Disinfecting your home safely and correctly to prevent the spread of COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -- Many people are doing their part to fight against COVID-19. Regularly cleaning places you touch, use and walk through often will help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. However, there are a few things Nixa's Assistant Fire Chief, Whitney Weaver, said you should know before you break out your cleaning gloves.

Weaver says cleaning and disinfecting are both excellent and efficient to help prevent the spread of germs. However, safety is critical when using cleaning products. He said when you're using cleaning chemicals, you should be cautious, not creative. The best thing you can do is read and follow the instructions on the products. Weaver said a problem that many people face is simply not knowing what they're doing or mixing.

"There may be ammonia or some other cleaner in the toilet cleaner," explained Weaver. "Then they still want to pour some bleach into it because they don't think that it will kill all the bacteria, and it will. The problem is, it can cause some serious noxious gases."

Weaver said the best thing to do is avoid mixing chemicals altogether. Combining certain elements can create fumes and toxic gasses that can make you sick and even cause severe chest pain. Cleaning products, like bleach, will kill the germs alone.

Do NOT mix these cleaning products:

- Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar
For those that like to make their cleaning products--avoid mixing Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar. Vinegar can be useful to clean some things in the home. However, when combined with peroxide, it turns into a science experiment. It creates Peracetic/peroxyacetic, which is a highly corrosive acid.

- Bleach & Vinegar
Avoid mixing bleach with Vinegar. Combining these two can create a chlorine gas that can cause burning or watery eyes and can even choke you.

- Bleach & Ammonia
Bleach and Ammonia are two cleaning combinations you want to avoid. Mixing produces a toxic gas that causes shortness of breath chest pain.

- Bleach & Rubbing Alcohol
Bleach & Rubbing Alcohol creates chloroform, an extremely toxic gas.