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elbanditoroso's avatar

How volatile is laundry detergent? If I mix two different liquids, am I asking for trouble?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28839points) May 6th, 2015

Chemists— I use liquid laundry detergent. I have about an inch of detergent left in one plastic container, and one which is about half full. (Don’t ask why I have two open at once – there’s a stupid reason for it)

If I mix the two, am I going to blow up the house? I’m thinking that it probably isn’t a good idea to mix them, but I’m wondering just how dangerous it is.

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10 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Nope! I am no chemist but I have done that many times and nothing happened! You only see the color change a bit.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I seriously doubt laundry detergent will give you a reaction. Although Richard Pryor had a bad reaction mixing two different kinds of milk together.

gailcalled's avatar

Never mix ammonia and bleach. Most liquid laundry detergents are benign. Read the ingredients. If you are truly afraid, do two small separate loads.

Coloma's avatar

No, soap is soap, no worries. I mix leftover shampoos all the time.

Buttonstc's avatar

Altho there are some laundry detergents which contain bleach, they normally state this on the container since it’s a perceived benefit.

However, I don’t know of any current laundry detergents which contain ammonia so I don’t see a problem. Your fear is likely rooted in having heard the prohibitions regarding bleach and ammonia together and not remembering which precise ingredients were cautioned against.

As Gail mentioned, mixing bleach and ammonia together produces toxic fumes which you really don’t want to inhale. However, I don’t recall anything about explosions.

You should be just fine mixing the two together.

cazzie's avatar

This so cute, it made me laugh out loud. They are detergents, not soap (sorry @Coloma ) and they will be fine if mixed together. Is it like ‘Liquid Tide’ and ‘Liquid Arm&Hammer?

Many ‘just for whites’ prepared laundry detergents don’t have bleach in them (as we think of bleach… the Clorine-based sort). They may have stain removers that are ‘oxygen based’ and optical brighteners, but not bleach.

Great reminders by everyone to not mix bleach and ammonia. Ammonia is not used in modern laundry detergents. You may find it in window cleaners in rare cases these days, but companies are moving away from it. Modern consumers don’t like the smell.

One household cleaner you don’t want to mess with is oven cleaner, just so you know.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

(No need to shout, please)

flo's avatar

Not a problem. You just shouldn’t mix the powder detergent with bleach I think. You have to put them in the water ( int e washer)

RocketGuy's avatar

The reason you don’t want to mix bleach and ammonia is because it will generate pure chlorine. That was used as poison gas in WW I, and is the poisonous part of sodium chloride.

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