You may never intentionally combine household products, but there is a good chance that you may have done so without thinking. Ever taken a bath with a citrus body wash and a dandruff shampoo? What about the age old cleaning secret of vinegar combined with household cleaning products? Or that drain that just won’t unclog with the first off-brand drain cleaner so you mix in another brand.

These and other events of mistaken mixology could lend to more harm than you may have thought. Take a look at our top 5 chemical combos that could land you in the emergency room.


1. Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
  • Slight Exposure Effects: eye irritation, nausea, dizziness, headache, cough
  • Heavy Exposure Effects: tracheobronchitis, seizures, death
  • Chemical Reaction of: Acids and certain Fungicides such as pesticides, dandruff shampoos, products containing sulfur/sulfates

2. Chloroform

  • Slight Exposure Effects: nausea, dizziness
  • Heavy Exposure Effects: lung damage, kidney damage, nervous system damage, death
  • Chemical Reaction of: Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach

3. Chlorine Gas

  • Slight Exposure Effects: eye, skin, throat and lung irritation
  • Heavy Exposure Effects: burning eyes and skin, nausea, temporary blindness, chest pain, death
  • Chemical Reaction of: Bleach and Hydrochloric Acid both of which are found in different drain cleaners

4. Chloramine Vapors

  • Slight Exposure Effects: coughing, nausea, shortness of breath
  • Heavy Exposure Effects: chest pain, pneumonia, chemical burns in eyes and lungs
  • Chemical Reaction of: Bleach and Amonnia, Vinegar or other acids which are found in common household cleaners 

5. Corrosive Acid

  • Slight Exposure Effects: skin, eye, nose or throat irritation
  • Heavy Exposure Effects: permanent scarring of skin, eyes or throat
  • Chemical Reaction of: Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar