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View Full Version : Hey Swift! I (Accidently) Discovered Something Else That Doesn't Go With Bleach...



BigDon
2013-Dec-28, 08:25 PM
Besides ammonia.

And I'm glad there was only faint traces of bleach.

Every week, on Friday, I bleach my kitchen sink and bathtub. (Keeps the moss and lichen down.)

I fill my sink to the rim with hot water, had a cup of Clorox, stir and let it sit for an hour.

This time, after I pulled the plug and drained the sink, I had a couple of small stainless steel grills with baked on gunk, put them in my sink, then sprayed them with oven cleaner...

Yikes.

I remember thinking;

"Hmm, that reaction of the foam not of the grill looks a lot more energetic than I recall."

And leaned forward to look. And that's when I inhaled the by products.

Yikes again. Okay, it was more like

"Whole Lee Crap!"

Whatever center of your brain it is that monitors incoming and outgoing gasses went into panic mode. With strobing vision and dizziness.

And that was a thin film of liquid consisting of a cup of bleach diluted in three and a half gallons of water!

I think I'm very glad it wasn't more.

I have a poor track record with toxic gasses. In high school I hurt myself three times with nitric acid fumes during etching class. (I'm sure outside of art class that sort of thing is done under a fume hood.)

Gave the impression that one had a bad sunburn through out your entire respiratory system and you could mentally trace the outline of your nostrils, sinuses, throat, trachea and lungs.

So I guess sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorate are another "don't cross the streams! type thing.

primummobile
2013-Dec-30, 01:44 PM
Sodium hydroxide is used to make bleach, and some drain openers contain both. Did you have something else on the grills?

profloater
2013-Dec-30, 02:05 PM
it's sodium hypochlorite in bleach, oven cleaner may have several chemicals to dissolve grease, ammonia and acid such as vinegar will both release chlorine gas when mixed with bleach. For sinks I find boiling water without chems is good.

primummobile
2013-Dec-30, 02:14 PM
I meant that sodium hydroxide is combined with chlorine gas to make bleach. (sodium hypochlorite)

Moose
2013-Dec-31, 12:09 AM
[...]some drain openers contain both[...]

If you mean the more recent products that combine two separate liquids, then yeah, the gas expansion as the liquids mix against the clog helps to open it. They also say on the packaging to try and make sure the room is well ventilated while using them.

Noclevername
2013-Dec-31, 12:40 AM
"Whole Lee Crap!"

A former comic book writer goes into the fertilizer business.

BigDon
2013-Dec-31, 03:25 AM
Well hey, none of the ingredients are either rare or expensive if any of you care to replicate this...

HenrikOlsen
2013-Dec-31, 07:53 AM
Recreating it is likely easier if we knew the brand and type of oven cleaner.
They don't all have the same composition so different brands are likely to react differently.

profloater
2013-Dec-31, 02:15 PM
I fear household chemicals can be used to make chlorine gas, phosgene and even mustard gas which are all horrible compounds of chlorine. I doubt that going further is a good idea! Serious looking dudes will turn up at the door.

swampyankee
2013-Dec-31, 04:09 PM
Well hey, none of the ingredients are either rare or expensive if any of you care to replicate this...

No, thank you. My mother tried mixing ammonia (dissolved in water) and chlorine bleach for cleaning, and quite nearly ended up in the hospital.

I also had a high school friend who tried to make, among other things, gunpowder (ingredients were cheap and easily available), nitroglycerin, and guncotton. Luckily, for him, he did not succeed and retained the ability to count to ten without taking off his shoes.

Trebuchet
2013-Dec-31, 05:58 PM
My youth chemistry set actually had an experiment in the instructions for producing gaseous chlorine, using household bleach and one of the compounds in the set. You won't find that one today!

swampyankee
2013-Dec-31, 06:46 PM
My youth chemistry set actually had an experiment in the instructions for producing gaseous chlorine, using household bleach and one of the compounds in the set. You won't find that one today!

Modern chemistry sets are well designed to make science boring.

