Common Household Chemicals That Are Dangerous Mixtures

A Handy 'Do Not Mix' List

Cleaning products isolated on white background
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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

This is 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.

Bottom Line

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.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Common Household Chemicals That Are Dangerous Mixtures." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2021, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, September 7). Common Household Chemicals That Are Dangerous Mixtures. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Common Household Chemicals That Are Dangerous Mixtures." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).