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2davidc8's avatar

What are some chemicals that one should be careful not to mix with bleach?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9701points) April 27th, 2020

In particular, if I clean my toilet with bleach, and then follow with a spray of cleaner containing citric acid, will this be dangerous?
I know that certain chemicals are not to be mixed with bleach because of the dangerous release of chlorine gas, but other chemicals don’t react with it.

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Usually, cleaning agents say in the warnings don’t mix with bleach. Definitely read the labels of all chemicals (and medicine you take for that matter, but that’s a separate topic). Although, even if there is no specific warning I’d still not mix chemicals.

I almost never clean with two different chemicals on the same day. Not toilets, showers, nothing. That way I don’t have to worry about screwing it up. I use bleach only once every 2–4 weeks, but my home is just two people. In between I use non bleach cleaning agents.

I guess regarding a toilet bowl you can easily wash away the chemicals with a few flushes and a swish of a toilet brush and then try the next chemical, but I’d say wait a little in-between to be safe. Remember that under the bowl the water does not hit everywhere, in-between the holes where the water comes out, and for about an inch below, the water flow is slightly separated.

2davidc8's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for your reply. I usually do as you’ve said.
But the situation is this: I’ve used one of those bleach tablets that you drop directly into the tank. So, the water that comes out into the bowl will contain some bleach. But now I also want to spray some cleaner around the bowl and maybe even in the bowl. This cleaner contains citric acid. So, I was wondering…

Patty_Melt's avatar

Citric acid will react slightly with baking soda, but that is not dangerous.

JLeslie's avatar

@2davidc8 I think very little bleach is released every time off of those tablets. This isn’t advice, but I would just open the window, or wear a mask (you probably have one now) and not worry about it. That’s what I would do. I don’t have any sort of chemical background though. The bleach is so watered down in the water, there is chlorine in your water anyway from the public system unless you are on well water.

Are you happy with those bleach tablets? I’ve thought about buying them.

kritiper's avatar

Ammonia is the main one to avoid as the mixture of the two produces a toxic gas. Best to avoid mixing ANY other chemicals with bleach.

si3tech's avatar

The first chemicalW\NOT to mix with bleach is ammonia. Many died while cleaning their toilets with this mixture. Without expert knowledge, I would not mix chemicals.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Ammonia is an ingredient in various cleaning products, including window cleaners.

That being the case, it would not be a good idea to mix anything with the chlorine.

Caravanfan's avatar

The only chemical that is safe to mix with bleach is dihydrogen monoxide.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Thank you Doc, I heard that dihydrogen monoxide can cause corrosion (rust) if left on metal too long. ;>0

Caravanfan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Yes, and it is deadly when inhaled in liquid form.

Zaku's avatar

So you’re saying it can kill viruses?! ;-)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yes at Temperatures above 212* F!

2davidc8's avatar

@JLeslie I was skeptical of the bleach tablets. But I find that they work very well! I put one in the toilet tank one month ago, and the toilet bowl is still clean, no discoloration, no bad smells. However, since one month had passed, I thought that, just for super sanitation purposes, I might want to swish the bowl with a toilet bowl brush and some bathroom cleaner disinfectant as well. I noticed that the disinfectant cleaner contained citric acid, which is what prompted my question.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Thanks! I had a small worry it might risk bleaching clothing, but probably the bleach content is so low it isn’t a concern. Plus, I assume most household toilets don’t spray like commercial toilets. Gross.

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