Open up any cleaning cupboard and you’ll be confronted with a wide range of chemicals fit to tackle most cleaning tasks. But what happens when the product you’re using isn’t up to the job? Do you go back and grab something with a little more kick? Make a little chemical cocktail? Of course you do. But here is why you should never mix cleaning chemicals.
DIFFERENT DRAIN CLEANERS DO NOT MIX
Read the label on pretty much any cleaning product and it will quite clearly state ‘Do not mix cleaning products together’ and you should most definitely heed this warning when dealing with drain cleaners.
Here’s why: Not all drain cleaners are the same. Different brands of drain cleaner for different purposes have entirely different ingredients to each other, which, if mixed, can create some pretty nasty chemical reactions. This ranges from at best causing skin burns and irritations to, at absolute worst, death. A drain cleaner with a bleach base carelessly mixed with a hydrochloric acid based drain cleaner will blend together to produce chlorine gas. If it doesn’t kill you, you will almost certainly have difficulty breathing and a serious case of skin, eye and airway irritation. My top tip – do not mix cleaning chemicals.
MIXING TOILET BLEACH AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING AMMONIA CAN CREATE TOXIC VAPOUR
You might not necessarily mix bleach with window cleaner or a multi-purpose spray intentionally but most of the time, these products are used closely around each other which can lead to some indirect cross contamination. Ammonia is top of the list on numerous heavy-duty glass cleaners and is contained in many well-known multi-purpose cleaners. If ammonia and bleach do happen to mix whilst you’re cleaning surfaces in your poorly ventilated, confined room, you’re almost definitely signing up for a dose of eye irritation, breathing difficulties, throat burns and nausea. Why? Well, because this combination of chemicals produces a quite nasty and toxic vapour into the atmosphere called Chloramine. So, my top tip – do not mix cleaning chemicals.
THERE IS A CHANCE YOU MIGHT INDIRECTLY CREATE CHLOROFORM
Sometimes when a cleaning task is tough, people can be tempted to try a couple of different methods on top of each other. Not only is this stupid, it is also quite dangerous. If you’re thinking of using surgical spirit to remove some sticky residues followed by a glug of bleach to finish off the job, just don’t. Mixing bleach with any type of rubbing alcohol will create chloroform. In the old days, chloroform was used as an anesthetic before surgery, but that was before it was banned due to its potential carcinogenicity and ability to cause liver and kidney damage, heartbeat irregularities and breathing difficulties. So again, my top tip – do not mix cleaning chemicals.
So, can you mix cleaning products? No you cannot, should not and even if you think it might be okay you shouldn’t because chances are it won’t.
If you do however want to reach the sweet spot of achieving excellent cleaning results, on the first application, with no toxic fumes then I strongly suggest using biological cleaning products. These products have the ability to clean deeper and better than most conventional products whilst being free from any nasty ingredients (bleach, acid, ammonia). To find out more about why biological products are a safe bet then check out our blog post on: ‘What is biological cleaning?’