DonM435
2013-Dec-31, 09:07 PM
My youth chemistry set actually had an experiment in the instructions for producing gaseous chlorine, using household bleach and one of the compounds in the set. You won't find that one today!

I used to mix all the chemicals together, just to see what would happen. Every kid must have done that, right?

I figured it'd precipitate gold, or create super-acid or some anti-gravity compound or something like that. All I got was some murky brown soup, probably sodium potassium mangesium chlorobromioxide with pH of 7.0. How disappointing!

cjameshuff
2013-Dec-31, 09:36 PM
Was the oven cleaner actually sodium hydroxide? That shouldn't cause anything exciting to happen (provided skin contact is avoided). However, some cleaners use phosphoric acid, which will release the chlorine in the bleach.

swampyankee
2013-Dec-31, 09:51 PM
heck, they used phosphoric acid to etch my teeth when I had my crowns replaced.

Trebuchet
2013-Dec-31, 10:09 PM
Haley, they used phosphoric acid to etch my teeth when I had my crowns replaced. Also used to make your cola tart.

SkepticJ
2013-Dec-31, 11:44 PM
A couple of years ago I urinated into a toilet bowl, the "water" started turning green, bubbling, and I smelled the strong scent of chlorine, it was burning. Someone left bleach in the bowl. I got out of there fast.

DonM435
2014-Jan-01, 03:12 AM
A couple of years ago I urinated into a toilet bowl, the "water" started turning green, bubbling, and I smelled the strong scent of chlorine, it was burning. Someone left bleach in the bowl. I got out of there fast.

I hope that you had time to . . . secure your wardrobe!

Tog
2014-Jan-01, 01:02 PM
One of my writer's guides talks about poisons. It says that mixing bleach and window cleaner (ammonia) will cause headaches and prolonged exposure may cause unconsciousness, but the concentrationso from household cleaners is too weak to be considered a lethal mixture unless the bad guy has several hours and an enclosed space for captives. They suggested it could be used as a red herring attempt on the killer's own life to allay suspicion, since everyone "knows" the mixture is practically instantly fatal.

Considering the errors I found in one of the other books in that series (about guns), I'm not going to bank on the accuracy. They were by different authors and I didn't spot anything wrong with the poison book, but then my odds of doing so wouldn't be as good, either.

primummobile
2014-Jan-02, 01:11 PM
When I was younger and working in a restaurant, one of the guys mixed ammonia and bleach to mop the floors. We had to evacuate the restaurant and shut down for the rest of the day.

primummobile
2014-Jan-02, 01:13 PM
If you mean the more recent products that combine two separate liquids, then yeah, the gas expansion as the liquids mix against the clog helps to open it. They also say on the packaging to try and make sure the room is well ventilated while using them.

Yes. And oven cleaner alone is pretty caustic to your lungs if you breathe in the fumes. I try not to.

Tog
2014-Jan-02, 01:38 PM
When I was younger and working in a restaurant, one of the guys mixed ammonia and bleach to mop the floors. We had to evacuate the restaurant and shut down for the rest of the day.
I did something similar at the grocery store. I had to clean the back room bathroom, but supplies were limited. I think the water was off and I had to clean the floor before the plumber came in to fix the sink. Whatever the reason, the water in the sink didn't work. The room was little more than a closet with just enough space for a toilet and sink.

I sprinkled Comet (With Bleach!) all over the floor before I found this out. Being creative, I took the bottle of window cleaner (with ammonia) and used that to wet down the Comet to scrub the floor. That lasted about two minutes before I got a blinding headache and started feeling dizzy. That's when the guy in my brain that's supposed to be watching for that sort of thing suggested I look at the labels.

I turned on the vent fan and left to sit down on something. The (scary) assistant manager came back and saw me. He asked why I was just sitting there and I told him exactly what I did. He shook his head and said. "I thought you were smarter than that." I said I thought I was too.

He sent me out to gather carts and called someone else back to finish the bathroom.

A few weeks later it became my job to shovel all the stuff that missed the dumpsters back into them. In August.

