Bekah Steenbock
how to stay safe when cleaning an apartment

Did you know you can actually create dangerous or even toxic situations by mixing common (and effective) household cleaning products? Stay safe when cleaning your apartment with this important guide; don’t go from “determined” to “dangerous.”

Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar: dangerous to your body

Separately, these are great cleaning staples to have. Either can SEPARATELY safely clean your fruits and vegetables, disinfect your countertops, and even clean the worst bathrooms. Combined, however, they create peracetic acid. According to Good Housekeeping, this solution is not only corrosive, but can damage your respiratory system, skin, and eyes. Peracetic acid is an excellent industrial sterilizing chemical in industrial settings, but is far best left to the experts.


Bleach + Vinegar: produces chlorine gas

This might sound like a powerful combo, but in fact, can produce burning, watery eyes; and cause breathing problems, coughing or both.

Bleach + Ammonia: could send you to the ER

If you have kids around, bleach is a necessary staple. Germs don’t stand a chance against bleach, and neither does mold or mildew. Want to clean your gas stove grates? Ammonia is the way to go. What you don’t want to do is mix these two together: you’ll create toxic gases called chloramines. These toxic gases can fill your lungs with fluid, and send you to the hospital with nausea and wheezing.

Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol: will knock you out cold

Bleach is a great stand alone disinfectant. Rubbing alcohol can clean a cut, your floors, and even windows.  But, when combined, you get chloroform. You will not be getting much cleaning done while unconscious, which is what chloroform will make you. Keep these two products far from each other.

Did you notice how bleach appeared in several dangerous combos?  So did vinegar.  If you only remember that those two perfectly great items can have dangerous outcomes when combined with certain other products, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

SEE ALSO:  Bathroom cleaning hacks without chemicals

SEE ALSO:  Green tips for a naturally clean kitchen

Bleach can be a bit strong for some. If you’re looking for a bleach alternative Wellness Mama recommends 3% hydrogen peroxide, by itself.

Bonus Tip: Baking soda + vinegar is ineffective

Baking soda does make a great non-abrasive soft scrub. Made into a paste with water, it can get the dirt out. It also has excellent deodorizing properties. Just don’t mix it with vinegar, unless you’re trying to simulate a volcano for your kid’s science experiment. Vinegar causes baking soda to foam up, so storing this combination in a closed container can cause a small (messy) explosion.

A clean house is refreshing and relaxing.  Just be careful when you consider mixing products; the last thing you want to concoct is a toxic product . . . or another mess to clean.



About The Author

Bekah Steenbock is a freelance writer with a background in real-estate and business growth. She is a native Austinite, but has called Seattle, Mankato, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Atlanta home. Bekah, her husband, and their three children love exploring the outdoors in their spare time.