Natural Cleaning Ingredients You Should Never Mix

Natural Cleaning Ingredients You Should Never Mix

Cleaning your home with natural ingredients has become increasingly popular, especially among eco-conscious individuals. Natural cleaning agents like baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and hydrogen peroxide are all environmentally friendly and highly effective. However, it's essential to know that not all natural ingredients work well together. In fact, some combinations can be hazardous or counterproductive.

Let's dive into the natural cleaning ingredients you should never mix, their potential dangers when combined and how they can be used separately.

1. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Why not mix

Individually, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are excellent natural cleaning agents. However, when combined, they form peracetic acid, which can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Additionally, the mixture can be corrosive to certain surfaces, such as countertops or natural stone. 

How to use separately

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent disinfectant, effective against bacteria, viruses, and mould. Use it to disinfect surfaces like countertops, sinks, and cutting boards. It can also be used to clean wounds and even whiten laundry. Vinegar is a versatile cleaner that dissolves mineral deposits, cuts through grease, and removes mildew. Dilute with water to clean glass, surfaces, stainless steel, and toilets.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Castile Soap

Why not to mix

Hydrogen peroxide, a potent oxidising agent, and Castile soap, a vegetable-based soap made primarily from olive oil, should not be mixed due to a chemical reaction that reduces the effectiveness of both ingredients. When combined, the soap neutralises the hydrogen peroxide, stripping it of its disinfecting qualities.

How to use separately

To take full advantage of each product's cleaning power and benefits, it is recommended to use hydrogen peroxide and Castile soap separately, applying them in succession if needed.

3. Vinegar and Castile Soap

Why not to mix

When vinegar, an acid, is combined with castile soap, a base, they react and essentially cancel each other out. This neutralisation turns the soap back into its original oils, causing it to lose its cleaning power. In addition to making the soap less effective, this reaction leaves a filmy, oily residue on surfaces, making it counterproductive for cleaning purposes.

How to use separately

Castile soap is an excellent all-purpose cleaner, while vinegar can be used as a rinse agent to remove soap scum and mineral deposits. Just make sure not to mix them directly, and you'll be able to reap the benefits of both.

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Why not to mix

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a basic compound, while vinegar (acetic acid) is an acidic solution. Combined, they undergo a chemical reaction to produce sodium acetate (a weak basic salt), water, and carbon dioxide. This reaction is characterised by a fizzing or bubbling effect caused by the release of carbon dioxide gas. While the resulting fizz may help dislodge some grime, you are essentially creating salt water. Using baking soda and vinegar separately is more effective for their unique cleaning benefits. 

How to use separately

Baking soda is an excellent abrasive cleaner and gentle scrubbing agent. Sprinkle it on surfaces like countertops, stovetops, or bathroom fixtures, and scrub with a wet cloth. Vinegar, on the other hand, is excellent for removing hard water stains and mineral deposits. Apply it directly to the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub away.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

It's important to understand that not all natural cleaning ingredients can be combined when it comes to green cleaning. Mixing certain natural cleaning ingredients can produce harmful fumes, reduce their effectiveness, or damage surfaces. By being mindful of these combinations, you can ensure a safe and efficient cleaning routine. 

Remember always to read and follow the instructions and safety guidelines for each ingredient, and when in doubt, use them separately to avoid any unwanted reactions or hazards.

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Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article is not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Lavender & Lemon Ltd. disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.
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