Making Your Own Cleaning and Disinfecting Solution? What Not to do!

Making Your Own Cleaning and Disinfecting Solution? What Not to do!
With the rush to purchase cleaning and disinfecting supplies and with the lag in finding products on the shelf, more and more people are choosing to make their own cleaning and disinfecting solutions. To ensure that you do not create an unwanted or surprising situation when mixing chemicals, here are a few things to consider to avoid health hazards that can cause irritation, hospitalization, and even possible death.

The first thing you should do is find a reliable source of information before you make your solution. Not everything on the web is valid information, use authoritative sources such as .gov, .edu, .mil, and any of a number of medical venues and recognized national organizations such as National Institute of Health (NIH), American Medical Association (AMA), medical universities (John Hopkins, Walter Reed, etc.) National Safety Council (NSC), American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and so forth.

Creating your own solution can be fun and can give some a sense of independence and pride and who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new product that is marketable, will make you millions and will even save the planet. 

Before you get started here are a few chemicals you should NOT mix together:

  1. Bleach and Vinegar – bleach and vinegar mixed together produces chlorine gas which can cause coughing, breathing problems, burning and watery eyes; very high concentrations can be fatal.
  2. Bleach and Ammonia – bleach and ammonia produce a toxic gas called chloramine. This causes shortness of breath, chest pain, and can be fatal.
  3. Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol, IPA) – bleach and rubbing alcohol makes chloroform (also hydrochloric acid) which is highly toxic.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar – this combination makes peracetic / peroxyacetic acid which is highly corrosive and depending on concentration highly irritating.

Use caution when making your own cleaning and disinfecting solutions, if you don’t know the concentration you are making you could be creating an unwanted, unpleasant, or even a serious health situation. Be careful, seek out reliable sources before you mix. Also, don’t forget to check out Safety Data Sheets and Product Data Sheets distributed by chemical manufactures for more information about their chemicals.

IISC Admin