We are to use laundry detergent frequently, maybe everyday. Hence, you have to know some crucial aspects of this cleaning agent including the flammability of it.
Is laundry detergent flammable? Yes, this question should peep in your mind since your laundry room is not a cool place. It is only flammable only when it comes in contact with the extreme heat.
Along with a washing machine, you may have a water heater, a clothes ironing machine, and other heat-omitting equipment in the laundry room. So when you place laundry products near these heat sources, accidents are yet to happen!
Laundry products, including detergents, fabric softeners, stain removers, and bleach are synthetic in nature. They have alcohol, phosphate, sulfates, nitrates, and other flammable components in their formula.
Therefore, heat can provoke them to cause havoc. Unless they are exposed to fire, they don’t catch on fire automatically.
Read on this write-up to know what hazards laundry goods and other products can cause.
Is Laundry Detergent Flammable
Laundry detergent includes laundry powders, pods, tables, and liquids. And you know different types of laundry cleaners have a slight difference in their ingredients but have flammability in common.
Among all the types, laundry powder is less flammable. Whereas, pods, tablets, and laundry liquids are the most flammable and must be kept away from heat sources. Their flammability is injurious to health.
Laundry detergents create toxic gases in low or moderate heat. As the heat increases, they will burst into flame. If they are in aerosol cans, both the cans and detergents are enough to turn a place into ash.
Is Dish Detergent Flammable
Dish detergent is not flammable until it reaches its flash-point. Dish detergent contains flammable ingredients but these don’t make the product auto-inflammable and auto-explosive. This dish cleaning agent needs certain circumstances to catch on fire.
Most dish soaps come with a flash-point of 1000°F. Lower than this, they won’t combust. In other words, you need to put dish soap near or heat it at 1000°F so that it can catch fire on its own.
Generally, if you heat dish detergent, it will melt instantly. When the temperature keeps getting higher, the detergent will produce and spread toxic gases, including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. And these gases are highly health hazards.
Though dish washing agents are non-inflammable, they can trap flammable components and ignite. For instance, if you dish soap with a flammable gas or flammable gas bubbles and set it on fire.
You will see the soap bursting into flame. If this flame reaches any combustible material nearby, just think what will happen.
However, diluted dish soap sometimes becomes safer than undiluted dish soap. Because the flammable ingredients dish soap contains lose their power in water.
Also, foam of soap water can fight fire, which makes it a potential fire extinguisher. It becomes handy during the scarcity of water.
Since burning is impossible without 1000°F, dish soap can resist fire for up to 2 hours on average. If the fire temperature increases after 2 hours, dish soap won’t be able to resist it anymore.
Be careful about the container or bottle of dish detergent. If the package is flammable, you must keep it away from heat. Otherwise, the bottle will catch on fire instantly but the detergent inside won’t. However, in extremely high heat, dish detergent inside the container will expand and explode.
Flammable Household Items
Fabric softeners, laundry pods and tablets, and stain removers are highly flammable. Using them near naked flames is strictly prohibited.
Apart from these, the items you use daily are flammable but you may have no idea about them yet! Have a look at common flammable household items.
Most of the hand sanitizers are alcohol-based. Low temperatures cannot stop them from igniting. Large amounts of hand sanitizer do not dry quickly and catch on fire.
Automobile oils and fluids can burn down a place if exposed to naked flames. They need only a few seconds to combust or blust.
Unlike other chemicals, pool chlorine does not need a naked flame to ignite. Only a small amount of water makes it flammable.
Black shoe polish contain charcoal dust, while other polishes contain naphtha, turpentine, and waxes. Due to having a mixture of natural and synthetic ingredients, shoe polishes are combustible.
These white balls are also known as naphthalene. Naphthalene is a chemical used in explosives. So moth balls are extremely ignitable.
Aerosols contain propane or butane, which are flammable propellants. If exposed to high heat, they explode.
