Pins that will literally kill you

10 Aug

Okay, so, this is a little boy who cried wolf, but hear me out: I know I’ve said that some pins have made me die of disgust/shame/shock, but some pins are literally deadly.

And by deadly, I mean they can severely injure/maim you.

Screen cap of an Ask Anna pin of a clean washing machine.

My question for Anna: What’s the proper treatment for a chemical burn?

No, this is not just some conspiracy to lower the number of those annoyingly crafty DIY-ers; some bloggers genuinely seem to think that mixing vinegar and bleach is a FANTASTIC idea. It’s one that has been repinned countless times.

What’s more important than your  health? A sparkling clean washing machine, obviously.

A screencap of a pin advertising vinegar and bleach mixing in a bottle. Bad idea.

So, for those who skipped science class in high school in favour of home economics, two simple equations:

Bleach + Vinegar = Chlorine Gas
Chlorine Gas + You = Chemical burns, potential death

Yes, the danger of mixing is still there even if you do a bleach rinse then a vinegar rinse of, say, a dishwasher or washing machine.

More from the sound medical source

  • “Bleach combines with acids (e.g., vinegar, lemon juice) or certain bases (e.g., ammonia, drain cleaner, urine in the catbox) to release chlorine and chloramine vapors… You can get a nasty chemical burn, especially of your eyes and lungs.”

TL;DR version: Accidentally huffing chlorine gas is not a suitable price to pay for this ugly ass t-shirt.

An image of an ugly brown and black tshirt apparently made by mixing vinegar and bleach.

In case you’re reading this on your iPhone over a dishwasher in which you’ve just mixed vinegar and bleach (?), here’s what to do when you encounter the resulting chlorine gas:

“In case of skin contact: Chlorine hydrolyzes very rapidly yielding hydrochloric acid so that skin burns are like that from exposure to HCl.  Flush affected area with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention immediately.

In case of eye contact:  Chlorine is corrosive and irritating to the eyes.  Flush contaminated eye(s) immediately with copious quantities of water for a minimum of 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention immediately.

In case of inhalation: Chlorine inhalation may cause coughing, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and difficulty breathing.  It may also cause pulmonary edema (build-up of fluid in the lungs) which may be delayed by several hours and can be fatal.

Luckily, some pinners have caught on, and warnings have been posted around Pinterest.

A screencap of a pin warning against mixing vinegar and bleach.

Help out! Comment on pins that advise mixing vinegar and bleach, and remember: just because you made it yourself, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Any craft that involves mod podge proves that point, but at least they don’t cause chemical burns.  Unless, of course, Pintester (highly recommend) is the one doing the crafting.

12 Responses to “Pins that will literally kill you”

  1. Jennifer August 16, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    A daughter of a Biochemistry professor thanks you and all who have and/or will now commented on and tried to stop these posts/pins/Facebook entries, whatever!

  2. Jen August 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    I think people need to *read* the post the pins are linked to in more detail. The washer one from blogger Jill for example tells you to run a FULL wash with bleach and run a SECOND FULL wash with vinegar.

    I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say the clothing one is similar. Bleach out color, do a wash, and then do a second wash with vinegar to set the color. Some colors set with acid. If you redye your blue jeans you use acid to set the color.

    So what we have is the frustrating inability to read ALL directions thoroughly, as often documented on the Pintrosity site. In the old days they called this Natural Selection. ;-/

    • Jordan August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Direct quote from the above blog post “Yes, the danger of mixing is still there even if you do a bleach rinse then a vinegar rinse of, say, a dishwasher or washing machine.” Then a vinegar rinse, as in two separate rinses. Better safe than sorry wouldn’t you say? As for natural selection, silly us with all our hospitals! You’re right, we should just let nature take it’s course. Just something to remember the next time you step on a rusty nail or get in a car accident.

      • pinfuriating August 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

        Yep, just thought I’d ere on the side of caution. In my old washing machine, there would definitely be vinegar left over that would mix with the bleach.

      • adelaide June 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

        Do you have any idea how weak of an acid vinegar is? On top of the fact that’s already been diluted down to probably less than 5% concentration BEFORE you mix it in a washing machine filled with water. If you actually follow the directions (instead of just reading the title and mixing bleach & vinegar directly) the likely hood of a bleach molecule and an acetic acid molecule actually coming in contact is pretty slim. And you are assuming that the acetic acid (a WEAK acid as I mentioned) will always cause for a reaction releasing hydrogen gas when said contact happens. You may continue to clean your washing machines.

  3. Meredith August 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    The Pin to clean your washer says to fill the washer with a FULL washer of water and a quart of bleach. Let it agitate, let it sit for an hour, run it on the longest wash cycle, then repeat the process with vinegar. There is no chance of pure vinegar and pure bleach mixing if you do it right. But yeah… people need to read the pins before they do it.

  4. JACQUELINE August 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    All my content are belong to me. © Pinfuriating 2012. . . . . maybe you should correct your grammar?

  5. Honey August 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Oh shit, Crafts & Things magazine is trying to kill me!

  6. Jordan September 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I think this is proof positive that nobody actually does any of the things they pin on pinterest. Otherwise why would something that causes chemical burns be so popular?

  7. Shezzam September 25, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Two things spring to mind, 1) scary, scary world. I didnt know there was danger hidden in Pinterest, like homemade chlorine/HCl recipes… I have to check my pins properly now…
    2) pinfuriating is my new favorite XD I have had so many lolz beyond this first post – as obnoxious as Natalie was in the Adele pin, I was crying. Thank you! After learning one of my favorite people is terminally ill the stupidity you collected here has lifted my sadness to other things. Thank you ever so much 🙂

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