Experts issue warning about a VERY common cleaning mistake people make

Experts issue warning about the VERY common cleaning mistake people make that creates a ‘toxic chlorine gas’ in the home

  • Australians are warned of the health risks of mixing bleach and vinegar together
  • CHOICE warned the two cleaning agents should never be used together
  • Inhaling toxic vapours leads to coughing, allergic reactions and chemical burns

Australians have been warned of the potential dangers of mixing bleach and vinegar together to create a disinfectant for the house. 

Consumer experts from CHOICE warned the two common cleaning agents should never be used at the same time because it releases toxic fumes.

‘Warning: Never mix bleach and vinegar together – it creates toxic chlorine gas,’ the experts said.

Inhaling the toxic vapours can lead to coughing, breathing problems, allergic reactions and even nasty chemical burns. 

It’s a common cleaning mistake many people make, as cleaning experts have warned for years that adding any acidic to bleach will produce a toxic chlorine vapour.

Australians have been warned of the potential dangers of mixing bleach and vinegar together to create a disinfectant for the house (stock image)

Before you get rid of the mould in your home, the experts from CHOICE said the first thing you need to do is assess the surface the fungi has attached to.  

‘If the mould is on something that’s super-porous, like a textile, clothing or furniture, there’s a good chance it can’t be completely removed and it may need to be thrown out,’ they said.

‘Non-porous’ surfaces such as hard plastics should be relatively easier to clean.

For those struggling to remove mould in bathroom grout or silicone, the experts explained that once the fungi gets its grip in these areas, it’s ‘almost impossible’ to rid of it.

‘When mould grows, it develops hyphae, or roots, which grow into the grout or silicone. You can clean the surfaces of the grout or silicone, but not deep into it. In those cases you have to replace the silicone or re-grout your bathroom,’ they said.

Consumer experts from CHOICE warned the two common cleaning agents should never be used at the same time because it releases toxic fumes

The experts suggested using diluted vinegar on hard surfaces, which causes mould to ‘overeat and die’.

To create a cleaning solution, simply pour a concentration of 80 per cent vinegar to 20 per cent water into three buckets.

Use a microfibre cloth in the first bucket to clean a patch of mould.

‘The same microfibre cloth should then be rinsed in the second bucket, then rinsed again in the third to ensure cross-contamination doesn’t occur,’ the experts said.

The experts explained that bleach can kill fungi but it needs to be at a 10 per cent concentration to work. 

‘Even at a higher potency, bleach won’t penetrate porous materials, so if the mould is growing on plaster, grout or wood, it will kill mould on the surface, but not below it,’ they said.

‘Bleach takes the colour, or melanin, out of fungi, making it invisible. You can’t see it anymore, so you think the bleach has done its job, when that’s not necessarily the case.’

There are simple things to do to prevent mould from returning to the home, such as fixing any leaky roof or broken pipes, and avoid air drying clothes indoors.

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