Ping pong balls
Ping pong balls are made of celluloid. Celluloids are vulnerable to high heat or naked flames.
Plastic is a fruit of petroleum. Since petroleum is flammable, all types of plastic are also the same. Though household plastic containers and goods nowadays are less flammable, they still need careful storing.
It is a common flammable item that every household may have. If it is applied to the skin, avoiding flames will be the first and foremost thing to do.
When this oil is exposed to air, the vapors it gives off generate heat instead of drying up. This is why cleaning rags soaked in linseed oil spontaneously ignite.
Dryer lint traps hair, debris, fibers, etc and becomes flammable.
Thinner fabrics are more flammable than thicker fabrics. Cotton, linen, viscose, and acrylic easily ignite. Polyester and nylon burn slowly, where wool and modacrylic are the least flammable.
Incorrect recharging position, broken or kinked charging cord, and accidental dropping of lithium-ion battery make it immensely combustible.
Flammable things to start a fire
You have learnt about the flammability of laundry products and other goods from the previous sections. There are other things that catch on fire quickly. You can use them to light campfires, fireplaces, or for other purposes. Here is a list of fire starters for you.
White paper, newspaper, cardboard, or any type of dry paper is an easy fire-starter. They need to be rolled into sticks or crumpled like balls and thrown in the fire.
Dry cotton gauze or cotton balls are another fire-starter burning for up to 20 seconds. Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly helps to burn for a long time, up to 5 minutes. Even tampons don’t fail to catch on fire.
Rubbing two wood sticks together will help to ignite, though it takes time. Besides, saw dust, wood chips, and wood shavings are easy to combust.
Edible chips and snacks are other cost-effective ingredients to start a fire. Greasier chips burn more spontaneously than less greasy ones.
A small piece of plant-based cloth and fire are a great combo to light on fire. Plastic clothes and ropes will burn too.
Though it is highly flammable, it can catch on fire pretty nicely under careful supervision. It can burn for a long time.
Guitar picks are flammable as well as good fire starters. Compared to thinner picks, thicker guitar picks contain more fuel and burn for a long time.
Crumpled duct tape can ignite when exposed to a naked flame. Besides, a sticky roll of duct tape, dry lint, and char cloth can burn up to 7 minutes.
A glass pane or mirror under the direct sun ray starts to heat and produce smoke. The smoke can turn into a flame when blown.
Other flammable items
Some food and makeup items are highly flammable. Read this section thoroughly to know about them so that you will carefully handle them in future.
Flour dust is flammable due to carbohydrates, but not the diluted flour or flour paste. When exposed to flame, flour can burn easily.
Powdered non-dairy coffee creamer contains sodium aluminosilicate. This ingredient is ignitable.
Orange is a potential fire catcher. Though fresh oranges are not threatening, dried orange peels are. Dried peels contain limonene, a highly flammable and scented chemical. Likewise, orange oil, an efficient degreasing and cleaning agent, is ignitable near flames.
Sugar and spices
Sugar is a great source of carbohydrates. Its molecules can ignite due to high temperature. Some powdered cooking spices contain flammable oils.
When the cooking pan is left unattended, the cooking oil inside it will ignite. Using water to extinguish it will combust it more. Burning pan must be covered with a damp cloth or towel for 30 minutes minimum.
Skin care items
Hair sprays, hair mousses, deodorants come in aerosol bottles or flammable cans. Even sunlight can make them explode.
Nail polish remover
Acetone in nail polish remover is flammable and can be ignited from a little distance. Also, nail polish consists of isopropyl alcohol and acetates, which are flammable chemicals.
Some skin creams contain paraffin as their main ingredient. If applied on the skin, the paraffin-based cream may spread into clothes. And cream-soaked clothes are vulnerable to naked flames or high temperatures.
How toxic is all laundry detergent
Laundry cleaners contain at least 25 toxic chemicals and other traces of toxicity in their formula. If ingested and/or inhaled, these chemicals will end up poisoning people of all ages, or killing at worst.
