Are vinegar fumes harmful?

In this article, we are going to answer the question “Are vinegar fumes harmful?” with an in-depth analysis of whether vinegar fumes are harmful or not. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether you can mix bleach and vinegar or not. 

Are vinegar fumes harmful?

No, vinegar fumes aren’t dangerous unless you inhale huge amounts of them for an extended period of time, in which case they will displace the air mixture you need to breathe. 

You’re not getting nearly as much oxygen as you should if you’re breathing vinegar fumes. Although vinegar is far safer than bleach, ammonia, or other all-purpose cleaners, it contains acetic acid, so use caution when using large amounts.

It should not be used around children because it can burn the esophagus, stomach, eyes, and ocular tissue. Although white vinegar is generally safe, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Excessive vinegar consumption can aggravate inflammatory illnesses of the upper GI tract, such as heartburn and indigestion.

According to Chinese folklore, steam generated by boiling vinegar is capable of killing the influenza virus and purifying the air. Medical experts have warned that if there isn’t enough ventilation, the toxic gas produced by coal combustion could be much more hazardous than the virus. 

Poisonous gasses are created when they’re combined, causing coughing, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose when inhaled.

When vinegar gets into your eyes, it can cause irritation and redness, as well as corneal damage. As quickly as possible, the eyes should be cleansed. Remove your contact lenses and soak them in room-temperature water for a few minutes. 

If you suspect someone has consumed vinegar and is experiencing problems, do not force them to vomit.

Can you mix bleach and vinegar?

Any chemical that is used to remove stains or sterilize surfaces is referred to as bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is the most common type of cleanser. Bleach can harm your skin if used alone, yet it is non-toxic. 

When breathed, it’s a reliable source. When coupled with other home cleansers, however, it can become potentially dangerous if inhaled.

The atoms sodium, oxygen, and chlorine make up sodium hypochlorite. When this molecule reacts with the acetic acid in vinegar or other acids, chlorine gas is produced. Humans are very vulnerable to chlorine gas. It’s so potent that Germany deployed it as a chemical weapon during World War I.

Vinegar isn’t the only cleanser that shouldn’t be mixed with bleach. Bleach also produces chlorine gas when it combines with ammonia. Some oven cleaners, pesticides, and hydrogen peroxide can also react with bleach.

A molecule called limonene is found in many home cleansers, giving them a citrus scent. When bleach fumes combine with limonene, tiny particles form that may be harmful to humans and animals’ health. 

However, further research is needed to determine the potential health consequences of these particles.

Even tiny levels of chlorine gas, less than 5 parts per million (ppm), can irritate your eyes, throat, and nose, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Combining these two cleaners is never a smart idea.

Unlike several other harmful compounds, such as carbon monoxide, chlorine has a strong, unpleasant stench. If you notice a strong odor after mixing cleansers, you should leave the area right away.

The intensity of symptoms you experience after inhaling chlorine gas is determined by the concentration of the gas (measured in parts per million (ppm)) and the length of time you inhale it.

  • 0.1 to 0.3 parts per million Humans may detect the unpleasant stench of chlorine gas in the air at this level.
  • 5 to 15 parts per million The mucus membranes in your mouth and nose get irritated at concentrations greater than 5 ppm.
  • More than 30 parts per million. Chlorine gas can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing at concentrations greater than 30 ppm.
  • More than 40 parts per million. Higher than 40 ppm concentrations can lead to a potentially deadly fluid build-up in the lungs.
  • Above 430 parts per million. Taking in more than 430 parts per million (ppm) Chlorine gas from a reliable source can kill you in 30 minutes.
  • More than 1,000 parts per million. Inhaling chlorine gas at a concentration higher than this can be fatal.

Is it possible to wash bleach and vinegar together in a washing machine?

It’s also a poor idea to put bleach and vinegar in your washing machine. When you pull your garments out of the washing machine, chlorine gas may be discharged. It’s also possible that it’ll leave traces of chlorine gas on your clothes.

It’s a good idea to wait several loads after using bleach in your clothes before adding vinegar.


In this article, we answered the question “Are vinegar fumes harmful?” with an in-depth analysis of whether vinegar fumes are harmful or not. Moreover, we discussed whether you can mix bleach and vinegar or not. 


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