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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Why People Mix Bleach and Vinegar

By February 1, 2012

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Poison Symbol (Silsor, Wikipedia Commons)If mixing bleach and vinegar releases toxic chlorine gas, then why do people do it? There are two answers to this question. The first answer is that vinegar lowers the pH of bleach, making it a better disinfectant. I'll explain how that works in a bit. The second answer to 'why people mix bleach and vinegar' is that people don't know any better or underestimate the risk. They hear mixing the chemicals makes them better cleaners and disinfectants, but don't realize it isn't going to make enough of a difference to justify the considerable health hazard.

What Happens When Bleach and Vinegar Are Mixed

Chlorine bleach contains sodium hypochlorite or NaOCl. Because bleach is sodium hypochlorite in water, the sodium hypochlorite in bleach actually exists as hypochlorous acid:

NaOCl + H2O ↔ HOCl + Na+ + OH-

Hypochlorous acid is a strong oxidizer. This is what makes it so good at bleaching and disinfection. If you mix bleach with an acid, chlorine gas will be produced. For example, if you mix bleach with toilet bowl cleaner, which contains hydrochloric acid:

HOCl + HCl ↔ H2O + Cl2

Chlorine gas attacks mucous membranes, such as your eyes, throat, and lungs and can kill you, so causing that reaction isn't in your best interest. If you mix bleach with another acid, such as the acetic acid found in vinegar, you get essentially the same result:

2HOCl + 2HAc ↔ Cl2 + 2H2O + 2Ac- (Ac : CH3COO)

There is an equilibrium between the chlorine species that is influenced by pH. When the pH is lowered, as by adding toilet bowl cleaner or vinegar, the ratio of chlorine gas in increased. When the pH is raised, the ratio of hypochlorite ion is increased. Hypochlorite ion is a less efficient oxidizer than hypochlorous acid, so some people will intentionally lower the pH of bleach to increase the oxidizing power of the chemical, even though chlorine gas is produced as a result.

What You Should Do Instead

Don't poison yourself! Rather than increasing the activity of the bleach by adding vinegar to it, just buy fresh bleach! Chlorine bleach has a shelf life. This is particularly true if your bleach has been hanging around for several months. It's far safer for you to buy fresh bleach than to risk releasing a chemical weapon on yourself by mixing bleach with another chemical. You can use bleach and vinegar for cleaning, just make sure you rinse before switching products.


February 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm
(1) Della says:

I have an adult ESL student. Due to several accidents I’ve read about in the newspaper over the years, is there a website (or maybe this one) which has warning such as the vinegar/bleach one about most things in the house? I am particularly in how a home furnace works and why you shouldn’t leave the oven on as a heater,etc. due to their being several deaths related to a malfunctioning furnace, lack of fire safety, etc. I need these in an easy to read/understand format for her. Thanks!

October 2, 2011 at 8:22 am
(2) Joe Blow says:

I hope you are not the teacher of this ESL student, because your English is terrible!

November 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm
(3) tinsar says:

Wow Joe Blow that’s a very helpful comment…way to be a douche.

October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm
(4) Mariah Taylor says:

This is very help! Thanks for putting the time in to do this article. It is much needed!:)<3

March 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm
(5) fallen angel says:

will it kill you fairly quickly or would it take hours ?if you stayed in a closed room and breathed it in ? and how much ? would a squirt bottle full of the mixture do it ..or would that be safe to use ?

February 21, 2011 at 1:29 am
(6) Martha says:

Ummm don’t do it at all OK. If you are looking for a way to die, don’t do it, get a therapist and save yourself. If you’re looking for a way to clean your house, use just the bleach.

February 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm
(7) Rosit says:

Dear fallen angel, just wait wait wait – until 2012 December 12-24 when the Transition of our world together with all the people will occur, as it’s estimated scientifically. We all now live our last life on this earth, and the transition is going to be a good thing for everybody. I have the article in Russian, if you can read Russian, let me know and I’ll send it to you. My pleasure.

July 19, 2011 at 1:13 am
(8) Coupons says:

Yeah, don’t want to blow up the house! That would not be very safe :)

August 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm
(9) Knowledge says:

It would take about 10 mg/m3 of Chlorine Gas to kill someone in a painful matter. So, if you room were 10sqm large than you’ll need to have a gas ratio of 1000 mg/room. So you’ll have to get roughly about 2 bottles of bleach and mix that with Vinegar in a 1:1 ratio should fill your room with a mist of 10 mg/m3 of chlorine Gas in your room. This should REALLY clean the room from anything that may be wish to removed. Also the room has to air tight.