Not all ingredients are always mentioned clearly in the laundry care product bottles. It means more toxic chemicals than mentioned ones are entering your body without your knowledge!
Let’s focus on how these chemicals harm you and the environment. Rinse cycles of a washing machine cannot wash them away properly. As a result, they remain as residues on clothes.
Damp settings encourage and help them to penetrate the human body via skin. For instance, when you are wet by rain or sweat, your body absorbs these residues through armpits, groins, or other body folds.
If this continues, these harsh chemicals will invite
- skin inflammation,
- and many more health issues.
Along with colors and synthetic fragrances, fabric brighteners are another potential hazard for health. They actually hide stains under chemical residue on the fabric instead of brightening the fabric. With this tricky action, they remain longer in clothes than other chemicals.
Sniffing these chemicals can add troubles. You may like the fresh scent of washed clothes. But the fragrances are synthetic. Allowing them to enter your nose indicates giving them a chance to cause respiratory diseases.
The washer dryer is also not out of danger. When the dryer expels those toxic detergent residues along with lint, heat, moisture outside, they contaminate the air. And that air you, your family, your neighbors, pets, other animals, and plants breathe.
Do laundry cleaners impact the marine environment? Obviously they do. Harmful effects of laundry detergents in aquatic settings include disruption of oxygen level and imbalanced aquatic ecosystems.
Phosphates in laundry detergents are highly responsible for these hazards. They get into waterways and help algae to bloom. Consequently, the algal blooms remove oxygen from water and make it hard for aquatic lives to survive.
Not only that, when mixed, the surfactants of laundry cleaners reduce the surface tension of the waterways. As a result, pollutants find it easy to make their way into water and threaten marine creatures.
What happens if you inhale laundry detergent?
Due to being highly alkaline and having synthetic elements, laundry detergent is toxic. If inhaled, this detergent causes injury of upper respiratory tissues. Other symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, and damage to the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.
What’s the most flammable element in the universe?
Hydrogen is the most flammable element in the universe. It is colorless, odorless, almost weightless, and highly flammable with an atomic mass of 1.00794. Even a small amount of ordinary air can inflame hydrogen when mixed with it.
What Happens if You Light Laundry Detergent on Fire?
Laundry detergent usually is not flammable. But if you deliberately put it near fire, it will burn. Laundry powder contains sodium sulfate, which may or may not support combustion. On the contrary, laundry liquid contains ethyl alcohol or isopropanol, which contributes to flamming. Likewise, laundry pods are toxic, flammable, and should be kept away from sources of ignition and hot surfaces. Water worsens and spreads burning laundry pods. Therefore, don’t use water to distinguish burning pods.
What is the most flammable liquid in the world?
Flammability can be defined in many ways. So it is a bit hard to figure out the most flammable liquid in the world. However, liquid fluorine is considered the most combustible liquid. This oxidizer reacts to anything that it encounters and combusts fiercely. Be it earth, concrete, or water, fluorine does not leave anything.
What happens if you smoke laundry detergent?
If laundry detergent reaches your lungs, it will consume all the oxygen and release carbon dioxide. The solvent item used in this detergent is a human carcinogen. If smoked, laundry detergent will cause breathing difficulty, drowsiness, headaches, vertigo, anorexia, etc. You may also experience irritating eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs. At worst, this cleaning agent would cause death due to drowning in body liquids.
This is all about answering the question ‘ is laundry detergent flammable’. Thank you for reading till now!
Actually nothing is safe near heat, be it dish detergent, laundry detergent, or anything else. Fire won’t make them combust instantly but won’t leave them in peace either. Heat can make them spit toxic fumes, explode when the temperature hits the roof.
Therefore, you need to be careful when storing soaps, detergents, and other chemicals.
Also read about can you use laundry detergent as bubble bath?