7 Green Cleaning Ingredients You Should Never Mix

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Interested in cleaning with green cleaning ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, etc? Well if you are, then it’s a great step because chemical cleaners are extremely hazardous not just for your house but also for your loved ones.

But before you start experimenting with the natural cleaning ingredients you must be aware of some things as a few of them don’t do that well when mixed. Mixing some of them can be futile, while others can be pretty detrimental for your health and household surfaces. So here are a few combinations which you should avoid.


7 Green Cleaning Ingredients that should never be mixed

1. Bleach and Ammonia

Mixing bleach with ammonia is a really bad idea. On mixing them, the bleach decomposes initially and forms hydrochloric acid (HCl). This HCl on reacting with ammonia produces a toxic gas called Chloramine.

Chloramine gas can irritate your eyes, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, skin-related problems, etc. If not treated immediately the symptoms can worsen.

Note: If you or a loved one meets a Chloramine related accident, then it’s best to call 911 immediately.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

During science fairs in schools, there is always this person who would make a volcano, where they would combine baking soda with vinegar to create that eruption-like effect. 

Both these green cleaning ingredients work exceptionally well, but not when you mix them. This is also taught in basic chemistry classes in school, mixing acid (vinegar) with base (baking soda) creates salt (sodium acetate). This final product doesn’t work that well when it comes to cleaning.

Note: There is a chance of an explosion! If you store both these ingredients together in a container, there is a huge risk of the container being exploded due to the production of carbon dioxide gas.

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You may also like: 30 Genius Ways to Clean with Baking Soda 

3. Castile Soap and Vinegar

Just like the combination of baking soda and vinegar, the combination of castile soap and vinegar is also ineffective. 

Castile soap is basic and vinegar is acidic when you combine both these ingredients, Castile soap breaks down and turns back into its original oils. This mixture looks like curdled white gunk, which is not what you want when you are willing to clean your house.

Never combine castile soap with any acid including lemon as it breaks down the castile soap into gunk. But castile soap has brilliant uses around the home.

Note: You can use Castile soap first as a cleaning agent and then rinse it up with vinegar.

4. Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol

Both bleach and rubbing alcohol work amazingly well in cleaning but only when used separately as cleaning agents. But mixing these two can be a very bad decision.

When we combine bleach and rubbing alcohol, we get hydrochloric acid and chloroform. Chloroform is the liquid used by kidnappers to knock their victims unconscious (you might have seen it in some movies!).

Even though the chloroform that forms from the combination of these household cleaners isn’t as potent and concentrated, it still is harmful and can cause damage to your lungs, kidneys, eyes, skin, etc.

5. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Vinegar with hydrogen peroxide produces Peracetic acid, which is extremely harmful to not just you and your loved ones but also to your home as it can damage household surfaces.

Peracetic acid can cause severe damage to your eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Upon immediate exposure, you will experience shortness of breath, cough, skin redness, blisters, and irritation in your eyes.

The best way to use these ingredients is to use them separately, as both of them are great cleaners. You can also do this, spray and rinse clean using one cleaner and then repeat the process with the other one. This works pretty well and is safe.

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6. Bleach and Vinegar

Well, you might have already realized that mixing bleach with anything is a bad idea. Vinegar is an amazing cleaner when used on its own and so is the case with bleach.

Combining bleach with vinegar creates toxic chlorine gas which can damage your throat, respiratory tract, and in high concentration, it can even prove to be lethal (this is rare because the household vinegar and bleach are not as concentrated). So you shouldn’t try this at home.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Well, not exactly a harmful reaction when you mix both. Many cleaning recipes combine both and it works well. So, why is this combination on this list?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to combine both and use in cleaning but this combination should never be stored in a closed container because it can explode, leak or spray all over when opened. So, when using them just don’t store this mix in a closed container.

Few Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Safety comes first. So, be sure that you don’t create something on your own which can be even worse.
  • Keep your house well ventilated when you are cleaning it, to avoid inhaling any harmful gases.
  • Avoid using bleach as it is pretty harsh on a variety of household surfaces.
  • If you use bleach, avoid mixing it with anything else.
  • Wear protective gear while using ammonia it can be harmful to your skin, eyes, lungs, etc.

Do share this post to spread awareness about these not-so-good combinations!


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