*If this does not kill you itself, such a high level of chlorine gas is carcinogenic so, you’ll get cancer or organ failure.

November 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm
(10) Vladimir says:

Not immediate but some what slow and painful.
Should take no more depending on exposure 10 minutes the

June 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm
(11) nadon michel says:

after trying many alternative med on my athlete foot I tought I wan until I ate 2 chocolate bars and itch came back. Then I saw youtube about ph and CL ions used in china for that.
Mix 95% vinegar and 5% bleach, spray on toes.
Athlete foot gone for good . athlete foot some times require surgery , just dont spray up your nose and youll be fine

August 8, 2009 at 8:00 am
(12) PLMARTZ says:

What about the MicroChem Lab study in 2006? Sounds to me like plain old Bleach isn’t as effective as most people think… “diluted bleach solution (bleach & water) alone was only effective in killing all of the spoors on 2.5 percent of the surfaces after 20 minutes!”
Spraying with vinegar and then hydrogen peroxide (in separate spray bottles)..seems like a viable solution…killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. Coli bacteria…but, then does it “sterilize” for “Bacterial spoors dried onto surfaces”?
Soure: http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/vinegar-as-a-disinfectant.html

February 4, 2010 at 2:49 am
(13) chris tucker says:

I am confused ?
I thought it was the hypochlorite Ion that did the cleaning, and the hypochlorus acid that did the disinfecting ?
The Ion is more favorable at higher PH.
So, what you are saying is that as you lower the PH of bleach with vinegar, or mild acid, the cleaning or organic matter is Better ?
We know not to go too low in PH, and have PH Test kits.
So, if we lower the PH slightly of Bleach, will it clean better, or not ?

February 4, 2010 at 3:03 am
(14) roof cleaning tampa says:

Is it safe to just use a small amount of vinegar in bleach if you are careful, and watch the PH ?
Peopple add acid to swimming pools containing chlorine all the time in Tampa Florida.
Will the addition of a small amount of vinegar improve cleaning of bleach, or not ?

February 4, 2010 at 9:35 am
(15) chemistry says:

Adding the vinegar to the bleach does not appreciably improve the cleaning power of bleach, but it can increase its disinfecting power.

I still recommend just buying fresh bleach to boost your cleaning and disinfecting power. This is cheaper and safer than intentionally releasing chlorine gas.

October 12, 2011 at 7:03 am
(16) capsule says:

so why it is not the reason that they die ang you dont have a right to question it

February 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm
(17) Loraine Grether says:

Please make the print darker on most of these pages.I, for one can’t read them.
Thank you.
Loraine with 80 year old eyes.

August 31, 2011 at 9:38 pm
(18) Shiggity Shwa says:

Your browser probably has a “zoom” feature. Your computer probably has low-vision accessibility features. Ask your grandson to show you how to activate them.

August 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm
(19) Shiggity Shwa says:

Who am I kidding, you’ll never read this comment.

February 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm
(20) Thomas spencer says:

Chris tucker had a great question on vinegar and bleach. i was wondering if it was ever going to be address.

March 9, 2010 at 2:49 am
(21) Brewer says:

Check this link out, people who beer at home not only mix bleach and vinegar in a solution, they don’t even rinse it off!

Pay attention to the quantities:
1 ounce/30 mill/ 2 Tbsp bleach into
5 gal/23L water, rinse off tablespoon,
add 2 tbsp of vinegar now.

A chemist in a bleach company gave the above:

May 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm
(22) Homemom says:

Very good information; I knew one should NEVER mix bleach with ammonia, but I had never heard not to mix with vinegar. I usually just avoid bleach altogether, safer that way as I am not a fan of chlorine gas. As far as combining alkalines with acids, when using lye to make soap it is recommended to rinse the containers with a soapy water and vinegar solution to neutralize any remaining lye. Is that safe? What about just adding citric acid to soapy water? Any information you can add would be very helpful, thank you.

