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Home Care

Do Not Try to Make “Rubbing Alcohol” from Rum, Bleach, and Hand Sanitizer

The resulting chemical compound is toxic.

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Photography: Kelly Sikkema | Unsplash

As the enhanced community quarantine caused by COVID-19 continues, there have been “instructional videos” circulating on social media perpetuating that you can make your own “rubbing alcohol” using rum, bleach, and hand sanitizer. This is false, and can even cause you huge health problems.

In fact, alcohol and bleach are two house hold chemicals that you should never mix as the resulting solution is toxic. According to Apartment Therapy, mixing the two will create chloroform, which “emits toxic and corrosive fumes.” If you watch a lot of crime shows, you’ll know that chloroform is what criminals use to render their victims unconscious — but what these shows don’t reveal is that this compound cause damage to the “central nervous system, liver, and kidneys, in addition to irritating the skin, lungs, and eyes, and causing nausea and dizziness.”

Alcohol, bleach, and liquor brands have already released their warnings about avoiding this harmful mixture.

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In a Facebook post, Tanduay Distillers, Inc. said that it “strongly advices against mixing Tanduay Rum with bleach, hand sanitizer, or other chemicals.”

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Green Cross Incorporated, which produces Zonrox Bleach, had the same message, explaining further that “mixing bleach with ethyl alcohol (present in rum) will form a dangerous chemical that has toxic effects if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.   

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Aside from alcohol, you should never mix bleach with any of the following:

  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
 

The bottom line is not to mix bleach with anything but water. Quarantined at home and you’ve run out of hand sanitizer? Wash your hands with soap and water. In fact, the two are still your best bet against COVID-19 as soap melts away the lipids surrounding the virus, destroying the latter.

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