When it comes to DIY Cleaning solutions DON'T MIX ACIDS & BASES - so yes - that means never mix Bicarb & Vinegar! All it does it neautralise each other out & create salt water, this is what all the 'fizz' is about. Instead use one or the other & create a team of powerful cleaners that actually work!
It's all about pH
The pH scale measures if something is acidic (an acid) or alkali (a base or basic). It ranges from 0 to 14 and either ends are 'extremes' with 7 being 'neutral' in the middle. That is where our bodies sit to stay alive!
If the pH > 7 then it is a Base or Basic. My nature most cleaning products are alkali like detergents, laundry powders, dishwasher tablets & cleaning sprays.
If the pH < 7 then it is an Acid. Then you you have acidic cleaning products like fabric softeners, rinse aid, toilet & window cleaners.
Courtesy of https://study.com/academy/lesson/acidic-basic-neutral-solutions-determining-ph.html
As you can see from this pH scale Battery Acid has a pH of 0-1 because this stuff will burn your skin off if you touch it. But so will Drain Cleaner & Caustic Soda at the other end of the spectrum. So as you move closer towards these 'extremes' the stronger & more powerful the cleaner but it unfortunately becomes harsher.
When it comes to your handmade cleaning products you need to 'replicate' what the commercial products are doing using alternative ingredients that are proven to be the safer. By understanding the pH of the ingredients in your Green Cleaning Toolkit, you will be able to create mild to powerful cleaning products based on what you need.
As you can see here Bicarb, Borax & Soap are all mild-moderate cleaning ingredients. They all have their own benefits, but essentially they are not as heavy duty as Percarbonate (Crystal Clear) & Washing Soda. However they are all alakli/Base ingredients & should be used in replace of laundry powder, dishwasher tablets, detergents etc. These guys do the actual cleaning!
On the other hand, everyone has heard of Vinegar as a great green cleaning ingredient & it is. Citric Acid is another awesome option, as 1 teaspoon of Citric Acid to 1 litre of water has the same pH as Vinegar! These products are great for rinsing & giving that shine. That is because they neautralise any soap scum or left over alaki products & they remove hard water deposits. However they can etch pourous surfaces like stone, so use with care!
Use the power of 2
Have a think about most cleaning processed, it involves a 'wash' & then a 'rinse'. There are usually cleaning products to match like dishwasher tablets/rinse aid, laundry powder/fabric softener.
The 'wash' process can leave remaining product or soap scum - which is not nice. So the 'rinse' cycle is intended to neautralise any of this leftover & leave a polished clean surface.
Now, if your in a lab & using more nasty ingredients that can withstand pH changes, then you may be able to mix your acids & bases to produce a certain result. However, at home, for DIY cleaning you don't need it!
Use your Acids & Bases as a team but don't mix them together.. Keep life simple :-)