Homeowners have been using bleach and baking soda separately as cleaning agents for years. They are products that you can find in any home and are easy to use. However, can you mix bleach with baking soda?
You can mix bleach and baking soda. Mixing the two will not produce any harmful gases, so it is safe to use in the home. Use the mix for general purpose cleaning, removing mold, cleaning walls, and whitening clothes in the laundry. Remember to wear gloves, eyewear, and a face mask.
It is always a good idea to be wary of what chemicals you mix with bleach. In this article, we will describe whether it is safe to mix bleach with baking soda and what you can use the mixture for. Furthermore, we will quickly cover what home products you should never mix with bleach since mixing the wrong thing could be dangerous.
Can You Safely Mix Bleach With Baking Soda?
The first question that people ask regarding mixing another chemical with bleach is if it is safe or not. Bleach is a strong chemical and already has dangers of its own, so this is a smart question to ask.
Bleach can produce a toxic gas when mixed with some products you find in your home, which is why you need to be careful when mixing it. If you mix bleach with the wrong product, you could experience health effects such as coughing, chest pain, nausea, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs.
One of the primary product examples to not mix bleach with is vinegar. Since vinegar is also a strong cleaning agent, many people figure the two would work well together. However, the combination creates chlorine gas. If you inhale too much of this type of gas, it can become deadly.
Fortunately, it is safe to mix bleach with baking soda. There are no harmful chemicals or toxic gases that will be released due to the chemical reaction when mixing, so you can use both of these products together with no worries.
Why Mix Bleach and Baking Soda?
The main active ingredient in household bleach is sodium hypochlorite. In other household bleaches, hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient. These two chemicals have strong cleaning abilities; you can use them to remove stains and kill bacteria, germs, and mold.
It works so well in whitening clothes because the chemicals in bleach break the compound called chromophore’s chemical bonds. Chromophores are the chemical compound that gives color to clothing (which is why bleach whitens clothes and removes color).
Chemically speaking, baking soda is a bit similar to bleach since they both come from salt—this fact also further explains why you can mix the two. Baking soda works well as a cleaner since it has a higher pH and is not neutral. The product works well to remove odor and break up grease. You can also use it as an all-purpose cleaner.
Since both products come from salt, it won’t be dangerous to mix the two. Mixing both products will enhance each’s cleaning properties, which is why the mixture works so well. As a solution, the chemicals have a boosted ability to attack nasty stains and bacteria effectively.
Tips When Mixing Bleach and Baking Soda
Now that we know it is safe to mix the chemicals, we need to know how to do it. Just because it is safe does not mean you can throw any amount of each together and call it a day. These are still chemicals we are working with; it is essential to be cautious when mixing strong chemicals.
While we will give specific recipes for certain cleaning purposes down below, here are a few basic tips to follow when mixing the two:
- Only mix in a well-ventilated area. Opening the windows while using bleach on its own is always a good idea, but this is a critical step when dealing with both chemicals as a mixture. Make sure to let as much fresh air in as possible when cleaning. A boost of fresh air will prevent you from inhaling harmful chemicals and help the surfaces dry faster.
- Dilute the chemical mixture with water. Mixing the two chemicals will create a very strong cleaning agent. It is so strong that it might damage some surfaces if you do not dilute it with water—this tip won’t apply if you are mixing a paste; we will cover that later.
- Test the mixture on the surfaces beforehand. If you are doing this for the first time, it is always a good idea to test the mixture on any countertops or surfaces before you use it. This way, you will find out if it is too strong or too weak.
Baking Soda and Bleach Mixture for Cleaning
Since we know that baking soda and bleach produce an even stronger cleaning agent when you mix the two, let’s look at what you can use the super-cleaner for. There will be several areas in your home that will benefit from the mixture. You will be surprised at how well the mixture works and will never want to use both products on their own again.
The first and most basic way to use a mixture of bleach and baking soda is for all-purpose cleaning. You can use it to wipe down counters, cabinets, or anything else you want to disinfect.
For this purpose, you don’t have to follow a specific recipe; simply mix the two depending on how large of a surface area you will clean. If you want basic guidelines, combining equal parts of each will work. The most important thing to remember is to dilute this mixture with room temperature water.
You can also use the mixture to whiten your clothes. Using baking soda with bleach in the laundry effectively whitens clothes and makes them even brighter. The baking soda will boost the bleach’s effectiveness to get rid of stubborn stains.
Before you add any extra chemicals, add the detergent to the wash first. Then, you will pour ½ cup of bleach into the wash and ½ cup of baking soda. If you have a larger machine or load, add one cup of bleach.
Cleaning Walls and Mold
Another popular use of bleach and baking soda is to clean walls and mold. For this cleaning purpose, you will want to make a paste.
All you will have to do for this recipe is to:
- Add ¾ cups of baking soda and ¼ cup of bleach. You won’t be adding water since you will want it to be a thick consistency.
- Once the two have blended, you can use the paste to clean the walls. It will also effectively remove mold.
- To clean the walls, you can use a scrub brush or a sponge. The Amazer Scrub Brush Comfort Grip will work well for this job.
- After you finish using the paste, make sure to wipe the area with a wet rag and water.
When using this recipe, make sure to wear rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator if you have it. Since you are not diluting the paste with water, it will be more potent and could pose health hazards.
Products That You Should Never Mix With Bleach
Before we wrap up, it will be worth knowing what you should never mix with bleach. As mentioned before, mixing bleach with the wrong chemical can create toxic gases and lead to serious acute and chronic health issues.
The first chemical you should not mix with bleach is any product containing ammonia. Mixing the two will produce chloramines, which is a type of toxic gas. Chloramines can irritate the throat, nose, eyes and cause shortness of breath, among other symptoms.
Ammonia products will include items such as window and glass cleaners and paint. You should also be cautious when using bleach to clean the toilet since urine contains ammonia.
The other kind of product you should never mix with bleach is any product containing acid. These will include vinegar, glass and window cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, dishwasher detergents, and some concrete cleaners. Acid and bleach will produce chlorine gas.
Finally, you should never add bleach to hydrogen peroxide, insecticides, oven cleaners, or any sort of pool chemicals.
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Mixing baking soda and bleach will be perfectly safe. It will boost the cleaning effectiveness of each product. You can use the solution as an all-purpose cleaner and for cleaning your walls. Simply combine equal parts of both with water when using it for basic cleaning.
Bleach and baking soda work great in the laundry for white loads. Furthermore, use it to get rid of any stubborn mold on the walls. When using the mixture as a paste, make sure to wear gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask. Finally, never mix bleach with any products containing ammonia or acid.