Dangers of Mixing Household Chemical Cleaners

In a time of uncertainty with COVID-19 amongst us, many of the Village of Skokie’s citizens are seeking ways in which to disinfect household surfaces to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other germs and/ or viruses. There are many social media sources that are encouraging citizens to create their own cleaners by mixing commonly found household cleaners. Though this may seem like a sure-fire way to eliminate household germs and diseases, the mixing of chemicals can produce highly toxic fumes or create an extremely corrosive product. The Skokie Fire Department strongly encourages citizens to refrain from the mixing of household chemicals. The following demonstrates the potential lethal effects of combining commonly found household cleaning products:

  • Bleach + Vinegar = Chlorine gas. This can lead to coughing, breathing problems, burning and watery eyes. Chlorine gas and water also combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids.
  • Bleach + Ammonia = Chloramine. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Bleach + Rubbing alcohol = Chloroform. Another highly toxic combination!!
  • Hydrogen peroxide + Vinegar = peracetic/ peroxyacetic acid. This combination can be highly corrosive.

Always read the caution labels on household cleaning products and keep them in a location away from children and pets. Only utilize cleaning products in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions and never mix household cleaning products despite what you see or hear from social media!!

Keeping Your Family Safe From Household Chemicals (PDF)

For further information, please visit the United States Fire Administration (USFA) website www.usfa.fema.gov where more in-depth information relating for your family’s safety may be found.