Following Social Media Cleaning Influencers Can Be Dangerous
Fire departments report increase in chlorine gas calls due to mixing cleaning chemicals
Social media has created its own set of celebrities touted as experts in all topics, and cleaning is no exception. Millions of people follow Instagram cleaning influencers such as Sophie Hinchliffe, known as Mrs. Hinch, who promotes specific cleaning products and methods. Mrs. Hinch’s followers purchase large amounts of the products she recommends, and that’s where some of them get in trouble.
Fire chiefs in Bristol, England, have warned people to take care in how they use cleaning products after experiencing several calls to homes where people tidying up their houses inadvertently created toxic chlorine gas clouds, Bristol Live reports. One woman was hospitalized when she used bleach and cider vinegar while scouring her shower. Another woman who used several products to unblock her toilet caused a chlorine gas cloud that closed off her entire street.
Fire officials link the increase in hazardous materials calls to cleaning becoming one of the hottest new fads on social media. They warn people never to mix products with different active ingredients. Even if people don’t intend to mix products, they must realize any residual product left on a surface can react when a new product is used in the same areas. Fire officials urge cleaners to practice the following tips when using cleaning chemicals:
- Get to know the ingredients in your products so you can avoid creating toxic fumes from the intentional or unintentional mixing.
- Keep chemicals in their original containers with their warning labels.
- Always dispose of chemicals in accordance with the instructions on the container.
- Do not pour chemicals into the same container or use one solution right after another, as it may create harmful gases or additional chemicals that have been linked to various health conditions.
- Be sure to wash off one cleaner before using another so that there is no mixing of chemicals.
- Always open windows where possible to allow for natural ventilation.
- Always store harmful chemicals away and out of reach of children.
For safe cleaning methods, look to respected sources such as Cleaning & Maintenance Management .