June 4, 2010 at 10:29 am
(23) moudyjay says:

I mixed bleach and vinegar this morning in my restaurant dishwasher to clean it and I thought I was about to die! At first it didn’t leave a bad smell so I went on about my buisness then shortly later I walked by and it smelled very toxic. I tried not to breathe any as I changed the solution out then I went outside to breathe fresh air and I about fell out. Lesson learned though.

June 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm
(24) Rich says:

There was an article at sciencedaily.com. By mixing with Vinegar, you increase the killing power by 10 fold.

As for the safetiness… remember, DCA, DiChloroAcetic Acid is a registered prescription drug.

July 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm
(25) Xen Mistress says:

Mixed Bleach and Vinegar last night. Won’t do that again. I’m still coughing, and initially it seemed like I was drowning even though I wasn’t in water. I think I may have totally messed up my lungs.

September 16, 2010 at 4:11 am
(26) Carolina says:

Yes; I did this today, and I am still coughing. I had always thought of vinegar as sort of “inert” and mixable with everything. There has been stagnant water at the bottom of my dishwasher and I thought that vinegar might help clear it, and so I poured an entire bottle of vinegar. When it did not clear, I mixed some bleach with water and ran the dishwasher. I was standing next to it the whole time (washing dishes by hand) and breathing in the steam. I began wheezing and my eyes were watering but ridiculously, I thought that I was having an allergic reaction to the dishwashing liquid! When I opened the dishwasher, my eyes began to burn and I realised that this was not good. I took a forty minute walk, and aired the house: the wheezing and tightness in throat diminsihed. I have to say, though, that I did have to return to finish the dishes and began wheezing again (presumably because the dishwasher is connected to the sink disposal) just now.

Having heard so much about the dangers of mixing bleach and ammonia, I was surprised never to have heard about the dangers of mixing vinegar with bleach. And I imagine that the hot water and steam only exacerbated the situation.

Well, live and learn, I guess@

September 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm
(27) Erk says:

“it seemed like I was drowning even though I wasn’t in water” That’s what chlorine gas does, it was the first war gas to be deployed. It makes your lungs fill with fluid and you literally drown in your own fluids while on dry land.

That brewer’s advice of adding a VERY small amount of vinegar to a VERY VERY dilute amount of bleach was probably based on the assumption that most tap water is slightly greater than pH 7, and that very small amount of vinegar would not lower the pH enough to create chlorine gas. So if your water’s pH is already low, and/or if you mix incorrectly, you’ll get chlorine gas still. Just using dilute bleach is safer.

September 28, 2010 at 11:34 am
(28) churchified says:

I had never heard of the dangers of mixing bleach with vinegar. I did it about an hour ago, and thought it was fine, then I inhaled and I felt like my eyes were going to melt out of my head and I was drowning. never again.

October 5, 2010 at 11:31 pm
(29) Allen says:

I too knew not to mix ammonia & bleach, but didn’t realize that toilet bowl cleaner + bleach was bad. I do my best not to breathe the vapors of any cleaner, but even that didn’t prevent eye irritation, and I still managed to inadvertently take a whiff. Been airing out the house for the past half hour and I can still smell it (though I may just be smelling what’s already in my nose and lungs). Also feel light headed, but definitely no “drowning” sensation, so I guess I got off easy. As Carolina said, live and learn!

October 28, 2010 at 10:12 am
(30) Jon says:

Wow. You’re right, I didn’t know this and I feel like a fool. I was cleaning and I happened to spill the vinegar, which fell onto the counter which was covered in Bleach. I noticed a horrid smell and got extremely nervous. I checked “Bleach+Vinegar” on the web and this blog came up. I panicked immediately and threw all the things the mixture touched into the backyard, opened a few windows and turned on the fans. I still smell the smell, but I hope my family and I are safe.

November 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm
(31) Benjamin says:

all of you above are a bunch of slack jawed sallies. seriously this is basic chemistry like told by my grandmother who made her own soap and essential oils. Have we actually left a example of ignorance in reasoning and dependency on state and government so that you all don’t drown when it rains magical droplets of h2o from the heavens because you look up amazed by it all. Thanks

July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(32) hivebee says:

I’m an organic chemist and don’t ‘really wanna look down from some know it all viewpoint’, but come one people. It’s like chemistry, if you know there’s a little danger, start with microbatches so you don’t get a fatal thunderstorm of chemicals…man, this site is not where i need to be…but reading all this stuff is somehow so stupid i get a kick out of it…

December 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm
(33) Dark Rover says:

You people are idiots! BLEACH + VINEGAR = BAD…. how much simpler can someone put it?? It doesnt matter how much you make, it’s universally stupid. period. If 2 chemicals made arsenic, mustard gas, or anthrax would you still be asking if a little bit is safe??? Mixing 2 chemicals when you DON”T know the result is moronic, doing it KNOWING that it’s dangerous is suicidal. Not to sound like a jerk by try READING the article before commenting. Sorry if I offended anyone, but do yourself a favor and quit mixing dangerous chemicals while you still can. There are much worse things than death and chemicals can make it all happen. Good luck and god bless.

