Don’t Mix These With Bleach

Do not mix these with bleach

Guest article by ‘ Anony Mee ‘

Sanitation protocols have been the subject of much discussion here on MSB of late. Ken’s excellent article on converting Pool Shock to chlorine bleach, and then proper dilution for disinfecting drinking water was very timely.

[ Read: Bleach Water Ratio for Disinfecting ]

[ Read: Make Chlorine Bleach From Pool Shock ]

Chlorine bleach is a dangerous chemical. Even a short exposure can irritate mucosal tissues and burn skin. Yet, as we all know, it can be safely used in combination with laundry soap and liquid fabric softener.

In order to improve disinfection, we might reasonably think that chemicals that are relatively safe and effective when used alone can be used together for a more powerful result. That is not the case, however. Here are some dangerous chemical combinations to be aware of  these days.

Don’t Mix Chlorine Bleach with Rubbing Alcohol

Mixing chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with rubbing (ethanol or isopropyl) alcohol, makes a blend of chloroform, hydrochloric acid, and chloroacetone or dichloroacetone. These chemicals are irritating and toxic, and can lead nervous system, lung, kidney, liver, eye, and skin damage. High levels of chloroform can bring on dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness, and possibly death.

Don’t Mix Chlorine Bleach with Vinegar

If you mix vinegar or other mild acids with bleach, it creates vapors of toxic chloramine and chlorine gas. These can cause problems ranging from breathing problems and watery eyes to serious chemical burns to lungs, esophageal tissue, and eyes.

Don’t Mix Chlorine Bleach with Ammonia

This combination produces a toxic gas called chloramine, with symptoms similar to bleach and vinegar, plus shortness of breath and chest pain. Many glass cleaners contain ammonia, so never mix those with chlorine bleach.

Mixing large amounts of ammonia with bleach could produce liquid hydrazine. Liquid hydrazine is highly toxic and potentially even explosive.

Don’t Mix Hydrogen Peroxide with Vinegar 

Combining hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in the same container makes a corrosive – peracetic acid. This is potentially toxic and in high concentrations can damage the skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs.

Basically, don’t use chlorine bleach with anything other than laundry soap. And do not combine the contents of containers of disinfectants and other cleaning products with each other. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t drink it you shouldn’t mix it.

[ Read: Drinking Water Purification | Bleach Water Ratio ]


    1. I hear ya –

      Plus, seriously, some people may just simply not know. (So no offense if you didn’t know!)

    2. which you are lacking because you can’t figure out that some people don’t know this chemistry stuff.

    3. But is it safe to drink – straight out of the bottle or diluted with a little bit of water first – as an idiot, that’s what I want to know.

  1. I did not know about peroxide and vinegar. Thanks for the information.

  2. Thanks Ken, Good advice, we don’t need to risk any life threatening accidental situations when hospitals and doctors offices are dealing with the Covid 19 virus. Hopefully we will be able to buy more Lysol at some point in the future. For now we use diluted bleach with a pressure sprayer we got at Lowes to disinfect and my wife soaks our produce in vinegar and water. We still have some Lysol we use sparingly for letters and bills which keep coming.

  3. Thank you Anony Mee and Ken,
    I knew about Ammonia and now I know about the rest. Important information.

  4. Mr. Ken, you take a very nice photo, I always wondered what you looked like ?

    As usual, good info 100+

  5. Anony Mee,
    Great and timely article.
    Didn’t know about the vinegar and peroxide.
    You are one smart cookie!
    Thanks again,

  6. Please add bleach and toilet cleaner to the list.
    Bleach – sodium hypochlorite
    Toilet cleaner – hydrochloric acid
    Result – chloramine gas
    It’s an irritant to eyes, nose and skin.
    Inhaled – it can be fatal.

  7. Anony Mee;
    Thank you for putting this together.
    Sometimes people just don’t know or they forget.
    Well Done.

    1. Thanks Mad Fab, NRP, all

      Was a bit of a safety wonk earlier in my life and it’s stuck with me.

      Timely for me also because I’ve got a piglet in the house being hand fed. Keep her in a large plastic tub on raggy towels. E. coli is a definite risk so I clean and sanitize the tub every day and do a load of towels every couple of days. Researching best way to clean, and get piggy pee/sour milk stink out of towels, led me to a warning about mixing bleach with other chemicals. Some was news to me, too.

      1. Anony Mee….re “Researching best way to clean, and get piggy pee/sour milk stink out of towels, “…

        this is somewhat similar to oldfashioned human baby diapers …..Hundred yrs ago, or so, I was assured that scraping “excess” off, washing with strong soap, then boil, then hang in sun on clothesline, would sanitize and get them sparkling white. Not having tried it myself, cant swear, but lots assured me it was so.

        1. Rather than scrape the excess we would hold the cleanish end, dip in the toilet a couple times then flush, launder with bleach and line dry.

  8. Don’t mix chlorine with certain dishwashing liquids, read the labels, toxic fumes will result.

  9. I was cleaning my bathtub prior to coating it with one of those epoxy tub coating kits.I filled up the tub with water and I thought it would be a good idea to use TSP and bleach. It started smoking like a cauldron in a movie. I turned on the fan and slammed the door shut. I thought the darn tub was going to blow up. It was years before i stopped coughing when i used bleach. It also removed all of the porcelain in the tub. It was really clean but the new epoxy coating still only lasted a year.

  10. Do not forget to add the obvious, mixing bleach with water is still OK. Sometimes we have to support the latest “spring break” generation and reassure them about the correct actions these days….

  11. Question: I want to take 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide as per the One Minute Cure protocol… I also am taking iodine drops and colloidal silver… does anyone foresee me exploding in the near future?! I’m
    w ondering if there’s a certain order or timing I should use for taking them all…

    1. We don’t offer medical advice here. Everyone’s situation may be different. Consult your doctor. Thanks.

    2. Not exploding exactly. But when you turn brick red or gun metal blue please send along a photo.

  12. It might be really helpful if you could tell us non-chems a few mixtures of household items that could act as temporary fixes for things we might run our of! Thanks

    1. Paulinator

      Ken’s article which prompted this one has good info.

      You can search the MSB site. Lots of info esp in the comments. Try

  13. internet name for a mixed drink.
    Emergen C with vodka.
    it’s called a “Quarantini.”

  14. Bleach, hammer, cell phones and laptops… that’s what the carpetbagger from Arkansas used.

  15. A nurse that used to used to come watch my band play quite often told me. That people complain how hard it is to drink 8 bottles of water per day, but have no problem drinking 8 beers and 7 shots in 4 hours at the bar. 🙌🎸🍻

  16. There are some dangerous mixture but can be used with extra precaution. This is what household chems can do. A must-learn added in the list and the ingredients are sold freely, just need to follow the ‘recipe’

    1. Anarchist cookbook,
      Has some excellent recipes for home made mayhem.

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