Is It Safe to Mix Vinegar and Bleach?
When you are caught up with the touch job of cleaning a mess, it is easy to get frustrated and irritated. In order to get rid of the tough stain, you may try a variety of processes until something works successfully. But before you try every cleaning suggestion that you come across, you should make yourself informed first. Both vinegar and bleach are common cleaning agents that people use to clean different kinds of surfaces, fabrics and linens. But mixing them together can prove to be a drastic situation. We have already told you What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia. This oneHOWTO article will tell you if it is safe to mix vinegar and bleach or not, and what happens if you do that.
Why do people actually mix vinegar and bleach together?
If you mix vinegar and bleach the solution releases harmful toxic chlorine fumes, then why people do that? Firstly, they want to lower down the pH level of the bleach by mixing vinegar in it. They think that by doing this, they will make a better disinfectant that they can use to clean floor, toilets and other surfaces. Secondly, people do that because they do not actually know or they underestimate the risks associated with it. Mixing chemicals can make better disinfectants and cleaners, but this mixture is not a good solution, and they are not just aware of it. They only come to know of this when they end up with a potential hazard after actually mixing them once.
What happens when you mix vinegar and bleach?
Chlorine bleach has sodium hypochlorite which is actually present in the form of hypochlorous acid. This is a very strong oxidizer, due to which it becomes very effective at bleaching and disinfecting. When you mix bleach with acid, it produces chlorine gas that causes harmful chemical fumes. For instance, when you mix bleach in a toilet bowl cleaner that has hydrochloric acid, it releases chlorine gas that attacks your mucous membranes directly, including your lungs, throat and eyes. That is why, you cough excessively and your eyes start burning when you mix vinegar and bleach. Too much of reaction can even prove to be fatal for people in the house.
What can you do instead?
Instead of mixing vinegar and bleach, just use fresh bleach which has a long shelf life as well. Most people mix both these ingredients to increase the activity of bleach, take a look at how to clean with bleach safely for more information. But that’s not wise, and it can produce toxic fumes that are harmful for people, as well as for the environment. You can safely use vinegar and bleach for your home cleaning purposes, but make sure that you do not mix them with each other. If you have used one ingredient before, rinse thoroughly before using the other on the same surface.
The final word
Now that you know that mixing vinegar and bleach can actually produce toxic fumes, you should make it a rule to never do it. Certain window cleaners, toilet cleaners and other cleaning agents may also contain acids like vinegar that you should never mix with bleach. Try to use the cleaner on its own, and never mix bleach in it. If the cleaner is not cleaning properly, try to switch the brand and try another one, but never experiment.
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