It’s common sense that many household products should mix well together to form another, extra powerful concoction. Want to combat an upset stomach? Lemon-lime soda and crackers. Need something that packs a bit more of a punch to clean that nasty sink? Bathroom cleaner and bleach. The possible combinations seem endless!
Of course, you could always accidentally create a toxic gas that kills you.
A lot of household products actually shouldn’t be mixed together for various reasons. We put them all down below so that next time you need a quick and dirty solution to a problem, you don’t accidentally make things worse.
Which one was the most surprising “no-no” combo to you? Let us know at the end!
15. Ammonia and Bleach
Ok, this sounds stupid, right? Why would two products that can, combined, kill a whole lot of bacteria, not mix well? This particular combination produces what’s called chloramine vapors, which is, simply put a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. This one packs an even bigger punch though – literally – as these vapors can potentially become explosive. No thanks!
14. Medicine and Grapefruit Juice
So, this one is pretty interesting. Grapefruit juice can jump start your body into quickly absorbing the medicine you take, which means that the potential for overdose increases. This means that the concentration of the medication within your bloodstream is greater, which can lead to dangerous consequences. This one is pretty scary, if you ask us!
13. Vinegar and Bleach
Here we go with the cleaning products again, and again with the toxic vapors that no one wants to breathe in. Believe it or not, mixing vinegar and bleach can actually produce chlorine gas, which is about as dangerous as it sounds. You might accomplish your original goal of killing all of the germs that ever existed, but you might compromise your respiratory system at the same time. Worth it?
12. Red Bull and Milk
My first question here is, who in their right mind would even think of mixing Red Bull with milk? I’m really not even sure that this is relevant, but just in case any of you out there were thinking of spicing up your morning glass of milk, don’t. The addition of Red Bull will cause your milk to curdle – though if you wanted to mix Red Bull with milk in the first place, maybe you won’t mind.
11. Antibiotics and Dairy
If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics for you, it’s a good thing to remember not to mix them with dairy products. The reason why is that the calcium actually binds to the antibiotic, meaning it is difficult for your gut to absorb it. Crazy! If you want those drugs to work, lay off the milk and cheese or you might find your illness hangs around longer than it needs to.
10. Glycolic Acid and Retinol
Glycolic acid is commonly found in skincare regimens, while retinol is basically a fancy word for Vitamin A and can be found in many dietary supplements. Mixing these two (in this situation, retinol would likely be in the form of a cream or other liquid) can cancel out the effect of the retinol and even cause some skin irritation.
9. Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
Mixing these two liquids can create a corrosive acid that can eat away at whatever item it’s been used on. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar combine to create peracetic acid, which is harmful to your skin and respiratory system as well as whatever inanimate objects it may come in contact with.
8. Morel Mushrooms and Alcohol
Morel mushrooms are favored by foodies as delicacies, so why not pair them with a good glass of wine or a craft beer? Not so fast. Morel mushrooms hydrazine toxins, which are reduced when the mushrooms are cooked properly and thoroughly. If they aren’t, though, the hydrazine toxins can cause gastrointestinal discomfort when combined with alcohol.
7. St. John’s Wort and Contraceptives
If you want your chosen contraceptive to work, don’t combine it with regular use of St. John’s Wort. This combination can increase break down of estrogen in your system, which will essentially make your contraceptive useless. Estrogen is commonly found in many forms of contraceptives, so the St. John’s Wort will drastically reduce the amount that is being dispensed into your body.
6. Ibuprofen and Alcohol
Speaking of alcohol, it’s common knowledge that it’s a big no-no to combine prescription drugs with alcohol. But what about trust old, over the counter ibuprofen? Believe it or not, this combination can lead to a torn stomach lining. Ibuprofen can cause similar issues when taken on an empty stomach, and adding alcohol to the equation is not a healthy recipe.
5. Baking Soda and Vinegar
This mix is actually a pretty popular suggestion for cleaning. Something about the abrasive quality of the baking soda combined with the high power cleaning properties of vinegar. However, the mixture of baking soda and vinegar kickstarts a chemical reaction that eventually leaves you with, well, a whole lot of nothing. The end product is called sodium acetate solution, and it’s essentially salt water. That isn’t going to get you very far when it comes to deep cleaning your kitchen!
4. Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach
Again with the toxic fumes and chemicals! Mixing rubbing alcohol and bleach can actually create chloroform, which can heavily damage your lungs. In extreme cases, this can prove fatal, but in most it mainly causes nausea and dizziness. This is most definitely a combination we will be staying away from!
3. Compound Henna Hair Dye and Hydrogen Peroxide
Using compound henna hair dye in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to your hair. Every hair dye user knows that the health of your hair can be compromised with too much dye, so the discerning use will be aware of the dangers of mixing these two. Because of the “bleaching” properties of hydrogen peroxide, the use of this with your henna hair dye can create opposite effects, so choose carefully!
2. Acetaminophen and Alcohol
Just like ibuprofen, acetaminophen can be found in just about every household medicine cabinet. It’s probably not uncommon to have a drink (or five) after taking a medication containing acetaminophen, but be careful because alcohol can trigger enzymes that will interact with the acetaminophen and can cause severe damage to your liver.
1. Two Different Brands of Batteries
This one was really surprising to us. The reasoning behind this warning is that different battery manufacturers may produce their batteries with different voltages and chemicals than other companies. If you mix battery brands and one battery dies before the other, this could lead to a battery leak, which then leads to damage to your device. Better safe than sorry on this one!
It’s rather surprising to find that so many commonly found household items are not very safe to mix together. This just goes to show that knowledge is power when it comes to creating your own mixtures or combining products that you ordinarily wouldn’t think twice about.
While, generally speaking, many of the combinations we’ve listed above only present a threat when done in excess or large quantities, but we’d still advise you to be safe over sorry for most of these situations. Except maybe the Red Bull mixed with milk. That might be worth seeing someone try to attempt.