It is beyond belief how some pretty commons products we keep at home can seriously threaten our health if mixed with one another. Some of the combinations are even lethal. Below is a list of the products you just can’t allow to join forces with one another.
1. Bleach & Vinegar
They are great products to clean the house, but if you mix them, you create a chemical reaction that will release toxic chlorine with chloramine vapors, just like any weak acid will do if combined with bleach. What’s the worst that could happen? Get your eyes, skin and lungs a serious chemical burn.
However, if they weren’t a health risk, these two cleaning agents would make an excellent disinfectant!
2. Bleach & Ammonia
For the same reason as with vinegar, bleach should not be mixed with ammonia to prevent toxic chloramine vapors from getting into our system. Although, you wouldn’t mix them now that you know it is dangerous, you could still do so without knowing it. So, always make sure you check the ingredients’ list at the back of your products (i.e. Windex comes in ammonia-free AND ammonia formulas. Drano contains bleach, in some specific formulations). If you inhale the vapors, you can expect throat burns and respiratory damage. But, this is not the worst of them all. Too much ammonia can form toxic and even explosive liquid hydrazine that could kill you.
3. Bleach & Rubbing Alcohol
Unless you want to produce chloroform, it’s best to keep those two far apart. This is because household bleach contains sodium hypochlorite (check your bleach’s ingredients list). Sodium hypochlorite reacts with isopropyl alcohol or ethanol and produces hydrochloric acid and chloroform, among others. To cut a long story short, you could damage your eyes, liver, nervous system, lungs, and kidneys, and have nausea and dizziness. Now, if exposure to chloroform is too high, this whole situation can get totally out of control and lead to death.
4. Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide
Both are considered natural cleaning methods. Use them separately (to clean the same surface) and you are good. Combine them, and you make corrosive acid (peracetic acid), which may be an effective sanitizer, it is also irritating. Regarding the health risks involved, despite the fact that research is still inconclusive, it has been evidenced that high concentrations of peracetic acid can severely affect the throat, eyes, nose, skin, and lungs and could cause permanent scarring of the throat, cornea and skin.
5. Vinegar & Baking Soda
Using vinegar and baking soda will not threaten your health. It will just do you no good to mix them together because you practically end up with nothing but mostly water. Why? Both vinegar and baking soda are acidic and produce water and sodium acetate, which is basically water; hence ineffective to clean any surface. What a waste of time, indeed!
Of course, when used separately, baking soda and vinegar both have excellent cleaning properties (more cleaning hacks to make your life easier here!)
6. Battery Brands
Using two different battery brands can cause them to leak and damage (corrode) any sensitive electronic device they are used in because they could contain varying voltages and different chemical compounds.
7. Grapefruit Juice & Medicine
Grapefruit juice is believed to increase the absorption of many prescription and over-the-counter drugs. This means that a typical dosage can instantly become a deadly overdose.
8. Alcohol & Acetaminophen
Chronic alcohol activates a group of enzymes responsible for transforming acetaminophen into dangerous chemicals that threaten the liver’s normal functions. In extreme cases, it can cause irreversible liver damage, even if the medicine is consumed in moderate amounts. If you get to liver failure, there is no turning back. It is estimated that 200 deaths annually are due to this lethal combination. So, better stay away from acetaminophen after Saturday night bender.
9. Milk & Red Bull
Before you drink them, try mixing them in a bowl or something. You will see that the milk will curdle as soon as it is added in Red Bull. Science steps in to explain that when the milk protein and acid in Red Bull (or other energy drink) are combined, they produce a salt that causes casein to clump together. What does this mean to you? It depends on how strong your stomach is. You could experience anything from stomachaches to eruptive vomit.
10. Retinol & Glycolic Acid
They are both great to the skin, as long as you wait 30 minutes before applying treatments. Besides having an entirely ineffective anti-aging skincare, the combination can also irritate your skin because retinol and glycolic acid have different pHs, so one weakens the other and makes the skin more susceptible to irritations.
11. Alcohol & Ibuprofen
If you take Ibuprofen on an empty stomach, you run the risk of having its lining torn. Alcohol significantly increases the risk, especially for people prone to ulcers and results in stomach bleeding and problems in the gastrointestinal system.
12. Alcohol & Morel Mushrooms
You should always cook Morel mushrooms thoroughly before you eat them or serve them to others because of the hydrazine toxins they contain. Nevertheless, even well-cooked Morel mushrooms can lead to mild intoxication if you eat them with alcohol. At the end of the day, you will be experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort and a nasty effect that can last up to 24 hours.
13. Retinol & Exposure to the Sun
If your day anti-aging treatment contains retinoids or retinol, always make sure you are using the sunscreen, too (that doesn’t contain retinol). It has been evidenced that if you are exposed to sunlight after you have applied a retinol product on your face, retinoids and retinol turn toxic, possibly lessening the efficacy of the product and making the skin more susceptible to sunburn.
14. Dairy & Antibiotics (fluoroquinolones, levofloxacin, and tetracyclines)
Dairy products contain calcium that interferes with the efficacy of the antibiotics (their absorption is reduced). This could be particularly dangerous, especially when fighting a severe infection. If an antibiotic fails to fight the infection (because its efficacy has been reduced by consuming dairy), you will have to go through a stronger round of antibiotics. By doing so, you weaken your immune system, wreaking havoc to it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t drink milk or consume meals that contain dairy. Just do so a couple of hours apart.
Want some amazing eco-friendly cleaning products, instead to stay on the safe side? We got you covered! also, you may like the most comprehensive cleaning guide we have put together for you with useful cleaning tips and not only!