"It Can Be Fatal": People Are Sharing Highly-Useful Facts That Should Actually Be Universal Knowledge, And These Are So Important

Recently, redditors of the r/NoStupidQuestions community were asked to share pieces of "basic knowledge" that a scary amount of people don't know, and I'll be totally honest: Several were facts that I read for the first time then and there. These are the most important responses that people shared, and I'm memorizing them all.

1."Don't mix bleach and ammonia; it makes deadly chlorine gas! I work in a cleaning and sanitization job, and we have ammonia-based cleaners and bleach. The amount of times I've seen coworkers mixing them together thinking they're making a stronger sanitizer is ridiculous."

bleach bottles in a cardboard box
Saulgranda / Getty Images

2."In urban areas, speeding and racing to the next light will not save you any measurable amount of time. With traffic and signals, it is literally impossible to change your arrival time."


3."A cat bite that pierces the skin is a serious event (because of the type of bacteria present) and needs prompt medical attention."

cat laying on its back, hissing
Alexandra Jursova / Getty Images

4."Salt will clean blood out of any fabric, even the whitest clothes or bedsheets. Just put a little heap of salt over the bloodied fabric. If the blood is dry, wet it with a few drops of cold water then put the pile of salt on top. Leave it for an hour or so, wipe the bloody salt off, then wash with soap and cold water."


5."Babies below six months shouldn’t drink water; it can be fatal. To clarify, babies get all their hydration from breast milk or formula. Adding additional water can lead to water intoxication as children under six months have underdeveloped kidneys."

dad feeding baby with a baby bottle on its back
Blend Images - Mike Kemp / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

6."If something is on fire in your oven, do not try to take it out. Just leave it there until it runs out of oxygen."


7."Clean the dryer vent and change your furnace filter regularly to minimize potential fire hazards."

dryer vent duct covered in lint
Kameleon007 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8."Rags soaked with paint thinner, varnish, oil-based paint, polyurethane, or other volatile oils can actually spontaneously combust without any outside ignition source. The oils slowly release heat as they oxidize and, for example, in a pile at the bottom of a garbage can, that heat can build enough to start smoldering and eventually ignite. I didn't know about this until a year or two ago, so don't feel dumb if you didn't know either."


9."Different antibiotics work on different bacteria. You can’t take random antibiotics you’ve stocked up on at home and assume they will work for an infection. Doctors make an educated guess on what antibiotic to give for an infection. This is based on the probability of the infection being caused by a specific bacteria; this knowledge comes from research on what organisms most frequently cause certain infections in specific individuals."

breaking antibiotic pills out of their packaging
Israel Sebastian / Getty Images

10."I'm always shocked that more people don't realize England and the UK are not the same thing, or interchangeable. That's like thinking that California and the US are the same thing."


11."If your house suddenly smells fishy and you're not cooking fish, check your electrical outlets, particularly any multi-plug extension cables. Burnt-out sockets and plugs give off a fishy smell, so you might save yourself from an electrical fire."

marks on a wall from a small electrical fire over an electric outlet
Pm Images / Getty Images

12."If you own a garbage disposal, you have to actually run it at least a few times a week or it will rust and stop working."


"Also, use the handbrake on your car periodically. Same concept."


13."Yellow teeth do not have to be a sign of bad hygiene! Genes, as well as your diet, dark consumable items, excessive fluoride, and also the quality of consumable items in your environment, and a lot more aspects can turn your teeth yellowish over time, but that doesn't mean you have bad hygiene."

Woman looking at yellow teeth in the mirror
Marina Demeshko / Getty Images

14."In the United States, going into a higher tax bracket never leaves you with less money. The first chunk of money you make is taxed at one tax bracket. The next chunk of money is taxed at the next. But it doesn't cause the first chunk of money to be taxed at a higher rate."

"So, if you make $182,100, you are in the 24% tax bracket. And if you make $182,101, you are in the 32% tax bracket. But only one dollar of your money is in the 32% tax bracket."


15."If you get water in your lungs for whatever reason, seek medical advice as it can dissolve the surfactant on your alveoli and cause what's known as secondary drowning up to a day or so later."

x-ray of lungs
Photovideostock / Getty Images

16."There is no 'minimum time' or waiting period you need to pass in order to file a missing persons report. You know your person better than the police; even if they tell you to wait, file one anyway."


"I want to know where this lie came from. It's so dangerous."


17.Finally, and importantly: "Getting periodontitis, or gum disease, can be a precursor to getting heart disease, which is still the leading cause of death in the United States."

doctor looking at an x-ray of teeth on a computer screen
David Sacks / Getty Images

What's a piece of important knowledge that you wish more people were aware of? Drop your wisdom in the comments below.