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Why you should not mix home cleaning products

Cleaning your home is a mandatory exercise and must be regularly undertaken. If not your home will resemble a pig sty and this is not a pleasant thing. This is very often seen in bachelor homes and sometimes in homes of working couples.

The cleaning job very often is looked upon as a weekend job, when both partners schedule it as a must-do item. But, should this be enough? Keeping your residence clean speaks of you as a responsible and caring person, unless you are living the life of a recluse and a misanthropist. Unmade beds, unswept floors, and undusted furniture are a disgrace and are sure to label you otherwise.

What should you do to avoid such a tag? For starters, you could begin by keeping your residence and its premises regularly clean. Even if you are living as a bachelor, this is a must for you.

In most families, especially the working couples, they normally engage a maid to do the cleaning but remember, it is your house and keeping or getting it clean is your priority and not the maids. So if you are not serious about this, so will your maid. In houses where there is no maid service, both husband and wife should get involved in this exercise and not pass on the buck to each other.

Just tidying up is not enough. Sweeping, swabbing, dusting, disposing of garbage and orderly arranging of things in the house are all part of the cleaning process. Curtains need to be washed, periodically; bed linen and bath towels should be changed regularly. For all this you need the aid of cleaning implements like, brooms, dust pans, vacuum cleaners, mops and cleaning agents like dish wash liquids, phenyl, bath & toilet cleaners and room fresheners.

Generally for tough cleaning jobs in the kitchen and bathrooms chemical agents are used. Some of these emit harmful toxic fumes when not used as per directions on the container. It is easy to get frustrated when the cleaning becomes tough as the dirt and grime are stubborn. This happens normally with clogged drains.

Never play chemist by using a combination of cleaning materials for you do not know the hazardous reactions it may cause. For instance, do not mix Harpic and Domex together or use them one after the other to double the cleaning power. This could lead to serious health issues and dangerous consequences like explosions and hazardous fuming. Always read the warning and instructions well and use protective gear like masks when handling chemical cleaners.

The internet tells you of the many cleaning materials that you can use instead of the commercial ones that are available in the market. Baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, caustic soda, ammonia and acids are all available off the shelf. These materials can be used for various cleaning jobs but should not be combined indiscriminately.

If you are using baking soda and vinegar, though both are good cleaning agents, never store them in the mixed state. Mix and use them but never store it for future use as baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has both basic and acidic reactions. It is alkaline in aqueous solutions but when combined with vinegar, which is acidic, it has a tendency to explode when stored in closed containers.

Spraying fruits and vegetables alternately with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar is okay as long as it is done without mixing the two in the same container. If you must, spray them from separate containers alternately, otherwise the combination would create peracetic acid. Exposure to peracetic acid can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and respiratory system and higher or long-term exposure can cause permanent lung damage. In all cases it is imperative to wash the fruits and vegetables with clean water after spraying.

Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com

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