why is mixing bleach and other chemicals so dangerous?


I know that it is dangerous to mix certain chemicals, but why? Like what would happen if I were to mix a gallon of bleach and ammonia in my sink, or bleach and vinegar?

In: 4

Chlorine gas is nasty stuff. Hydrochloric acid is even nastier. Bleach contains a lot of chlorine and oxygen, both of which really wanna be seeing other people. When you introduce other chemicals, the oxygen typically finds a more suitable living arrangement, and then the chlorine looks around until it can buddy up with some hydrogen or chlorine, making chlorine gas or hydrochloric acid.

The danger occurs due to any of various chemical reactions between the ingredients which result in dangerous substances being created.

For example, hat we most commonly refer to as “bleach” is chlorine based chemical mixes, such as sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) usually in a 3-6% solution with water. Sodium hypochlorite will natural decompose with water into ~~NaOH~~ HCl, hydrochloric acid. When you mix it with ammonia (NH3) you get chloramine gasses, which are bad on their own, but if enough excess ammonia is present you can then get liquid hydrazine which is potentially explosive too.

The primary source of the danger in this situations is the chlorine, which is an extremely reactive element and thus can form many compounds which are dangerous to humans in sufficient quantities. They are also extremely useful for purposes such as disinfection and cleaning and thus we also use them frequently. Its a risk vs. reward type of situation.

Bleach is made with Chlorine.

Ammonia and other chemicals can break the bonds that keep the chlorine in the bleach and make it return to its natural, gaseous form.

Chlorine gas combines with water to create hydrochloric acid.

If you breathe in chlorine gas, your wet lungs will suddenly be filled with acid and start to dissolve.

If you mixed a gallon of ammonia and bleach in your home, you would fill it with deadly gas that would kill everyone and nearly everything inside.

The same happens with vinegar. It releases the highly reactive, highly corrosive elemental chlorine gas into the air.