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  #1  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:10 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Mustard gas = Bleach + Ammonia?

I saw this on King of the Hill. Peggy was writing some general housekeeping tips article and wrote that bleach and ammonia make a great stain remover. Hank, after being told this by her, said it was the formula for mustard gas.

Is this true?

And if it doesn't produce weapons grade mustard gas, then would it still be a considered a dangerous weapon? Like if I collected some in a balloon, then popped it in the air vent of a building, would people get sick or die?

Last edited by YogSosoth; 02-03-2010 at 01:12 PM..
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:17 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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Bleach and ammonia create chlorine gas

NaOCl + 2NH3 --> 2NaONH3 + Cl2.

Mustard gas is more complex (C4H8Cl2S)

Both smell bad, and are bad for you. Mustard gas does have chlorine atoms in the molecule.

Short answer: No.
  #4  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:22 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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It's a good thing I've never tried this....
  #5  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:26 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Bleach + Ammonia gives you chlorine gas. Which is toxic and was used as poison gas in WWI, but is not the same as mustard gas, a different poison gas from WWI.

I think it certainly could be considered a deadly weapon. It would be difficult to release enough into a building to kill people (a balloon full might work if you, say, squirted the balloonful right in someone's face as they were deeply inhaling). But you could easily make enough by mixing cleaner in a bucket to get yourself sick (the main problem would be lung damage).
  #6  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:35 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Bleach + ammonia gives you very small amounts of chlorine gas, but hardly worth mentioning. Mostly what you will get is various nitrogen chlorides which are also quite nasty. The worst thing to mix bleach with is hydrochloric acid. That will give you straight up chlorine gas.
  #7  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:46 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
And if it doesn't produce weapons grade mustard gas, then would it still be a considered a dangerous weapon? Like if I collected some in a balloon, then popped it in the air vent of a building, would people get sick or die?
As Quercus said, it produces chlorine gas, not mustard gas.

This often happens when people mix cleaning products when doing something like cleaning a bathroom. Especially in an enclosed space, it can be dangerous. Theoretically, it could kill someone.
  #8  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:46 PM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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I accidentally mixed bleach with hydrochloric acid once (maintenance had left behind some acid in a drain and I spilled some bleach in there).
It was quite spectacular and I almost got my company thrown off of the site for that.

This is one of the reasons why they don't let me near anything remotely resembling dangerous objects.
  #9  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:48 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
As Quercus said, it produces chlorine gas, not mustard gas.
I've gone invisible again. Damn.
  #10  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:36 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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From what I've heard, it produces a pretty characteristic and strong smell. So everybody who goes into that bathroom after you've mixed bleach and ammonia together will know that someone was a moron and didn't know not to mix bleach and ammonia.

I had a friend in college who told me one of his housemates (yeah, yeah, I know, FOAF) had done this. The guy was OK, but they ended up having to open several windows in the house, in the winter in Indiana. In Mythbusters terms, I'd say that's at least plausible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attack from the 3rd dimension View Post
I've gone invisible again. Damn.
No, I just didn't scroll down far enough. Sorry.

Last edited by Anne Neville; 02-03-2010 at 02:37 PM..
  #11  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:36 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attack from the 3rd dimension
I've gone invisible again. Damn.
I didn't miss you're answer, but the system is much more complicated than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attack from the 3rd dimension View Post
Bleach and ammonia create chlorine gas

NaOCl + 2NH3 --> 2NaONH3 + Cl2.
While different proportions can produce more or less chlorine gas, you're main products are going to be nearly as toxic nitrogen chlorides. Ammonia itself will react with much of the chlorine gas produced to make the nitrogen chlorides.

