Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is the Internet Making You Stupid?

Yesterday, a FB acquaintance of mine posted about a wonderful new cleaning solution she had concocted that got her shower whiter than it had ever been before, with NO SCRUBBING!

Naturally, other friends asked her for specific details about what she was using, so she came back a while later and posted the "recipe" - powdered comet, vinegar, and bleach.

The recipe was met with further "I can't wait to try that!" comments, which sounds like a logical following for a recommendation that will take precious minutes off of a cleaning routine. Unfortunately for these excited posters, mixing bleach and vinegar is a dangerous thing to do. What happens when you mix bleach and vinegar? Why, you get chlorine gas.


Then, of course, you get someone else who comments on your warning comment that that really isn't the case, and that the only thing you have to worry about is mixing bleach and ammonia. Unfortunately for her, my materials engineer husband and Dr. Google both confirmed that mixing bleach and vinegar does, in fact create chlorine gas. Guess I wasn't sleeping through all of high school chemistry, after all.

So here's my daily tip: Don't take random internet advice at face value. Do your own research, especially when it comes to things like mixing household chemicals and things like that. Otherwise you'll just end up hurting yourself.


  1. yike! Thanks for posting :) I always check before mixing bleach anyway so I probably wouldve found out sooner or later but thanks again!

  2. So true that you have to double check. The internet is a great source of information...and a great source of misinformation, too.

  3. Hmmmmm, you mean everything you read online isn't always true?? (insert sarcasm)

  4. Ah, I love your brain. I wondered the same thing but didn't want to do the research to find out if it was true.

  5. thanks for leaving the link here.
    I'm pretty sure the companies are require to put warning about mixing on the labels but these people would not bother to read labels.
    Chlorine gas as in the type used in WWI as a weapon?
    Is that explosive?  Also do you get some hydrogen gas too.  I ask because as a dumb kid I remember mixing some bleach and something that made some explosive gas.



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