic Cleaner Australia

Disinfectants And Detergents

Even though combining these two isn’t necessarily harmful, you should still avoid mixing them because you’re doing more harm than good. Mixing a disinfectant that has quaternary ammonia with a foaming cleanser is neutralizing. It’s not doing anything for your home except sitting there! (Taste of Home).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Home Serve

Rubbing Alcohol And Hydrogen Peroxide

The combination of these two chemicals creates peracetic acid, a compound that poses significant risks to your skin, eyes, and lungs. Exposure to this harmful compound can have detrimental effects on your health. While both chemicals can be used separately, it’s crucial to ensure they never come into contact with each other to avoid the formation of peracetic acid. Keeping them apart is essential for maintaining your safety and well-being.(Apartment Therapy).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Professional House Cleaning

Bleach And Lysol

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Never mix bleach and Lysol together, as tempting as it might sound. This is because of the bleach oxides of the 2-benzyl-4-chlorophenol in Lysol. Not only is the result irritating, but it’s toxic. It can cause lung damage, coughing, and even death. Besides, Lysol by itself is strong enough to kill germs, so you don’t need to add bleach to the mix (Quora).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Very Well Health

Oven Cleaner And Bleach

Degreasing chemicals and bleach should never be mixed. The two combined could result in the release of toxic gas, which may irritate your lungs, eyes, and throat. These two chemicals are powerful cleaners and don’t need to be mixed to be effective. These chemicals are seldom safe to mix with anything, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry (Maids).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Can You Mix

Ammonia And Vinegar

We’re seeing these two chemicals again on this list and for a very good reason. Combining these two chemicals produces toxic chloramine gas, which may lead to eye irritation and respiratory problems. Besides, the two also cancel each other out and you’re left with an ineffective, dangerous chemical combination (Quora).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
The Spruce

Mildew Stain Remover And Bleach

If you find stubborn mildew in your home, you might feel tempted to attack it in two different ways. But you must never attack it with bleach and with a mildew stain remover. Because the stain remover contains acid, it reacts when combined with bleach. It produces chlorine gas, which may irritate your throat, eyes, nose, and lungs (Draxe).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Better Cotton

Pesticides And Water

This doesn’t apply to every pesticide, but ones with phosphide-containing pesticide. When it comes into contact with water, it can create phosphine gas. There are some products out there that do well with water, but for the most part, don’t combine the two. Besides, pesticides already contain harmful chemicals that are toxic to our health, so it’s better to not even have it in your home unless completely necessary (Extension).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
My Turn For Us

Oven Cleaner And Vinegar

While the degreaser chemicals in an oven cleaner are harmful, when combined with vinegar, they can release harmful vapors and damage surfaces. Even though white vinegar may seem harmless when it’s on its own, it can aid in the release of deadly chemicals in the air when it’s combined with other chemicals (The Kitchn).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
The Kitchn

Dishwashing Detergent And Bleach

Not only can bleach irritate your eyes and skin but mixing it with dishwashing detergent can release toxic chlorine gas into the air, which is toxic if ingested. Besides, dishwashing detergent on its own is effective enough it doesn’t need the extra cleanliness of bleach to help. It’s also not recommended to clean dishes with bleach, since you could accidentally ingest it if you don’t wash it properly (CDPR).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Crafty Little Gnome

Lemon And Bleach

Even combining something as harmless as a lemon with bleach can be harmful. That’s all thanks to lemon’s makeup, which is acidic. The combination of these two can result in a toxic, harmful gas. It’s better to leave these two separately, and if you’re tempted to clean, choose one (Purdy and Figg).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Sounds Like You Need A Superhero

Oven Cleaner And Ammonia

As we’ve already learned, it’s never safe to combine ammonia with any other household chemicals. It can create toxic fumes, and if you accidentally breathe it in without wearing the proper protective equipment, the combination can be extremely toxic to your health. This is exactly the case with oven cleaners and ammonia. Don’t even think about putting the two chemicals near each other! (Fabulessly Frugal).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
Taste of Home

Glass Cleaner And Bleach

Even if your windows are looking dirty and foggy, that doesn’t mean you should grab both the glass cleaner and bleach. Never combine these two, all because of their chemicals. Glass cleaner contains ammonia, and as we’ve learned ammonia and bleach together is a huge no-no. The combination is called sodium hypochlorite, which produces chloramine vapor, a highly toxic substance. Side effects from this are choking, coughing, sinus congestion, and shortness of breath (ABC27).

Household Chemicals You Should Never Mix
One Good Thing

Baking Soda And Vinegar

While the byproducts of baking soda and vinegar aren’t necessarily harmful, since it’s only water, sodium acetate, and carbon dioxide, it’s not safe, either. According to Vy Dong Ph.D., a professor at the University of California, when combining the two “carbon dioxide is a gas, and having this reaction occur in a sealed container can cause a small explosion as carbon dioxide tries to escape.” You might have your very own erupting volcano in your home (Insider).