It is generally not safe to mix any sort of commercial cleaning products. Even household chemicals, like ammonia and bleach, should never be mixed because they produce chlorine, which can be deadly. Other chemicals that should never be mixed include bleach and vinegar, drain cleaner and ammonia or oven cleaner and Comet. But there are chemicals and other household items that can safely be mixed to form effective cleaning substances.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
These two substances together can tackle a variety of tough cleaning jobs. For clogged drains, pour approximately 3/4 cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow it with 1/2 cup of vinegar, and let sit for about 30 minutes. Follow this with about a kettle full of boiling water. A mixture of two parts vinegar and one part baking soda is an effective cleaner for counter-tops and bathroom tile.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a natural antibacterial and antiviral substance. This makes it great for cleaning. Mix one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of water for a great floor cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide, when used with vinegar, makes an exceptional sanitizer for use around food preparation areas. The two together can kill salmonella and E. coli. Virginia Tech University says that using them at the same time is very effective. The website Tau Topics says to never mix the two in the same bottle, as it may create a dangerous chemical if mixed improperly. The mixture is also not as effective as using the two separately, but at the same time.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular substance to use for household cleaning because it is a natural antiseptic. It is also nontoxic and has germicidal, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Mixing two tsp. of tea tree oil with two cups of water can create a substance that kills mold and mildew. To create a general-purpose cleaner, combine one tsp. of tea tree oil with two tbsp. of white vinegar and one tsp. of Borax. Commercial bathroom, floor and window cleaners often contain tea tree oil.
A quarter cup of Borax combined with one cup of vinegar and two gallons of hot water makes a great floor cleaner, according to Green Parenthood. The two substances together work to cut dirt and grease that accumulates on floors. Also try 1/4 cup of Borax with 1/2 tsp. of lemon oil. Mix with a vegetable-based liquid soap, and you have a great disinfectant tub and tile cleaner.
- Oklahoma State University: Using Cleaning Products Safely
- Women’s Forum: Mix Bleach and Ammonia
- American Cleaning Institute: Some Facts about Mix-at-Home Cleaners
- Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips: Natural Home Cleaning with Tea Tree Oil
- Tea Tree Oil Wonders: Deep Clean Your Home with Household Cleaning Products Containing Tea Tree Oil
- Green Parenthood: 10 Simple Ways to Clean Your Home Naturally
Chris Kinsey works as an editor for a medical publisher and has experience dealing with many topics, ranging from athlete's foot to cancer and brain injury. Kinsey has a great deal of freelance experience writing for sports and parenting magazines as well. Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California University of Pennsylvania.