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VERIFY: Yes, mixing bleach with dish soap is toxic

The post on social media reads, in part, 'Do not add Clorox to dishwashing soap! My sinus and head hurt weird. Dawn has ammonia. Together with bleach it is deadly.'

HOUSTON — These days some people are making their own cleaning solutions. But there is a warning circulating social media suggesting mixing bleach and Dawn dish soap is toxic and could even kill you. The VERIFY team looked into it.

The post reads, in part, “Do not add Clorox to dish washing soap! My sinus and head hurt weird. Dawn has ammonia. Together with bleach it is deadly.”

We have several sources for this one. Amitava Dasgupta, professor of pathology at McGovern Medical School at UT Health in Houston, the Texas Poison Control Network, the CDC, Clorox and Dawn.

Dr. Dasgupta said mixing bleach and ammonia can harm a person’s health.

“If they smell the vapors, they can get nauseated. They can vomit. They can get sick. And that is a possibility if they breathe too much, they might end up in the hospital,” Dasgupta said.

Dasgupta said the mixture creates a toxic gas called chloramine, and when it’s released into the air, it could be extremely dangerous.

The CDC has a warning about it on its website, “Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.”

Clorox says, “Those cleansers include toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and acids, like vinegar.”

The Facebook post also claims ammonia is an ingredient in Dawn. That is false.

Dawn wrote the VERIFY team, “None of our Dawn dishwashing liquids contain ammonia. However, you shouldn’t mix dish washing liquids with any cleaner, including bleach.”

Dr. Dasgupta said that is because most of them have amines, an organic form of ammonia.

So we can VERIFY bleach and dish soap are a toxic combination. According to the Texas Poison Control Network, if you are exposed, it could kill you.

Dr. Dasgupta said there is no added benefit to mixing the two cleansers. They were made for different purposes for a reason.

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