A woman is warning others to never simply mix household cleaning chemicals together after being hospitalised because of it
Twitter user Ayuizany (@areuizany) shared her experience on 8 October, knowing that it was a common mistake that anyone could make at home.
"My story started all because I decided to mix toilet stain remover and bleach into a bucket together," the 26-year-old housewife wrote.
Ayuizany told SAYS that her husband had just found a new job in Penang, so they were in their new home with their six-month-old son when the accident happened.
"To be honest, I'm not the type who scrubs my toilet," she shared on Twitter
She said she had always only used a simple toilet cleaning liquid, but since it was a new place, she thought she would give it a good cleaning.
Oblivious to the danger, Ayuizany said she poured some bleach into a bucket then squeezed in a large amount of stain remover for the job.
"I thought it was like a liquid soap, and it didn't smell like anything at that point, but the mixture started to foam and turn from white to yellow."
Unfortunately, still thinking it was soap and that it would smell nice, she leaned in and took a big whiff of the concoction.
"The smell was so sharp!" she recalled, adding that she was suddenly in a panic because she felt nauseous and the smell started to take over the whole house.
Her husband quickly moved their son into their bedroom when they started to cough because of the pungent fumes
Ayuizany said all the windows of the house happened to be closed and she was coughing non-stop too.
"I quickly got rid of the mixture first by flushing it down the toilet. But I felt the smell burning my nose, then my mouth, then suddenly I felt it in my chest. Then I was gasping for air because it felt like my throat was blocked," she said.She recounted that she tried to get some fresh air by walking outdoors, while her husband tried to get rid of the remaining smell in the house.
However, after a few minutes, she still couldn't breathe, and her chest started to hurt. So, they quickly rushed to the hospital.
Thankfully, Ayuizany said she only needed a drip and did not stay overnight in the ward
"Alhamdulillah, the X-ray results also showed nothing wrong," she updated.
However, once she got home, she decided to have a good look at the warning labels on all the cleaning product bottles.
"I learnt that toilet stain remover contains acid and cannot be mixed with other cleaning agents. They had a large warning about it on the bottle," she shared, adding regretfully that she did not read them before use.
However, the whole ordeal was a lesson that she will remember until the day she dies.
"So here I am, sharing this for anyone else with no experience cleaning toilets like me. Please be careful when handling any household cleaning products, don't simply put your life at risk by accidentally inhaling these things," she cautioned.
The tweet went viral — garnering over 20,000 retweets and 14,000 likes — and among the replies, many netizens shared their own carelessness when using cleaning chemicals
"Same case as me. There was a scorpion in my bathroom so I poured acid and bleach at it. The smell was so sharp that my chest tightened and I couldn't breathe," said a Twitter user.
"I quickly rinsed the chemicals away and sat in my room in front of a fan. I only didn't go to the emergency room because I was lazy to tell my family," she said, adding in a later tweet that her symptoms did not go away for three days.
Another user said, "The RM2 shops sell many kinds of these cleaners and the worst is they never mention or warn about its uses and dangers."
"I've been through the worst and felt like dying post-exposure with this kind of floor cleaner, even my floor got ruined when I used it."
Meanwhile, someone explained, "Chlorine gas is produced when you mix bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and hydrochloric acid from stain remover, same reaction happens when you mix bleach and vinegar."
Just for precaution, take note of this list of common household cleaning products that should never be mixed
According to CNA, these chemicals are dangerous when combined:
Bleach + Acids = Chlorine gas
– Leads to coughing, chest congestion, burning sensation, skin irritation, and watery eyes.
– Acids include vinegar and lemon juice, and are found in various households cleaners.
Bleach + Ammonia = Chloramine
– Causes irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, leading to coughing and breathing problems.
– Ammonia is found in many household cleaners too.
Bleach + Rubbing alcohol = Chloroform
– Causes irritation to the eyes, respiratory system, and skin. Can knock a person out and cause severe organ damage.
– Rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) can be found in window cleaners, disinfecting sprays, and moist towelettes.
Hydrogen peroxide + Vinegar = Peracetic acid
– Highly corrosive to skin, eyes, respiratory system.
– Hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfectant and can be found in multi-purpose sanitisers and kitchen cleaners.
Malaysians love keeping our homes clean. Here are a few cleaning products some satisfied customers swear by: