Chlorine gas was used for chemical warfare during World War I. You can make it easily in your own home by accidentally combining chlorine and ammonia in a misguided effort to boost cleaning power. Aren’t you clever?
Here are 5 ordinary household cleaners that Consumer Reports says should be handled with care:
- Undiluted ammonia can burn skin on contact. Do not mix with products that contain chlorine bleach–it makes a poisonous gas.
- Undiluted chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is very irritating to eyes and lungs.
- Drain, metal, and oven cleaners with sodium hydroxide (lye) can burn eyes, nose, and throat tissue on contact.
- Toilet bowl cleaners with hydrochloric acid can cause serious eye damage and skin burns.
- Furniture and floor polishes, and glass cleaners with naptha can cause headaches and nausea.
Our frugal cousins at CR have also provided an extensive list of non-toxic alternative cleaners that you can mix up yourself. Vinegar, is there anything you can’t do?
How to make your own (less-toxic) household cleaners [Consumer Reports]
Five everyday cleaning products that can cause you harm [Consumer Reports]