Staying home more often can expose the dangers that are lurking within it. County officials warn mixing cleaning supplies than many people already have on hand can become toxic and dangerous.

“There’s a lot of people trying to make their own hand sanitizer, their own whatever,” Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said. “You can create bad things when you mix some of these.”

The county warned it can cause chemical reactions, Sebesta said. Cleaning components that should never be mixed include bleach and vinegar, bleach and ammonia, bleach and rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants appropriate for the surface. Those can be found at

FICTION: Mixing cleaning products is a good do-it-yourself way to prevent coronavirus.

FACT: Many household cleaners are effective and mixing products can create toxic chemical reactions.


Making hand sanitizer shouldn’t be anyone’s focus anyway, since hand-washing with soap and water is the highest recommendation, Sebesta said.

“From what I have seen and heard from my health director, soap and water is better than hand sanitizer,” Sebesta said.

There is talk about antibacterial soap being best, but medical professionals say any soap and water works.

“Soap and water and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice or say two Hail Marys,” Sebesta said.

FICTION: Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer are best for preventing COVID-19 infections.

FACT: Proper hand-washing with any soap and water is the best way to get germs off of hands.


It is dangerous to follow any medical advice on social media that users may come across, Sebesta said.

One viral post claimed gargling with saltwater or vinegar is a good way to prevent coronavirus. There has been no scientific evidence to “confirm the effectiveness of gargling with salt water, vinegar or any other oral solutions to prevent upper and lower respiratory infections caused by coronavirus or any other virus or bacteria,” The New York Times reported.

FICTION: Gargling can kill coronavirus in the throat.

FACT: Gargling is not scientifically proven to prevent coronavirus infections.

Maddy McCarty is assistant managing editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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