Home > Uncategorized > Glade Air Freshener, the Household Napalm?

Glade Air Freshener, the Household Napalm?

Earlier today one of my friends started a small fire in her house. She was sitting in her living room with her son and they both started coughing, and noticed a caustic smell. She had just finished laundry so she went and turned off the breaker for the dryer and examined the wiring.

As she was walking back to her living room she noticed smoke coming from her laundry basket. Quickly, she rushed the basket outside to keep the house from buring down. There were huge burn spots on the clothes, but there was no source of ignition. What do you think happened?

It turns out the laundry had a funny smell to her when she removed it from the dryer (she often claims things smells funny, like eggs when she cooks them). Out of the febreze she normally uses, she sprayed it with Glade air freshener. She folded it in the laundry basket and returned to the living room. wash was mostly made up of white sheets, so it had been bleached.

Her mother speculated that it had been a chemical reaction between the residual bleach and the air freshener. There are warnings on the can that says the chemicals are highly flammable.

It isn’t a stretch for me to believe this reasoning. I am a certified mine impoundment inspector. Some mine impoundments use refuse as a building material (the silt and rock that is a byproduct of cleaning coal at a processing plant). There is some coal left in the refuse, and when it’s piled up it can spontaneously combust inside the pile. Smoke will billow from the stockpile as he oxygen depleted carbon smolders within the pile of refuse, and temperatures soar. It’s very dangerous if the refuse is a component on an impoundment because it could cause total failure. Some impoundments hold back filter cake that eventually dries, but some hold back millions of gallons of water that runs off from surface mining operations and is used in the coal cleaning process.

I’m almost motivated to try and recreate the experiment. Wash some sheets in water with a high level of bleach content and then spray them with Glade air freshener while they’re still warm. Put it in a laundry basket (making sure to compress the pile) and see if it combusts. After all, these are 2 common cleaning chemicals that are paired in homes across the country. The byproducts of a reaction from even a small mixture could be carcinogous.

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