Cleaning is just another part of life and something we all have to do. When confronted with tough stains or mould, finding creative ways to help make our lives easier is commonplace. But a danger may present if some cleaning products are mixed, increasing the risk of serious outcomes.
The potential risks of cleaning products were highlighted in a study which assessed lung function in individuals who were employed, long-term, in cleaning roles, as well as those using regular cleaning products in the home.
It was found that lung function was markedly impacted in these people, to the extent of being compared with the effects of having smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 10-20 years.
The chemicals found in cleaning products, such as VOCs and ammonia, may induce some physical symptoms.
And the severity of these health problems is linked to the concentration of the cleaning products and how long you’re exposed to them.
Mixing your cleaning products may pose some health problems too.
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Mixing bleach and vinegar creates chlorine gas, which even at low levels can trigger coughing, breathing problems and burning, watery eyes.
When you mix these two substances, toxic chlorine gas is released, which essentially serves as a way to wage chemical warfare on oneself.
Many people mix bleach and vinegar, but underestimate the health risks in the hope for increased cleaning power.
Combining hydrogen peroxide with vinegar creates peracetic acid, which is potentially toxic and can irritate the skin, respiratory system and eyes.
Experts suggest rather using diluted vinegar on hard surfaces to help eradicate mould.
To create a cleaning solution, simply pour a concentration of 80 percent vinegar to 20 percent water into three buckets.
Use a microfibre cloth in the first bucket to clean a patch of mould.
The same microfibre cloth should then be rinsed in the second bucket, then rinsed again in the third to ensure cross-contamination doesn’t occur.
Making your own cleaning products is a way for you to be fully aware of what products are involved and are known to be cheaper too.
“These can include simply using warm water and soap,” said Doctor Julianne Barry from the London Doctors Clinic.
She added: “Baking soda is good for scrubbing.
“And a good glass cleaner can be whipped up by mixing water and vinegar.”
However, it’s worth pointing out that even seemingly harmless cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda can be dangerous when mixed, or used alongside other cleaning products, reveals chemist Dr Tim Bond who advises microfibre cloth brand e-cloth.
“Don’t forget, vinegar and baking soda are chemicals too,” he warned.
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