August 13, 2011 at 8:36 am
(34) Rm says:

Take it easy.

October 2, 2011 at 8:28 am
(35) Joe Blow says:

I lose interest immediately when they begin with the elitist “You people”.

December 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm
(36) Baltimore Flowers says:

It is very dangerous to mix bleach and vinegar. We do not recommend it.

January 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(37) sigurd says:

I wish I had came across this sight before mixing Lime Away toilet bowl cleaner with bleach in my toilet! I live in a one bedroom apartment and man this place is full of the worse fumes I have ever smelled.To top it off it is about 20 degrease Fahrenheit outside,so it will be rough for the next hour or so.

January 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm
(38) liabeth says:

I’m glad I searched before I did it.

To answer “Why People Mix Bleach and Vinegar”, I was about to add both to my washing machine just now. The bleach for the white clothes and the vinegar to clean my washing machine of all the calcium(?) deposits. We have terrible well water with lots of particulates that ruin our appliances.

Now I know to run these thru the machine separately!

January 21, 2011 at 2:29 am
(39) Aftan says:

Ya Know, Im A Young Mother So You People That Are Being Hateful Should Realize That Not Everyone In This World Has Tried Everything. I For One Did Not Know About This. I Just Needed To Clean My Scrub Brushes And Bottle Cleaners, So I Figured Vinager For Cleaning And Bleach For Disinfecting. I Never Thought About It Being A Health Hazzard. As A 21yr Old Mother Of A 1 & 2 Year Old Im Always Trying New Things My Husband Is Deployed So I Dont Have As Much Help With Cleaning And Stuff. These Are Things That He Knows, Not Me. He Usually Does The Deep Cleaning. I Had Just Mixxed This Solution In My Sink Ofcourse it Was Deluted With Water But It Did Have A Strong Odor Comming From It So I Immidiately Googled It, Wasnt 2 Minutes After I Had Made It I Drained The Sink.

October 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm
(40) WasItDifficult says:

That Must Have Been Pretty Difficult To Make Sure To Capitalize The First Letter Of Each And Every Word. I Guess This Is Better Than Caps Lock… Lol

January 21, 2011 at 2:34 am
(41) Aftan says:

BTW BINJAMIN…Slack Jawed Sallies?…Some Ones Been Playing A Little Too Much Frontierville Lol…

February 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(42) Chemist says:

I mixed bleach and vinegar intentionally in a test tube. I measured the result with a chlorine test liquid and it produced just as much chlorine as the plain bleach did. Seriously, a balanced equation on the article for the acetic acid reaction would be helpful. The ClO is reduced to Cl2 but what is oxidized?

February 9, 2011 at 9:41 am
(43) aLAN says:


Mixing NaClO with weak acids like Acetic acid (vinegar) or Carbonic acid (CO2 in water commonly found in soda drinks) or any very diluted strong acid (like HCl, HNO3 or H2SO3) results mostly in Hydrochlorous (HClO) acid.

2 NaClO + H2CO3 = NaCO3 + 2 HClO

HClO is high on disinfecting but low on bleaching properties.

February 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm
(44) Jon says:

Your equation is not balanced so yours can’t be correct.

You dropped a Na on the right side of the equation.

April 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm
(45) ajkoer says:

NaClO + H2CO3 = NaHCO3 + HClO (or Baking Soda + HClO)

With Acetic Acid (HAc for short):

NAClO + HAc = NaAC + HClO (namely Sodium Acetate+HClO)

The fact that only HClO and not Chlorine is produced is from my personal experience and reading online Chemical Dictionaries. To produce Cl2, HCl must also be created which requires an acid equal to or stronger than HCl. Clorox (NaClO) also has NaCl as it is made by adding Cl2 to NaOH. The side reaction with a strong acid like H2SO4 is, for example:

H2SO4 + NaCl = HCl + NaHSO4

Then, HCl + HClO Cl2 + H2O (note, the reaction is reversible)

Point of confusion: the smell of solution is not precisely Chlorine (a vivid green-yellowish gas) but that of Hypochlorous Acid. The smell is similar, however, as the anhydride of HClO is Cl2O (chlorine monoxide). If you add a strong acid to bleach, the solution boils and evolves a greenish gas (Chlorine), it just doesn’t sit there we a strong pungent smell.

