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Bleach and Alcohol Make Chloroform

Why You Shouldn't Mix Bleach and Alcohol


Chloroform is also known as trichloromethane (TCM) and methyl trichloride.

This is the chemical structure of chloroform, a chemical produced by reacting a chlorinated compound with any of a number of organic molecules.

Ben Mills
Mixing bleach and alcohol is a bad idea because the chemicals react to make chloroform. Here's a look at what happens and the risks associated with mixing these chemicals.

The Chemical Reaction

Ordinary household bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, which reacts with ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to produce chloroform, hydrochloric acid, and other compounds, such as chloroacetone or dichloroacetone.

Unintentionally mixing of these chemicals could occur from trying to clean up a spill using bleach or from mixing cleaners together. Bleach is highly reactive and forms dangerous compounds when mixed with any of a number of chemicals, so it's best to avoid mixing it with any other product.

Danger of Chloroform

Chloroform is a dangerous chemical that irritates the eyes, respiratory system, and skin. It can damage the nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, and other organs and may cause cancer. If you suspect exposure to chloroform, remove yourself from the area and seek medical attention.

Learn More

Mixing Bleach and Ammonia
Mixing Bleach and Vinegar
Choroform Material Safety Data Sheet

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