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Just like most chemicals, all household cleaning products, as domestic as they might look in containers, should be handled with care. More critical is the combination of these cleaning products in a bid to formulate what is perceived to be more effective than the individual content. Combining liquids might result in possibly explosive mixtures and harmful gases that are harmful, in ways that range from mild to threatening. Thankfully, specially formulated household products bear warning notes which caution users against mixing with other products. But how many users strictly adhere to these instructions? Basic chemistry teaches us that compounds or mixtures possess characteristics that are different from their individual components. This is why for security reasons, airport authorities place certain restrictions on carrying liquid items. Active ingredients in cleaning agents like bleach, glass and window cleaners, vinegar, and miscellaneous agents include sodium hypochlorite, ammonia, and acids. When bleach,which contains sodium hypochlorite, mixes with a product that contains ammonia, chloramine gases are produced and this causes irritations to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. With acids, chlorine bleach produces chlorine gas which might combine with water to form hydrochloric or related acids. These also can have adverse effects on the eyes, when inhaled or when in contact with the skin. One thing is sure, to stay safe from accidents and indoor air pollution, keep to the manufacturer’s instruction. If you are extra meticulous when it comes to hygiene and must use two products, properly rinse off or wipe away one product before using another.

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This article was first published on 8th August 2017


Nnenna is an editor and writer at Connect Nigeria. She loves fine art, books and places.

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