May 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm
(46) Kathy Robinson says:

I grew up knowing not to mix vinegar and bleach–but now I’ve switched to using both these items in the laundry and need to know if the following is dangerous: putting liquid laundry bleach in the washing machine’s bleach dispenser cup, and then putting vinegar in the liquid fabric softener cup. (Two different cups, but side-by-side in a slide in drawer.) They (should) be added separately at different times during the machine’s cycle (the bleach during the wash cycle and the vinegar during the rinse cycle.) Would you do this, or am I taking my life in my hands in trying to avoid using store fabric softener?

May 31, 2011 at 11:50 am
(47) Kevin says:

It’s not bleach and vinegar that make the reaction, it’s bleach and ammonia! Bleach and vinegar are fine together… have done it many times with no reaction. In fact, I used to work at a University’s family housing complex when I was in college, and the cleaning crew used it all the time for cleaning and disinfecting….

June 5, 2011 at 2:07 am
(48) Kris says:

I just did mix bleach and vinegar. It was a horrible reaction. I was trying to bleach design a shirt (had done it before). I put the shirt in the bleach and then put it in vinegar afterwards to neutralize the bleach. I am still coughing and having chest pain. scratchy burning throat also. Dont mix it anymore. Not sure what the difference was from now to then but dont chance it.

June 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(49) v says:

@ Kevin
Just because someone uses bleach+vinegar all the time to clean doesn’t make it safe. Have common sense for your own health.

June 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm
(50) No Jokes says:

Ok in trying to make ferric chloride I took hydrochloric acid and mixed with what i thought was hydrogen peroxide(bleach) and instead mixed with sodium hypochlorite (bleach)

Oops… chlorine gas maximus

how would I get rid of this gas and or neutralize the reaction safely

June 26, 2011 at 3:23 am
(51) lusiar says:

sorry i havent read the other comments and maybe some mentioned this but bleach is not an acid, it is a very strong base and vinegar is a very strong acid, so combining them would create a dangerous reaction ending in neutralization. i have no idea why someone would wont to do this considering bases are better disinfectants anyway.

June 29, 2011 at 11:58 am
(52) Bunny says:

I am trying to get rid of a fishy smell in my apartment from cooking salmon last night. I read somewhere that leaving an open bowl of vinegar out on the counter helps neutralize the odor, so I put a little bowl of the stuff out on the stove top. Then I grabbed a bunch of Clorox wipes, and went to town on the outside of the cabinets, stove, oven, counters, etc., to make sure to remove any fishy smelling grease droplets. Then I started to wonder whether having both vinegar and bleach just in the air in the same place from doing the cleaning could be a problem? To be clear, I am not pouring vinegar into bleach or vice versa, but now my kitchen smells like bleach and vinegar from the open bowl and the residue from the clorox wipes. Is this kind of thing OK, or could I be creating a dangerous reaction in the air? Thanks!

August 8, 2011 at 3:05 am
(53) JanK says:

… if you read the label on many ordinary liquid dish soap bottles, it says “do not mix bleach” with them … I think some of them my have small amounts of ammonia in them …

August 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm
(54) Bob says:

As Bleach Breaks down it either creates oxygen and chlorine gases and free radicals. So the stuff you are disinfecting if its organic or not is often running into natural acids and giving off small amounts of chlorine gases. If you are using it on say rotten organic stuff -like a dog poops on your floor- there are already acids there. But small amounts of chlorine gases and superoxides are better than getting salmonella or e coli.

August 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm
(55) rachael says:

I read in a novel that a vinegar and clorox mix created chlorine gas. I asked simply to check the truth of the statement. Thanks for the facts!

