Common Household Chemicals - Dangerous Mixtures

Dangerous Chemicals - Do Not Mix List

Some chemicals really do produce toxic sludge.
Some chemicals really do produce toxic sludge. Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images

Some of the common chemicals found in your home shouldn't be mixed together. It's one thing to say "don't mix bleach with ammonia", but it's not always easy to know what products contain these two chemicals. Here are some household products you may have around the home that shouldn't be combined. 

  • Bleach with Acid Toilet Bowl Cleaners
    This mixture can result in toxic, potentially deadly fumes.
  • Bleach with Vinegar
    Vinegar is a type of acid. Toxic chlorine vapor is produced. Don't mix chlorine bleach with any acid.
  • Bleach with Ammonia
    Toxic, potentially lethal vapors are produced. The main danger comes from chloramine vapors.
  • Different Brands of One Type of Product
    Don't mix different cleaners together. They may react violently, produce toxins, or become ineffective.
  • Highly Alkaline Products with Highly Acidic Products
    Acids and bases (alkalis) can react violently, presenting a splash hazard. Acids and bases are caustic and may cause chemical burns.
  • Certain Disinfectants with Detergents
    Don't mix disinfectants with 'quaternary ammonia' listed as an ingredient with a detergent. The effectiveness of the disinfectant may be neutralized.

Chlorine bleach is sometimes called “sodium hypochlorite” or “hypochlorite.” You will encounter it in chlorine bleach, automatic dishwashing detergents, chlorinated disinfectants and cleaners, chlorinated scouring powder, mildew removers, and toilet bowl cleaners. Do not mix products together.

Do not mix them with ammonia or vinegar.

Read the labels of products in your home and following instructions for proper use. Many containers will state the most common dangers from interaction with other products.