Cleaning with bleach

What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia

When cleaning up, you should not mix cleaning products if you want avoid being intoxicated, burnt or killed. The clearest example is ammonia and bleach. Both are powerful cleaners, but together they can prove deadly. That is why you should never create this mixture because bringing them together in a mixture can unleash a lethal product that could kill you. In this OneHowTo article we explain in detail what happens when you mix bleach and ammonia.

You may also be interested in: Is It Safe to Mix Vinegar and Bleach?

Steps to follow:


Bleach is one of the most used products in every home to disinfect and clean surfaces or spaces like the bathroom and the kitchen, as well as for bleaching clothes. This product is obtained from sodium hypochlorite, a chemical compound with the chemical formula NaClO.

What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia - Step 1

Furthermore, it's also very common to use ammonia to clean and it's an excellent de-greasing cleaner in general. Ammonia (NH3) is marketed diluted in water but the concentration is significantly high, which is exactly why it has that characteristic strong odor.


Thus, both products are ideal for cleaning so maybe someone might think that by mixing them you'd get an even more powerful cleanser, but in reality: What happens if bleach and ammonia are mixed together?


When mixing ammonia and bleach, a chemical reaction takes place that generates a gas called Chloramine (NH2Cl) which is highly toxic. And when this comes into contact with our mucous membranes, it decomposes to produce hydrochloric acid and free radicals.

What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia - Step 4

Hydrochloric acid is toxic and corrosive, which causes irritation of mucous membranes and the skin burns. Also, free radicals lead to cell destruction and over long exposure, may give rise to carcinogenic processes.

What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia - Step 5

In this way, bleach and ammonia mixed together is not a good idea, but rather a dangerous one. If you do so by mistake, the result of exposure to the mixture can cause itchy eyes, watery eyes, headache, throat pain... And prolonged exposure can cause death.


If you have accidentally mixed bleach and ammonia you should move away from the source of the fumes created by the chemical reaction and go somewhere where you can breathe fresh air. Go to the doctor as soon as possible and make sure you call Emergencies so it can be cleaned properly.

If you want to read similar articles to What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.


  • Apart from mixing bleach and ammonia, it's also highly dangerous to mix the latter with calcium hypochlorite, which is a common substitute for bleach.
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What did you think of this article?
David Rey Castaneda
I mention this action in the Hazardous Materials lecture for my class. As a Firefighter, I not only want my future Fire Inspectors to know and understand this, but they may speak with home owners that raise the question of mixing the two chemicals together. This information just confirms and validates the info taught. Thank you!
OneHowTo Editor
Hi David, very happy if we can support the fire service, even in this small way!
What if you want to use it as a sort of bug bomb? Bugs sure won't like Chloromine. What would the proportions of ammonia and bleach to mix together?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Brett,

Please don't mix these chemicals together in any circumstance. Any such 'bug bomb' is likely to cause as much harm to the household as it is to any bugs.
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What Happens When You Mix Bleach and Ammonia