Allowing cleaners to mix cleaners is a game of chance. Of course; mixing chemicals isnt always as obvoius as pouring 2 chemicals into a bucket.
Here's the why's and wherefore's and key areas you may not have considered.
Should you allow cleaners to mix chemicals? Very definitely not. In effect you will be making a new product with the mixture of the chemicals, and by rights you should be creating a new COSHH sheet. Quite aside from this, the risks of mixing chemicals can have terrible consequences. Read on to make sure you're covered.
Key areas you should watch out for:
1- Bleach (Let's start with the deadly stuff)
Cleaners often mournfully tell me that they're not allowed to use bleach, but often they are not sure why.
Mixing bleach with some acids will create chlorine (or mustard) gas - it is exceptionally dangerous and can be deadly if inhaled.
it's surprising how many people still use bleach in a mop bucket and are mixing it with other chemicals, not knowing the deadly consequences.
2 - Making Chemicals Up (and the Cleaning Cupboard)
Pay attention to where the chemicals are being diluted to ensure that the chemicals arent being mixed. Also pay attention to spills of chemicals in the cleaning cupboard - where you are using dosing pumps, there may be drip trays. And communal drip trays for multiple chemicals are a definite no-no (as picured in the main image!)
3 - Surface Cleaning
Consider when you are cleaning a surface that you are not using 2 products on the same surface. Pay particular attention to where there are stains or marks and stronger products are being tried. Ensure you always rinse between using any products very thoroughly. Special attention should be given where you are using strong mould sprays or descaling products in washrooms.
4 - Drain Cleaning
You can get some pretty strong drain cleaning solutions that are strong acids or strong alkalis - a classic chemical mixing example is where you use one drain cleaner - before it gets to the blockage the chemical has diluted with all the water it has mixed with that is backing up; then when you add in another chemical, the solution is ready to mix and react!
Where it may be ok to mix
Sometimes you may be able to mix some chemicals. If you are cleaning carpets etc, you can use a deodoriser in with the main chemical in the solution tank of the machine. Always read the label, and always use with caution.
Remember; never mix chemcials - the results can be at best dangerous, at worse deadly.