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Lesson of the day

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dameia posted 5/3/2013 12:11 PM

The lesson today...

I decide to mop the floors in the kitchen and bathroom, only to discover I'm out of cleaning solution.

"No problem," I think, "I've been wanting to make my own cleaning solution for awhile."

So I google "Homemade floor cleaning products."

Wow, super easy! Equal parts hot water and vinegar. Or for extra powerful cleaning, 1 gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup of borax.

"Well", I think, "I really want super cleaning power, but I don't think I have any Borax."

Then genius strikes....why don't I put a little bleach in the vinegar water solution? Brilliant!!

So I put the 2 year old down for a nap, fill the mop bucket, and just as I'm about to add the bleach something in my brain says, " and I both know you never paid attention in chemistry. So maybe this isn't a good idea. Let's google it..."

So off to google I go, only to discover mixing vinegar and bleach results in a lovely combination know to us lay people as CHLORINE GAS!!!

Crisis narrowly avoided, I manage to dig up some 3 year old borax and now the floors are nice a shiny.

The lesson learned today is:

I might not be smart enough to know that mixing bleach and vinegar is a bad idea, but at least I'm smart enough to google it before doing it.

jrc1963 posted 5/3/2013 13:53 PM


Newlease posted 5/3/2013 14:02 PM

I know someone who got permanent damage to his lungs from using that combo. Glad you knew enough to check it out before doing it.


dameia posted 5/3/2013 14:24 PM


Wow, that's awful!! Now I'm really glad I looked it up!

jrc, hope you feel better soon!

Sad in AZ posted 5/3/2013 19:42 PM

I always thought it was ammonia and bleach that created chlorine gas. I better check this out.

Sienna500 posted 5/3/2013 19:50 PM

Vinegar and ammonia become neutral.. So, rubbish cleaner

dameia posted 5/3/2013 21:32 PM

Sad, that's what I thought too! Thank goodness I had read that in a book, because that's what set off the bells in the back of my mind.

cinnamongurl posted 5/4/2013 06:29 AM

Just a note on borax. Though it is often recommended as a "safe" and "green" alternative, it contains a form of boric acid and can be toxic to children and pets. Its a powder, so it leaves a residue which can be picked up on shoes, clothing, hands, feet or paws and accidentally ingested.

I clean houses for a living and try to be as green as possible. Before you mop the floors give them a good vacuum to remove all loose debris. I add a tsp of dish soap (blue Dawn works the best) to the vinegar water solution. I also add about 10-15 drops of an essential oil (lavender or lemon are my favorites) for fragrance. I find this solution can work really well on any surface floor, no matter how dirty, plus its safe and much much cheaper than store bought cleaners. So glad you didn't add the bleach! That would have been a disaster!

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