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?

See …

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.

It’s a good thing I’ve never tried this…

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).

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.

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.

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.

I’ve gone invisible again. Damn.

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.

No, I just didn’t scroll down far enough. Sorry.

I didn’t miss you’re answer, but the system is much more complicated than that.

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[sup]+[/sup] + Cl[sup]-[/sup] ] --> 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.

The lady two doors down from my boyhood home had an awful cough as a result of this mixture. Her daughter-in-law died.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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!”

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.