NH3 + Cl2 --> [NH3Cl+ + Cl- ] --> NH2Cl + HCl

Of course the HCl can go on to make more Cl2. The nitrogen monochloride can also react with more chlorine gas to get nitrogen dichloride. Obviously, the kinetics are complicated. Ultimately though, IME you will not get much chlorine gas, but that doesn't mean you wont really regret mixing the two.
  #12  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:46 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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The lady two doors down from my boyhood home had an awful cough as a result of this mixture. Her daughter-in-law died.
  #13  
Old 02-03-2010, 06:51 PM
Getheren Getheren is offline
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
It's a good thing I've never tried this....
Having been in a smallish room at the time when someone else did this, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart: yes, it truly is. Get a lungful of that and there's only one way to forget it: advanced dementia.
  #14  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:29 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Well honestly, if you ever mix bleach with hydrochloric acid, you'll forget the bleach and ammonia experience right quick. It's a different ballgame when a dark green cloud erupts from your toilet. That's what chlorine gas looks like, and it will not be something you forget. I don't and I did it in a hood.
  #15  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:04 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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I do know someone who died mixing chlorine- and ammonia-based cleaning products in her enclosed bathroom while cleaning her tub. She died after about a week in the hospital.
  #16  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:21 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Didn't they make mustard gas in Lucifer's Hammer? And did it make a good fertiliser after it decomposed? (Cafe Society, I know; but it fits in the thread.)
  #17  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:53 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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Originally Posted by WarmNPrickly View Post
Well honestly, if you ever mix bleach with hydrochloric acid, you'll forget the bleach and ammonia experience right quick. It's a different ballgame when a dark green cloud erupts from your toilet. That's what chlorine gas looks like, and it will not be something you forget. I don't and I did it in a hood.
You have a toilet in your hood? What kind of scientist are you, mad?
  #18  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:02 PM
Erdosain Erdosain is offline
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You have a toilet in your hood? What kind of scientist are you, mad?
I think you have it backwards; they've installed a hood over the toilet. Many husbands and wives wish they had the same set-up.
  #19  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:25 AM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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As a starving college student, I got a temp job cleaning up apartments at the end of the term. One day, while cleaning out a shower stall, I sprayed a bleach compound on the tiles. I left for a moment and when I came back noted somebody had taken my bleach bottle. "Well," I thought, "I'll just used this bottle scrawled with "cleaner" in the box instead. Yup, the pungent smell of ammonia wafted through my nose, and my Homer Simpson brain exclaimed, "Stupid Brain!" . The next feeling was that of being garroted and running out of the bathroom for dear life. A real primeval fear. No damage, and the obligatory, "I never, ever did that again, ever!"
  #20  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:42 AM
Caveat lector Caveat lector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Didn't they make mustard gas in Lucifer's Hammer? And did it make a good fertiliser after it decomposed? (Cafe Society, I know; but it fits in the thread.)
If I remember correctly they made mustard gas. The author didn't go into a lot of detail about how though. (A good decision in my opinion.)
I don't recall anything about fertilizer.
  #21  
Old 02-04-2010, 12:15 PM
myrnajean myrnajean is offline
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Mixed bleach and ammonia in the toliet once when I was a kid. I had house cleaning duties since I was, like eight years old, and didnt' know any better. I think the ammonia was in the mop water, and the bleach was already in the toilet to soak/clean it.
Dumped mop water in toilet and got the burning eyes/can't breath/ and a sore throat for about week. Guess I was lucky I ran out of the bathroom when I did.
I vagely remember putting something over my nose to go back and flush it away.
  #22  
Old 02-04-2010, 08:22 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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When I was in college moving into my first apartment, my roommate and I decided to battle a nasty stain by dumping every cleaning compound into the toilet, then leaving the apartment and letting everything soak for awhile. When we returned we were nearly knocked over by the smell as soon as we opened the door. By the time we ran in, flushed the toilet and ran back out we were both coughing our lungs out.

Kids, don't try this at home.
  #23  
Old 02-04-2010, 08:31 PM
Visual Purple Visual Purple is offline
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Other ways to get chlorine gas: I had some black pants that got a few bleach spots on them. I thought I'd bleach them entirely. I made the bleach too strong. The first thing I noticed was that the water was warming up. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that the bottom of the laundry sink was filling with greenish gas. I left quickly. Apparently, my saving grace was that chlorine gas is a bit heavier than air.
  #24  
Old 02-04-2010, 08:48 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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I think there was something else in that sink.
  #25  
Old 02-05-2010, 01:49 AM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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Originally Posted by WarmNPrickly View Post
I think there was something else in that sink.
Or in those pants.
  #26  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:22 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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IIRC, the chemicals commonly used in maintaining a swimming pool are chlorine and muriatic acid. It was always emphasized that I should not add both of them to the pool simultaneously, and certainly should never pre-mix them.
  #27  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:52 PM
mack mack is offline
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BTW nitrogen mustards are now used as chemotherapeutic agents. In case you're looking for a little factoid to liven up the party. Thalidomide, too!
  #28  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:16 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
IIRC, the chemicals commonly used in maintaining a swimming pool are chlorine and muriatic acid. It was always emphasized that I should not add both of them to the pool simultaneously, and certainly should never pre-mix them.
If you didn't know, muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid. There is hardly a more direct way to make chlorine gas.