September 17, 2011 at 11:23 am
(56) StopTheDramaMama says:

It is important to note that household bleach at its regular household dilution rate of 2.5% – 5% gives off chlorine gas at all times. Concentration and context are an important part of chemistry! Anne, would adding a drop of bleach and vinegar to the ocean hurt me? Will I die if I continue to use the HIGHLY DILUTED bleach and vinegar sanitizing formula that was PUBLISHED and PEER REVIEWED by researchers at MicroChem Labs? Context is important and articles like this just propagate a lack of knowledge.

October 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(57) John Johnston says:

I use vinegar and bleach to whiten my teeth with baking soda.
Never again after the horrific side efffects. Highly Recommend!

November 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm
(58) Daniel says:

Since our water supply is treated with chlorine and we use vinegar in so much of our food and lives, what risk is there? I ask because of the many health problems I am having and there seems to be some link to chlorine and fluoride, which are in our water supply.

December 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm
(59) Bonnie Jones says:

Way to go Tinsar

December 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm
(60) Shelly says:

I have been using bleach and vinegar for 20 years to clean my snapper. My husband loves it. he can’t get enough. He says is reminds him of having french fries by the pool.

January 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm
(61) Einstein says:

Is there any reason other than the one where you say becasuse it is unsafe, but any PARTICULAR reason, why not to use a combination of bleach and vinegar or toilet bowl cleaner if you wanted it stronger, to put into the structure of a house to kill the damn rats that have nested in the foundation of a home? No way to set traps. No feasible way to poisen becuase 1) there are pets very dear to the family, 2) no way to know if you got any or how many. And ‘how many’ doesn’t matter anyway since you don’t know how many there are!
But if they were suffocated, even if you had to put up with an occasional oder for 3 or 4 weeks until decompensation had completed, would that not be a good way to effetively get rid of the rats????

January 25, 2012 at 10:19 am
(62) buy inositol powder says:

Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this web page is truly nice and the people are truly sharing fastidious thoughts.

January 27, 2012 at 12:22 am
(63) Peter says:

Can anybody tell me how the reaction is called when for example coffee and some sweet drink is mixed together it suddenly breaks?
I also had once when I was making a wrong mix of Baileys, Whiskey and Orange juice. thick substance went to the bottom and only a watery fluid on top.
I like to know why it happens and with what kind of mixes this happens.

February 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(64) R says:

As a firefighter/emt we had a call years ago of “Man down in bathroom, unknown gas”. We had a quick chuckle but had a feeling what it was. Sure enough, he had been cleaning and we could smell the chlorine as we carried him out. Fortunately he survived. This was with amonia and bleach. Don’t mix the two. When I go to stores, if I see them stack the amonia and bleach side by side I ask them if they would relocate one.

February 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm
(65) Trench Warfare4U says:

children shouldn’t play with matches .. not big windproof ones – not tiny little one – I agree with the “You People” guy. You have to be an abject bozo to start mixing up chemicals. Get the Darwin Award out. People are abject bozos (for the most part) in our present-day, post-modern society. Walking, talking bio-hazards.

February 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm
(66) m says:

@ Joe Blow: LOL!

February 15, 2012 at 5:17 am
(67) pal66 says:

fallen angel if your trying to kill yourself this is not the way to go it burns like a muthar funker trust me it would be a painful way to go but if your trying to kill someone in a very painful way go for it it hurts like a biotch

February 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm
(68) karen says:

Thank you so much for this great explanation. The question came up about mixing cleaners in our Chemistry class and we were not sure why it was dangerous. Great, clear explanation here and even with the chemical formulas so we see the actual chemistry that takes place.

March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm
(69) Chandee says:

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April 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm
(70) It's ok says:

If you must use the chlorine gas compound , wear a mask and gloves, be quick , rinse area, and air as much as possible. I’m repeatedly exposed to chlorine gas , hurts like the dickins if u breathe it in but it hasn’t killed me so just be careful an use protective wear.

May 2, 2012 at 1:56 am
(71) Lastlegs says:

I just mixed a bottle of bleach [for it's cleaning power] with a bottle of vinegar [for it's descaling power] and a bottle of toilet cleeeeneeeef arhhhhhh is it dddddan arhhhhh dannnngerrrous arhhh

May 22, 2012 at 2:14 am
(72) Chen says:

I interest in to how come gas with extra bleach? Does choline steps to make more vinegar , or both for bowl of sanition… For each time again to increase water. . . for twice? Find new complicated, and you safety use!

