Can You Mix Lysol and Bleach? No, Here’s What Will Happen

You may be tempted to mix several cleaning products to increase their cleaning or disinfecting power.

However, you should never mix Lysol and bleach. Lysol contains ammonia, a chemical that, when mixed with bleach, releases a potentially fatal fume called chloramine gas.

Let’s explore what happens when you mix Lysol with bleach and how to use these two cleaning products separately for maximum effect.

Why You Should Never Mix Lysol and Bleach

Most Lysol products contain ammonia and should never be mixed with bleach as the reaction releases a toxic, harmful chemical to humans and animals known as chloramine gas. 

Most Lysol products contain ammonia, which is highly reactive with bleach and

Exposure to this chemical can cause mild to fatal symptoms.

Additionally, some Lysol products have ethyl alcohol (ethanol) that when mixed with bleach, produces chloroform – often used by movie villains to incapacitate their victims.

Although not toxic, chloroform can render you unconscious, so beware!

Furthermore, in the United States, no federal law requires ingredient disclosure for cleaning products. 

Therefore, it is best not to mix cleaning products, such as Lysol with any other cleaning solutions if you don’t know all the ingredients and their potentially hazardous interactions.

Read also: Can You Mix Borax and Bleach?

I Accidentally Mixed Lysol and Bleach

In early 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 20% spike in the number of calls to poison control centers in the United States due to overexposure to household cleaners.

Accidents do happen! 

However, you want to do your best to prevent them from happening in the first place. Familiarizing yourself with product labels is the first step in preventing hazardous situations.

Mixing Lysol and bleach releases the toxic gas chloramine.

The Danger of Chloramine Gas

Chloramine gas, a toxic fume to people and animals, is produced when bleach and ammonia are mixed.

Depending on the amount of gas released and the length of exposure, it can harm the eyes, nose, throat, and airways, potentially causing permanent damage.

Quick action must be taken to avoid irreparable damage.

What to Do When Exposed

If you fear you’ve been exposed to toxic chloramine gas and begin to experience symptoms, remain calm and quickly move to a safe, well-ventilated location, preferably with fresh air. 

DO NOT attempt to clean up or remove the chemicals first!

Call your local emergency services immediately if you have trouble breathing.

If you can breathe but have been exposed to chemical fumes, call your local poison control center. They will direct you on what course of action to take.

If you find someone exposed to toxic fumes but unconscious, move them to an area with fresh air and call your local emergency services.

Clean Up

Once you are feeling well enough and it is safe to do so, open the windows and turn on fans in the area where the chemicals were mixed to dissipate the fumes.

Check every hour until the toxic smell is gone. Ensure the area is off-limits to people and animals until it is safe to enter.

Carefully remove the container from the area, place it outside, away from people and animals, and dilute it with water.

If you’ve mixed Lysol and bleach in the toilet, lower the lid and flush several times for at least an hour. Turn on the bathroom fan if you have one.

Discard any cleaning supplies that contacted the mixed cleaning solution, including brushes, sponges, and rags.

Wipe every surface with clean water to remove any potential residue. Discard all rags and sponges.

If in doubt, call your local poison control center and follow their cleanup instructions.

Symptoms of Chemical Exposure

The first signs of chloramine gas exposure are headache and dizziness. 

Typically, symptoms can appear suddenly and can progress quite rapidly.

Typical symptoms of chemical exposure include:

  • Runny nose
  • Teary or burning eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the chest or lungs
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Chest congestion (fluid in the lungs)

Symptoms can develop after only a few sniffs, lasting up to 24 hours.

Ignoring symptoms can result in loss of consciousness, coma, or death. 

Additionally, permanent airway or lung scarring can occur.

Do not hesitate to contact your local emergency services if you experience any of the above symptoms.

It is better to err on the side of caution in chemical exposure situations.

Can You Mix Lysol and Clorox?

Although Clorox is a brand and not all its products contain bleach, it is best to be cautious and not mix Lysol with other cleaning products.

Clorox cleaning products that do not contain bleach may have other active ingredients, such as ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, that may react with Lysol, producing toxic fumes.

Tips for When Using Lysol

Lysol is approved to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), making it an effective disinfectant. 

However, before using any Lysol product, it is best to first clean the surface with a multi-purpose cleaner to remove excess dirt and grime.

When using aerosol cans to disinfect surfaces, hold the can upright, 6 to 8 inches away from the surface, and spray for 3-4 seconds. 

Allow the surface to remain wet for at least 5 minutes and allow it to air dry. You may wipe clean after 10 minutes.

Lysol spray can also be used on soft surfaces, such as couches, pillows, and mattresses. To disinfect, spray the fabric, allow it to remain wet for 10 minutes, and let it air dry. 

When using disinfecting wipes, using rubber gloves is advised since many household cleaning products can contain preservatives and fragrances that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. 

It is always good practice to wash your hands with soap and water when handling any cleaning product.

What Can Be Mixed with Lysol?

It is not advised to mix any type of household cleaner with Lysol. Most active ingredients in cleaning products can have adverse reactions when combined.

Additionally, not all of the ingredients in cleaning products may be disclosed on the label, making it dangerous to mix even seemingly harmless household ingredients. 

Tips for When Using Bleach

Bleach, also known as chlorine bleach or sodium hypochlorite, is an old but effective way to disinfect many non-porous household surfaces.

Although there’s a myriad of cleaning products on the market today, a simple solution of bleach and water mixed in a bucket along with a trusty sponge or scrub brush is really all you need to disinfect many areas throughout your home, not just your laundry.

Because bleach is a highly concentrated product, it is important to always dilute it with ambient temperature water before cleaning any surfaces. 

Bleach can irritate the respiratory system, skin, and eyes; therefore, diluting it in water is imperative. 

Additionally, using the concentrated solution can damage surfaces.

Never use bleach in an enclosed space. Always ensure there is proper ventilation before using or mixing. Wear long rubber gloves and protect your eyes with wraparound safety glasses.

Never mix bleach with hot water, as it can release chlorine gas into the air.

If you intend to use a diluted bleach solution to disinfect surfaces used for food preparation, eating, or toys (or any item that may wind up in your child’s mouth), be sure to rinse the surface with clean water after disinfecting and dry it with a clean towel.

To Wrap Up

Lysol and bleach are popular, effective disinfectants on their own. While you may consider mixing them for maximum efficacy, you should never mix Lysol and bleach.

The resulting reaction will release chloramine gas, which can cause permanent damage.

What’s next?

For more information on mixing cleaning products, read our latest posts: 

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