Commercial Cleaning and Cleaning Chemicals: Safety MattersEffective commercial cleaning and janitorial services include the use of cleansers, disinfectants, and other chemicals that can be dangerous when not used properly. At Cleanstart, our cleaning professionals are trained in the proper handling, use, and disposal of cleaning chemicals. 

Mixing cleaning chemicals can produce toxic gases such as chlorine, nitrogen trichloride, and hydrazine. Dangerous oxygen-free molecules can be released into the lungs and when inhaled, these gases can cause lung irritation, sore throat, headaches, breathing difficulty, and even death if inhaled in large doses. 

At Cleanstart, we never mix cleaning products as there are specialized chemicals and cleaning agents available for nearly every task. We make sure that our cleaners are aware of the dangers of mixing chemicals and train them in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, which states that 

“In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.”

Our professional cleaning team adheres to the following guidelines to help ensure safety:

  • Do not mix any cleaning products, especially those containing bleach.
  • If chlorine gas is accidentally released, evacuate the area until there has been sufficient time for ventilation. Do not re-open the area until the gas has been completely removed. 
  • If employees are involved in the cleanup of the chemicals, make sure they wear the proper personal protective equipment and properly dispose of the chemicals.
  • Always run clean water through a drain after flushing or rinsing cleaning products. This will help prevent the formation of toxic gases from chemicals that could potentially mix in the drain pipe.
  • When handling chemicals always follow the prescribed manufactures guidelines and utilize common sense to help protect yourself and others.

The Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Other Cleaners

You never want to mix bleach with ammonia, acids, or other cleaners as it can cause serious injuries. Sodium Hypochlorite is the active ingredient in chlorine bleach which is found in bleach and many other disinfectants. Sodium hypochlorite reacts with ammonia, drain cleaners, and other acids.

  • Bleach + Ammonia  = Toxic Chloramine Vapors
  • Bleach + Vinegar = Toxic Chlorine Gas
  • Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol  = Chloroform

Ammonia

When bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are produced, which can cause coughing, nausea, shortness of breath, watery eyes, chest pain, Irritation to the throat, nose, and eyes, wheezing, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs  In addition to using ammonia as a cleaning product, ammonia can be found in some glass and window cleaners, interior and exterior paints, and in urine when cleaning toilet bowls. 

Acid

When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid (such as vinegar) chlorine gas is given off. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids. Chlorine gas exposure almost always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes, throat, and nose), and causes coughing and breathing problems, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Higher levels of exposure can cause chest pain, more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs. Very high levels can even cause death.  

Rubbing Alcohol

When chlorine bleach is mixed with ethanol or isopropyl alcohol it produces chloroform, hydrochloric acid, and other compounds, such as chloroacetone or dichloroacetate. These gases can damage your nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver, and kidneys. Extremely high levels of chloroform exposure may even result in death, while lower levels can cause dizziness and nausea, according to the EPA.

The Takeaway

Certain cleaning products that are safe on their own, when mixed together, can result in dangerous chemical reactions. Depending on the severity of the situation, the damage can range from irreversible furniture and carpet stains to a more serious trip to the hospital. Our cleaning experts will always come prepared with the right cleaning products and protective gear. It’s our job to do the job right and that includes safely using cleaning chemicals for the health and safety of your employees and anyone entering your facility.

Why You Should Hire Cleanstart

Our comprehensive commercial cleaning and janitorial services are competitively priced, fully insured, and come with quick response times.  We provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for whatever reason, our 5-star quality cleaning standard is not met, we will make it right by correcting the issue within one business day. 

You can be assured that our commercial cleaning and janitorial services tick all the boxes:

✓ Over 25 years in the Cleaning Industry

✓ Professionally trained janitorial specialists

✓ Committed to the highest quality of clean

✓ Local, licensed, bonded & insured

✓ 24/7 cleaning options & support

✓ Customized cleaning solutions

✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee

✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, AORN compliant

For more information about our high-quality commercial cleaning and janitorial services, or to request a service proposal, please give the experts at Cleanstart a call today at 253-921-2593Request a Free Estimate!

Our service areas include AuburnBellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, BremertonFactoriaFifeGig HarborKentLakewoodOlympiaPuyallup, RentonSeattle, TacomaTukwila, University Place, King CountyKitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County. 

5009 Pacific Hwy E unit 17 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @ thecleanstart.com