May 27, 2012 at 5:47 am
(73) KMN says:

I know what I want to do right now.. The sensation of drowning while it burns my eyes… NICE!!!! I always wondered a painful death… See you all in hell!

June 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm
(74) incredulous says:

OMG!!!!!!!!!! ROFLMAO……….. Do “you people” never read the warning lables on the bottles of the products you buy? The skull and crossbones should have been your first clue. THE BIG ICON ON THE BOTTLE IS NOT A PRODUCT MASCOT! Caustic products have nothing to do with PIRATES (lol) so pay attention People!!!!! Ill bet your mother explained this at some point in your life and if not grade 8 science class DID!

On a more serious note…… Society is becoming so incrediby lazy that many people simply dont teach themselves anything anymore. The 20 or so seconds it takes to learn some random knowledge just may save your life some day! Read the warning labels on your products, dont throw away the pamphlet that comes with your prescription, if your curious about something GOOGLE it, simply educate yourself and then show your children so they dont wind up lazy too.


June 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm
(75) Loveriot says:

I have a question. I have an HE washer that has a compartment (each)for detergent, fabric softener and bleach. I know those containers to fully rinse out with each load. I want to add vinegar to the bleach container so that it will sanitize a colored load of wash. Do you think it will react terribly? Whatever trace amount of bleach is in there to the vinegar I want to add?

August 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm
(76) Ralphmouth says:

I did find the original posting by Micro Chem Lab which you can find here: http://www.microchemlab.net/biodefense.htm

As some people here have suggest, this mixture appears to only have a selve life of 8 hours.

September 9, 2012 at 1:42 am
(77) Cindy says:

Thanks. I was trying to age a copper bowl with 50 percent chlorine/vinegar. The fumes were overwhelming. The instructions to create patina on copper did not mention it should be done outside.

December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm
(78) Sayla Vie says:

I was an EMT. We took a lady to the hospital that inhaled the toxic gas. It didn’t kill her, but burned her lungs severely. She was not in the bathroom long, only a couple of minutes, when the fumes overtook her. She was in a lot of pain. The damage to her lungs was unrepairable, the doctors said. We never hear what happens to the patient after we leave the hospital. Safe to say, just don’t do it!

March 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm
(79) Incredulous Dave says:

I am amazed at:

a) The way the English language is abused here, and…

b) How many people are likely to die, or do permanent damage to themselves, by ignoring the intent of this article: to explain some basic chemistry and warn against mixing these two chemicals. Instead, you swap anecdotes about ways to kill foot fungus (just ignore the toxic gas, your feet will feel great after you die!) and other dangerous nonsense.

I fear for you people.

March 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(80) Linda says:

Bleach and vinegar is GREAT in tiny amounts (quick splashes) on blood-stained WHITE cotton fabrics, such as underwear. Years ago, a hospital nurse told me that that is how they remove a small stain. It is most likely not done now, with commercial laundrying, of course. If I have a persistent stain not removeable by regular rubbing, I put the WHITE ONLY garment or tablecloth in the sink, exposing the stain. Then I wet it and rub in some liquid detergent. Next, I splash on a tiny amount of bleach, followed by a tiny splash of vinegar, closing both containers immediately. I also stand back a bit to avoid any fumes which might arise.
I can actually SEE the stain dissipating, as the acid and base (vinegar and bleach) neutralize each other. They neutralize the stain!!! Follow this with a rinsing of fresh water. The stain is gone…quickly and without rubbing the fabric to shreds!! Just rinse thoroughly. I also use a small mixture (equal parts) in the washing machine when I have a load of JUST WHITE THINGS which I wash separately. Having the mixture in water seems to greatly curtail the escape of the fumes. But always use care to avoid breathing in… as much as you can. Also, if you are on a septic system, it is wise to always limit the amount of bleach you use, for it to function properly. Happy stain removal! It should be much easier now!!

March 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm
(81) la says:

I tried to clean a moldy stroller with bleach solution then let it dry. While I can’t see the mold, I can still smell it. I read online that you can try either vinegar or stain remover to get rid of mold, but neither can be mixed with bleach. If the previous bleach solution had dried, is it safe to assume that I can now try one of the other options without releasing harmful gas? Just wanted to make note that no kids would be around while cleaning it, or until it’s dry. Duh. Thanks.

