Mixing Vinegar With Other Cleaners


So I have been using an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent. I recently started using white distilled vinegar as a rinse aid. Does anyone know if it is okay to mix the two? The dishwasher detergent does not contain chlorine bleach.

I accidentally missed the rinse aid spot and some of the vinegar got to the bottom of the dishwasher. So the dishwasher detergent that was in the pre-wash spot mixed with it, and made a bubbly sound. Does anyone know what you are not supposed to mix with vinegar (besides bleach and ammonia)?




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By Oberhund (Guest Post) 08/22/2008

I never heard that you shouldn't mix vinegar with anything (for cleaning). I know there is a problem mixing other cleaners, and I think it's bleach and ammonia together that creates a toxic gas, but you should research this to confirm or find out the exact chemicals not to mix. But like I said, I haven't heard anything about the dangers of mixing vinegar with other cleaners. I'm curious to find out. (The bubbling was probably the vinegar mixing with a base, like baking soda.)

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By Louise B. 6 2,508 08/22/2008

Vinegar is just a mild acid. Mixing it with a detergent is not harmful in any way that I have ever heard of. Mixing it with ammonia is not harmful either, because ammonia is a base -- the opposite of an acid, and if you mixed enough vinegar with the ammonia, you would neutralize it, and you would have created salt water and carbon dioxide. Of course, if you were trying to clean anything with this mixture, you would have lost the cleaning power that these would have individually.

I don't know that there is any harm in mixing vinegar with bleach, but there is no advantage either. Bleach and ammonia will create chlorine gas -- a poison.

If you mix baking soda with vinegar, you also neutralize it, and create the salt water and carbon dioxide -- hence the bubbles.

Vinegar is a slight acid, and so sometimes it will corode metals if it is in contact with them for some time. It also corrodes marble and limestone. It is because of this corrosive power that it removes lime scale and the crude in you coffee maker or around your sink.

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By chris (Guest Post) 08/22/2008

The foaming you saw is what happens when u mix and acid (vinegar) with an alkaline substance. Often cleaners are based with alkaline products like calcium carbonate (most cleansers, like comet). What happens is you end up with a neutral Ph, but it will not clean as well, as if it's alkaline or acid. Unless it didn't balance out.

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By Karen (Guest Post) 08/24/2008

Brought back a memory - when I was a child my Dad had me put baking soda into my model "volcano" and then at school for the big exhibition, i was to add some vinegar to make the "lava flow" out of the top of the model! It was great fun, and very dramatic! Thanks

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By Larissa A. 2 06/20/2015

NEVER NEVER NEVER mix vinegar and bleach! Mixing vinegar and bleach is actually just as deadly as mixing bleach and ammonia- both reactions produce deadly chlorine gas which can be fatal.

Some other good safety reminders:

And BEWARE- some people out there will recommend mixing bleach with vinegar. This is dangerous misinformation. DO NOT DO IT! Not everyone is aware of the danger- the bleach/vinegar rule is not as well known as the bleach/ammonia rule. But they are both equally important to your own safety. Look it up. If anyone ever tells you to mix bleach and vinegar, a) don't do it, and b) warn them of the hazard before they kill themselves.

In general, never mix bleach with anything. Ever. It reacts lethally with too many things. Also, in general, just don't mix cleaning products- you may not know what's in them, as the chemicals can be listed on the label using unfamiliar names. You might not recognize them for what they are. Do some thorough research on ingredients, and their reactions, before you risk bringing any cleaning products into contact with one another. That includes using two cleaning products on the same surface, one after the other- the second may react with the residue of the first.

Even things as innocent-sounding as vinegar should always be double-checked, because unexpected, dangerous combos exist. Bleach/vinegar is a case in point.

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