HCl + NaOCl --> NaOH + Cl2
  #29  
Old 02-06-2010, 03:42 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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I just realized something: is this bleach and ammonia thing something you're just supposed to know as you get old?? Because if not for that King of the Hill episode, I would have no idea! How do they expect people to know not to combine two common cleaning ingredients? Are there tiny instructions that says "Do not combine this with bleach/ammonia" for any reason!"?
  #30  
Old 02-06-2010, 03:52 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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If you read the instructions on the bottle it says quite explicitly not to mix with any other cleaning products. Of course, if they specifically said ammonia, some bonehead would thing that cleaning products containing ammonia were fine. The reality is, you shouldn't be mixing chemicals like this in your home at all. There is no reason to anyway. Don't you think that if there was a way to make their product more effective, they would?
  #31  
Old 02-07-2010, 06:58 PM
foolscap foolscap is offline
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Originally Posted by Caveat lector View Post
If I remember correctly they made mustard gas. The author didn't go into a lot of detail about how though. (A good decision in my opinion.)
I don't recall anything about fertilizer.
There are places where you can learn how to make mustard gas
http://www.sciencemadness.org/library/index.html
.
As for the fertilizer, I think they were refering to the dead bodies
left after using it.
  #32  
Old 02-08-2010, 09:12 AM
cdsilv cdsilv is offline
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Try pitching a swimming pool chlorine tablet into a bowl of brake fluid. Makes a pretty green flame as the chlorine 'oxidizes' the brake fluid.....also produces chlorine gas....
  #33  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:34 PM
Kreigerwaves Kreigerwaves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I saw this on King of the Hill. Peggy was writing some general housekeeping tips article and wrote that bleach and ammonia make a great stain remover. Hank, after being told this by her, said it was the formula for mustard gas.

Is this true?

And if it doesn't produce weapons grade mustard gas, then would it still be a considered a dangerous weapon? Like if I collected some in a balloon, then popped it in the air vent of a building, would people get sick or die?
Ammonia and Bleach is Mustard gas. use a gas mask wile doing any thing with your
experiment. Have fun!
  #34  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:36 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Did you read any of the fucking thread?
  #35  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:44 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
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It's like Wikianswers.
  #36  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:52 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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zombie or no

mustard gas and chlorine gas are not the same thing. they both were used as chemical weapons in WW1.
  #37  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:52 PM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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I know this is old, but everybody who says that chlorine is produced (maybe in small amounts, but not the main hazard) when you mix bleach and ammonia is wrong; the actual chemical produced is chloramine:

Quote:
Mixing bleach with ammonia is a bad plan because it releases toxic vapors, but not so much the chlorine gas that seems to be discussed all over the internet. The production of significant amounts of chlorine is unlikely. Now, the bleach does react (with just about anything) to form chlorine gas and acid (mainly hydrochloric acid), but the chlorine gas doesn't stick around. The mixture of bleach and ammonia primarily produces chloramine, with a possibility of some hydrazine.
  #38  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:53 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
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Aaagh ammonia bleach Zombie! blech... glad I read this tho.
  #39  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:53 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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The lady that lived two doors down when I was growing up had a horrible cough. Sounded like she was hacking up bits of lung. You could hear her inside in the winter when you walked past the house, and over the whole neighborhood when she was working in the yard.

She had been helping her daughter-in-law with some cleaning, and they managed to mix bleach and ammonia in the toilet. The DIL died, MIL's lungs were scarred for life.
  #40  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:59 PM
August West August West is offline
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Mustard gas zombies!
  #41  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:18 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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I'm assuming that poison gas was banned as a weapon of war for fear of zombie reprisal...
  #42  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:39 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Can chlorine gas be used to kill zombies?
  #43  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:47 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I just realized something: is this bleach and ammonia thing something you're just supposed to know as you get old?? Because if not for that King of the Hill episode, I would have no idea! How do they expect people to know not to combine two common cleaning ingredients? Are there tiny instructions that says "Do not combine this with bleach/ammonia" for any reason!"?
Yes, there are such instructions. Apparently you've never read them.

Reading the instructions is something you learn as you get old.
  #44  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:48 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Can chlorine gas be used to kill zombies?
Zombies are already dead.

You have to dissolve them, not just kill them.
  #45  
Old 06-26-2012, 05:59 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
Zombies are already dead.

You have to dissolve them, not just kill them.
I'm dissolving this old thead.
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