March 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm
(82) A Muffin says:

Ammonia + Bleach = Bad (Chloramines)
Acid + Bleach is worse (Cl2 Gas)

Small quantities won’t kill you, it will cause irritation.
You can buy surplus army gas mask at local surplus stores if you really wan’t to clean your toilet with this stuff.

la: as long as its dry go ahead, just do it outside.

And yes, *most* bleach containers and dish detergent containers have warnings about mixing them together.

Ask your chemistry teacher to show you this reaction in the fume hood if you really want to see it. Don’t do it yourself!

April 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm
(83) Philosopher says:

Has anyone taken note of what Knowledge (no 9) said? 2 bottles of each blended are required to kill.
Life is about balance. Try something with care that might take out the stain or just throw the stained clothes away.
And to Incredulous (synonym for unwilling or unable to believe something) Dave (no 79) — English is abused even by its natural users if you look at the following 2 examples (1) Are pitted dates with or without pips?
(2)Will an inflammable liquid burn or not? Silly language
Let common sense prevail and this world will become a better place.

July 1, 2013 at 2:26 am
(84) Someone says:

We did an experiment to test the corrosion rate of steel and we mixed bleach and vinegar together.. ? :/ However our teacher did not say we couldnt do it.

July 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm
(85) pinki says:


August 1, 2013 at 12:32 am
(86) christina says:

My boyfriend just mixed vinegar, bleach, baking soda and salt into a clogged toilet that still isnt unstuck. I have a house full of kids and no idea wth to do please help!!!

August 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm
(87) Tobytc1 says:

Bleach and Vinegar does NOT produce noxious gas and will not make you any sicker than inhaling bleach alone. Strength of the bleach is the factor in its inhalability. Vinegar does make it much stronger and significantly increases its cleaning power. Add a1/2 cup per gallon of bleach and then add a gallon of water and you have way more cleaner at the same strength.

August 24, 2013 at 9:07 am
(88) So funny says:

The comments section here is so funny, full of “I just mixed bleach and vinegar together and have a house full of kids what do I do?!” type comments.

Interested in a response to commenter no. 56′s post, from the original poster of the article.

October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm
(89) Joanne Licher says:

How do you remove the smell?

October 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm
(90) s says:

I just “wasted” a whole morning reading these comments…. mostly because of how many people have actually mixed bleach with ANYthing… I agree with any comment that has asked the question about people reading labels. I am just really relieved to find out that all the ones who have mixed these two chemicals have lived to write about it…. a very funny morning read. Especially the english grammar fails and comment 39′s use of a capital letter for each word.

At least I think I got the message, Do not mix vinegar and bleach, even if you are a chemist…. I also enjoyed the chemistry battles… even for a non chemist, it was funny to read.

October 29, 2013 at 12:10 am
(91) apartment cleanings says:

Fastidious respond in return of this issue with firm arguments and explaining all on
the topic of that.

January 11, 2014 at 2:05 am
(92) Irwin says:

You might opt to apply some baking soda for the odor.
Cleaning rugs, however, is usually a tough task for
many. The simple but professional operation of carpet cleaners leaves your individual rug or carpet smelling unique looking like cutting edge.

January 11, 2014 at 4:38 am
(93) Kermit says:

Carpet business is the best option as the steam enters micro holes within the carpet which
is not reachable by water and can get gone foul or musty smells, stains
and spills much better. You’ll immediately pick up over a great
upswing inside the mood of your respective employees. The carpet attracts a great deal of dirt and spillage in fact
it is most vital for the health and for undirtyness.

February 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm
(94) Marcus says:

I dont understand your explanation near the begining when it say people mix bleach with vinegar to produce a better disinfectant agent. Bleach is a base and vinegar is an acid, it would make a worse disinfecting agent.

March 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm
(95) denise g says:

To remove bloodstains in laundry, use hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Use an old toothbrush dipped in laundry soap to scrub. A nurse told me this. Its a very inexpensive way to remove blood and most organic stains. I keep a bottle of peroxide, used to be $.39/ bottle but even if it 4 times that its still a reasonable price to keep your panties white.

April 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm
(96) Lee Bullard says:

Clorine or bleach when cleaning mold or milldue from a porous crevice will not penetrate but with a little acid it will penetrate an kill mold and mildue and most fungas it will also release clorine gas which is heavy the gas will fill from the bottom up.
I. Am not a chemist but have worked with bleach and acid a lot .

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