How to clean your home in a safer way during COVID-19 pandemic
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Fear of the coronavirus probably has you cleaning and sanitizing more than usual.
While keeping everything clean is highly recommended, it’s also important that you handle chemicals carefully.
Hardcore cleaning agents such as bleach and ammonia can cause dangerous chemical reactions, especially if mixed with other chemicals. Bleach and ammonia should never be mixed with each other because together they create chlorine gas, which at minimum, will irritate your eyes and skin, and it can kill you.
South Dakota School of Mines staff also say bleach often does not react well when mixed with another substance.
“It essentially comes down to anything that’s not compatible with each other, you’d be able to find that, most of the time that information is on the label,” said Aaron Grimm, the Chemical Storeroom Coordinator at SDSM&T.
If you’re going to use bleach, it’s best to use in moderation, by itself, and in a well-ventilated environment. Always pay attention to how you’re body reacts to these chemicals when using them.
“If you start to feel light headed, say your eyes water, or your nose is starting to run or it’s starting to feel irritated it’s a good idea to back away from where you’re working,” said Margaret Smallbrock, the Environmental Health and Safety Manager at Mines.
If you’re looking for less harmful options, they are available.
“Realistically it’s like washing your hands, soap and water is what breaks down that lipid layer, so if you want to be at least a little bit more natural and a less harsh, essentially dishwashing soap,” Smallbrock said.