Natural Cleaning Ingredients You Should Never Mix
If you’re interested in removing harmful and toxic chemicals from your home, making your own natural cleaning supplies is a great place to start. While many natural cleaning ingredients work well together, others can create harmful substances when mixed.
To help keep your home and your family safe, these are the natural cleaning ingredients you should never mix.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
We all know from our elementary school science experiments that mixing baking soda and vinegar will create an amazing bubbly reaction. But don’t be fooled into thinking these bubbles are actually doing anything.
Baking soda is alkaline and vinegar is acidic, which means they cancel each other out. When you mix them together, they create sodium acetate and water, which isn’t doing anything to help you clean.
Not only that, if you store these two natural cleaning ingredients in a closed container, the bubbling action could actually make the container explode.
Although a lot of natural cleaning sites recommend using baking soda and vinegar to help clear a clog drain, it’s a completely ineffective solution. Instead, check out these natural solutions for cleaning clogged pipes.
Castile Soap and Vinegar
Castile soap is a biodegradable soap made mostly of olive oil. While combining vinegar and castile soap isn’t dangerous, it’s totally ineffective.
Castile soap is basic and vinegar is acidic. When you mix the two together, the vinegar will actually breakdown the castile soap and turn it into an oily mess.
Since you shouldn’t use vinegar on hardwood floors because it can damage them, castile soap is great for making homemade hardwood floor cleaner. It’s also ideal if you need an eco-friendly soap for taking care of your reusable food wrap.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
While you can use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar as an incredibly effective homemade fruit and vegetable wash, the key is to keep them in separate containers.
First you spray the hydrogen peroxide and clean it up. Then you come back through and spray with the vinegar. This one-two punch can kill salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which also makes it good for disinfecting around your house.
However, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are two natural cleaning ingredients you never want to mix because they form peracetic acid. This is a corrosive acid that can damage household surfaces and irritate your skin, eyes, and throat.
Bleach and Vinegar
Whether you’re using bleach to whiten clothes in the laundry or to kill mold and mildew in the shower, you need to be careful about making sure you don’t mix it with vinegar.
When bleach and vinegar combine, they can create chlorine gas. While low levels of chlorine gas exposure can cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, and coughing, high levels can cause chlorine gas poisoning.
Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach
By now, it should be pretty clear that the only thing you should mix with bleach is water. In fact, since bleach is such a dangerous chemical, many people — myself included — choose not to keep it in the house at all.
If you like watching suspenseful movies or television shows, you’re likely familiar with chloroform, the chemical kidnappers put on a rag to knock out their victim.
When you mix rubbing alcohol and bleach, you can create this vapor. In low concentrations, chloroform will irritate your throat and lungs. However, in high concentrations, it can actually be toxic.
More Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips
Now that you know about the natural cleaning ingredients you should never mix, are you ready to discover what natural ingredients work well together to get your home sparkling clean? Check out some of our popular posts about homemade cleaners: