Bleach has long been controversial for household use due to the impact on both our health and the environment. But sometimes bleach is one of the few products that can get those white white or properly kill germs. If you ever need to use bleach it’s important to know a few key things about it.
Bleach is considered a disinfectant and not a cleaner. This means its potency is greatly reduced when it comes in contact with dirt. You should always clean first and disinfect after if needed. Bleach should be handled with gloves and eye protection, and always stored away from children. One of the real dangers of bleach is when it’s mixed with other chemicals. Here are the few to absolutely steer clear from.
Ammonia. Bleach and ammonia is a well known no-no. The problem is that many cleaners can contain ammonia, which can be dangerous if you unknowingly mix bleach with it. When combined these two produce chloramine gas which can burn your eyes and respiratory tract and cause internal organ damage. If the concentration is high enough it can not only be toxic, but also explosive.
Vinegar. Vinegar seems very mild since it’s often used in so many other ways, but not with bleach. The combination produces chlorine gas, which causes coughing and irritation to mucous membranes. It also causes chemical burns and can be deadly if exposure is prolonged. Any acid mixed with bleach does the same, including lemon juice and some toilet bowl cleaners (which is why you shouldn’t pour bleach in the toilet!).
Rubbing Alcohol. Alcohol combined with bleach produces chloroform, which can make you lose consciousness. Breathing chloroform for too long is deadly. Other dangerous substances can be produced when mixed with alcohol such as hydrochloric acid and chloroacetone.
The takeaway here? Never mix bleach with anything besides water.
Source: the Kitchn