Combining bleach and the common household cleaner could result in extremely toxic chemicals. You've probably heard this already, but continue to use bleach to clean with right before or after using products with chemicals that react with bleach. Do you use bleach to clean with? If yes, do you know exactly which products interact with bleach? Chemical interactions can cause the deadliest chemical combinations, because we cannot see the finished product. It would be normal to assume that if products are made to clean the house, they are compatible. This assumption could not be further than the truth.
Bleach, better yet, chlorine bleach is formulated with the active ingredient sodium hypochlorite. Chemicals used to clean pools also contain sodium hypochlorite. Remembering back to chemistry class, we may recall that sodium hypochlorite reacts with drain cleaners, acids, and ammonia. Mixing a combination as described produces a toxic gas. Bleach also reacts with hydrogen peroxide and some pesticides.
Common examples of products that contain ammonia include glass and window cleaners, some toilet bowl cleaners, exterior and exterior paints, and, yes, there's ammonia in pet and human urine. Blend bleach and ammonia, and the result are toxic gases, or chloramines. People that are exposed to chloramines may experience: shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, wheezing, nausea, watering of the eyes, irritation of the nose and throat, and/or pneumonia and fluid in the lungs. If you think that you've mixed the chemicals, and you're experiencing these symptoms, you need to get to the hospital.
Products consisting of acids are vinegar, drain cleaner, automatic dishwater detergent, and toilet bowl cleaners.
The products described in this article should constantly be kept away from children. Besides the fact that children don't understand the deadly concoction that these chemicals exude, the Poison Control Center receives thousands of calls about these types of products. From a child drinking some variety of poisons, to whether products that are mixed together seem to be causing breathing symptoms, the Poison Control Center would rather you take proper safety precautions.
Proper safety precautions start with utilizing the products wisely. While cleaning the different rooms in your house with more than one type of cleaner, be sure to read labels. All household cleaning products come with labels that present guidelines for usage. Keep different types of cleaning products away from each other, and use on at a time. This will ensure that chemicals that may cause a reaction are kept separate and safe. Finally, gloves should be used when handling any of the aforementioned products, especially bleach products.