Coronavirus: Don’t mix these chemicals when cleaning, emergency responders warn

Will disinfectants kill the coronavirus on surfaces?

People are doing everything they can to keep their homes clean during the spread of coronavirus, but emergency officials are warning of the danger of mixing some household chemicals.

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The Westmoreland County Hazardous Materials Response Team in Pennsylvania and the Lynn Fire Department in Massachusetts are two of several departments around the country that have posted a list of dangerous combinations of cleaning chemicals on social media.

When it comes to having a clean but safe home, avoid mixing the following:

  • Bleach + vinegar = chlorine gas (This can lead to coughing, breathing problems, burning and watery eyes.)
  • Bleach + ammonia = chloramine (This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.)
  • Bleach + rubbing alcohol = chloroform, which is highly toxic
  • Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar = peracetic/peroxyacetic acid, which can be highly corrosive

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people should routinely clean frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs and faucets.

With any cleaning product, the instructions on the label should be followed.

An employee disinfects mirrors in a dressing room at the Taganka Theatre in Moscow as part of measures to prevent the spread of viral diseases.
An employee disinfects mirrors in a dressing room at the Taganka Theatre in Moscow as part of measures to prevent the spread of viral diseases. (Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS/Getty Images)