Are you trying to “go green” by using natural, home-made cleaning products? This is a great decision! You’re taking a step toward a cleaner home with fewer chemicals in the air, and you’ll save money in the process. But even when using all-natural products, you still run the risk of a dangerous chemical reaction. To ensure your safety, follow this guide for properly mixing natural cleaners.
Green Cleaners You Should Never Mix
You have probably heard never to mix ammonia and bleach because the combination creates a harmful gas called chloramine. Of course, if you’re going all-natural, you probably won’t use either ingredient. Still, here are the top green cleaners you should never mix with each other or with bleach.
- Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide: When these natural cleaners combine, they create peracetic acid. Breathing in the fumes could damage your lungs and irritate your skin and eyes. Repeated exposure could even cause lasting lung damage.
- Vinegar and liquid castile soap: While these ingredients aren’t dangerous when combined, they render each other ineffective. The acid in vinegar breaks down the castile soap and turns it into a chunky, oily sludge. It’s best to use these products separately to maximize their cleaning power.
- Vinegar and bleach: Think you can make vinegar stronger by combining it with bleach? Think again. These ingredients combine to make chlorine gas, which can cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, and coughing when you breathe it in. Chlorine gas poisoning can even cause death at high enough levels.
- Rubbing alcohol and bleach: By now, it’s clear that cleaning with bleach and water is the only recommended combination. When you mix rubbing alcohol and bleach, the resulting chloroform gas can irritate your lungs. High doses can be lethal.
Be aware that while you should never mix these cleaners, it’s perfectly safe to use them back to back. If they do accidentally come in contact with each other, move to a place with fresh air to avoid breathing in any fumes.
Green Cleaners That are Safe to Use Together
Don’t be afraid of making your own household cleaners just because some ingredients are unsafe when mixed together. Look at all the safe ways you can clean your home naturally:
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide: Tired of cleaning the bathroom with bleach? All you need to create a bleach alternative are baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, lemon essential oil, and water. Use this mixture anywhere you would normally use bleach for the same cleaning power without the headache-inducing fumes.
- Baking soda and castile soap: Baking soda and a bar of castile soap make the perfect laundry detergent! You’ll also need washing soda, citric acid, and coarse sea salt to complete the recipe. Lavender-scented castile soap makes your laundry smell particularly fresh.
- Baking soda and vinegar: The best place for cleaning with baking soda and vinegar is in your drains. While ordinary drain cleaner damages the plumbing, the fizzing action of baking soda and vinegar cleans out the gunk without harmful chemicals.
- Oil and vinegar: Olive oil and distilled vinegar make the perfect combination for cleaning wood products. Add a little orange, lemon, or clove essential oil to the mixture to leave a fresh scent behind.
Clearly, while it’s possible to clean and freshen your home with green cleaners, you must be cautious about the products you mix. The information here ensures you’ll never make the mistake of mixing natural cleaners improperly again!
Be sure to also check out this guide on replacing household cleaners with natural products, so you know how to make the most of your green cleaning efforts.