Have you ever had a difficult and tricky cleaning job, perhaps it was caked-on dirt that was proving stubborn or just a stain that wouldn’t fade away easily? When frustration sets in, you probably thought to yourself about combining several different cleaning agents and products together. However, while that can work sometimes, you run the risk when mixing different cleaning chemicals together of causing a lot of damage and injury to yourself.

To help you avoid that, we have put together a guide to some of the most common cleaning products you should never mix.

Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach

Some people will mix bleach with just about anything. Sure, it’s very potent and can help with killing bacteria and getting rid of stubborn stains, but it is also very toxic and volatile. If you have ever wondered what you should never mix with bleach, right at the top of the list is alcohol. When you mix it with bleach you can create what is more commonly known as chloroform. The resulting mixture may not be powerful enough to make you unconscious, but it will be very toxic and extremely irritating.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is a bit of a controversial one, given the amount of DIY cleaning product blogs and Pinterest pages that suggest mixing them together. Vinegar is acidic and baking soda is very basic, so when you get them together you just get something that is a lot of water and a little sodium acetate. To be clear, it’s not actually as effective as many people suggest.

Besides, as the vinegar can cause the baking soda to foam up, if you keep this solution in a stored container, it could explode and make a big mess.

Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Now before you jump down our throats and say, “that’s not what the experts say”, pay close attention. It is one thing to use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in spray bottles for countertops, and a completely different thing to use them “together”. When you do mix them, you create peracetic acid, which can be toxic, or at least very irritating to your eyes, skin and even your respiratory system.

Drain Cleaners with Other Drain Cleaners

You may think it is a great idea, since two different formulas may tackle a different collection of bacteria and other substances that can block drains, but it is advised that you don’t use two different drain cleaners together. Why? These are extremely powerful formulas and if you mix two different formulas together, they could explode. If you find that the drain cleaner you are using isn’t working to clear your drains, call a plumber rather than using a different product.

Ammonia and Bleach

You may not readily mix ammonia and bleach together, but if you are using window or glass cleaners and think bleach might increase their potency, stop! Many of these cleaning products contain ammonia and when mixed with bleach, this creates a very dangerous gas called chloramine, which can cause numerous health issues including watery, burning eyes, breathing problems and coughing, along with chest pain.