Swift
2014-Jan-02, 03:06 PM
Was the oven cleaner actually sodium hydroxide? That shouldn't cause anything exciting to happen (provided skin contact is avoided). However, some cleaners use phosphoric acid, which will release the chlorine in the bleach.
I found this report from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00015111.htm)(Centers for Disease Control) from 1991.


From October 1987 through November 1989, five episodes of chlorine gas exposure with toxicity to at least 14 persons occurred at two state hospitals in California. Each hospital provides inpatient treatment to approximately 1000 forensic psychiatric patients. As part of their rehabilitation programs, selected patients perform cleaning duties under the supervision of janitors or nursing staff. Each incident occurred during the performance of these duties and involved the mixture of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and a phosphoric acid cleaner by inpatients. This mixture produced chlorine gas and other chemical byproducts (Figure 1a and 1b), and resulted in temporary illness in exposed persons. Hospital A

...

Editorial Note: The chemicals involved in the first three incidents were a standard household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite solution [NaOCl]) and a 4% phosphoric acid (H3PO4) cleaning agent. When sodium hypochlorite and an acid are mixed, chlorine gas and water are released (Figure 1a). Chlorine gas reacts with the water to form hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids (Figure 1b). Chlorine gas may cause a variety of symptoms as a function of the severity of exposure (1-3). Hydrochloric acid also causes inflammation that may, along with nascent oxygen release, be one of the mechanisms of tissue damage by chlorine (4).

Solfe
2014-Jan-03, 01:19 AM
That stuff can introduce you to a lovely device called a "Morgan Lens". Here is a commercial for such a device:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HlN4CsYS6Y
Skip to 3 minutes for a not so nice animation. It's medical imagery using 3d animation so gory is not an issue.

I received this treatment due to an accident at work. We had a rule: ammonia cleaners for the bathrooms, bleach for everywhere else. Someone couldn't follow the rules and I tried to retrieve him from a room full of milky white fog. He poured toilet bowl cleaner on some rubber mats in a dish washing room that had years of bleach cleaning. He also tipped over the 5 gallon buckets for the dishwasher, so lord knows what that stuff was.

I managed to walk away with some minor burns. Trying to fireman carry someone out of a room full of fog and what I would swear were melting rubber mats was interesting to say the least. I fell a couple of times before getting out. It closed the restaurant for a bit.

primummobile
2014-Jan-03, 01:14 PM
so lord knows what that stuff was.

Was it red? If so, it was soap for the dishwasher, which is usually sodium hydroxide based. The yellow liquid is chlorine-based sanitizer. The blue is the rinse additive, which is mostly inert. (and very expensive)

Only using ammonia for the bathrooms is a good idea since urine has so much ammonia in it.

Solfe
2014-Jan-03, 04:27 PM
Was it red? If so, it was soap for the dishwasher, which is usually sodium hydroxide based. The yellow liquid is chlorine-based sanitizer. The blue is the rinse additive, which is mostly inert. (and very expensive)

Only using ammonia for the bathrooms is a good idea since urine has so much ammonia in it.

I remember the red stuff - it was named "Regent" and had a little crown logo. The guy actually broke the shelf the stuff was on, so everything came tumbling out. That messed up the dishwasher, someone had to come in and fix all the hoses on the bottom.

The owner was a hands off sort of guy, but he came in and had everything washed. He swore he smelled something on all of the plastic items in the restaurant and had them replaced. I actually felt better about working there after that, because that guy hired disaster clean up people to wash, scrub and polish every surface back there. There were people climbing in sinks to scrub and the cooking equipment was in the parking lot. It was better than new afterwards.

primummobile
2014-Jan-03, 07:28 PM
The red stuff, ours was "Ultra Klene" brand from Ecolab, was good for cleaning the floors. If you put a cup of it into the mop water you barely had to scrub at all.

It's nice that your owner obviously cared so much. Many won't go to those lengths.

Solfe
2014-Jan-03, 08:39 PM
He witnessed someone engulfed in a grease fire when he was a young man, so he took safety pretty personally. He closed the restaurant every 4 to 5 weeks for "Super Cleaning" and personally made us the best chicken wings and sweet and sour chicken I have ever had. I loved that guy and signed up for every "Super Clean Friday" I could.