I have read all these rumors online that mixing these two solutions will produce the chloride gas. I accidentally mixed these two while doing berthing cleaners in the communal restroom and felt very light headed afterwards.

Pine-sol contains glycolic acid (1.75%) and the other ingredients are C10-12 alcohol ethoxylates, dimethicone/silica/PEG distearates, sodium C14-17 secondary alkyl sulfonates.

My Clorox contains 8.75% sodium hypchlorite.

Are the culprits in producing chloride gas glycolic acid and sodium hypochlorite? I'm not too familiar with chemistry and I need someone who took college organic chemistry to explain this to me. I'm in the military so I can't take physical classes. I would also like to know the mechanism.


1 Answer 1


There is no reason to believe that there would be a chemical reaction between any of the components of the Pine Sol with sodium hypochlorite that would produce noxious compounds.

The most likely culprit in this case is using Pine Sol without adequate ventilation. As you've indicated, it is loaded with volatile and semi-volatile organics, which could cause the type of central nervous system (CNS) symptoms you described. This is the reason for the warning on the bottle to only use in well ventilated areas.

Chlorine gas on the other hand attacks the eyes, throat and lungs. You would not feel CNS effects from chlorine without having noticed these things first. Also, though mixing anything with bleach is a bad idea, Pine Sol contains only a pretty small amount of a weak acid, which results in the release of a bit more chlorine gas from the sodium hypochlorite.

Please don't heasitate to ask for clarifications in the comments below. I hope I understood the question correctly.


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