Cleaning supplies contain chemicals that are harmful to both human beings and animals.
These household supplies can cause injury or death not only if swallowed, but also if improperly handled. You must store these cleaning supplies properly in your home to ensure the health and safety of your family. Though many cleaners sold today are called “green” because they are made from all-natural ingredients, this only lessens the chance of harm and does not completely eliminate it.
No matter which type of household cleaning supplies you keep in your home, you must store and dispose of these products in a safe manner. An added benefit is that proper storage will prolong the useful life of your cleaning supplies.
Here’s a list of the ten most useful tips for storing cleaning supplies in your home.
- #Tip 1. Always place cleaning supplies far out of reach of children by placing the containers in storage cabinets mounted high above the floor. Even though it is handy to do so, do not keep your dish washing liquids and dishwasher detergents in a cabinet under the sink.
- #Tip 2. Install child-safety locks and child-proof latches on all floor-level cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen, even if you’ve stopped storing cleaning supplies there (chemical traces may still linger from when you did store the supplies there). Don’t forget about the cabinets under the island counter top.
- #Tip 3. Store all cleaning supplies in their original containers. If the original container is ripped, broken, or otherwise compromised, throw the container and its contents away according to the dictates of your local trash disposal laws. Never store cleaning supplies in other containers, especially any that were originally made for food or drink – a child may see a soda bottle full of bleach and think it’s a bottle of soda!
- #Tip 4. Read the warnings on the labels of all cleaning supplies to determine which ones might be flammable. Keep flammable cleaning supplies in a cool dry location in your house, and never near a flame, an electrical ignition source, or in sunlight. Keep these flammable cleaning supplies in their marked original containers in a locked storage cabinet.
- #Tip 5. Another potential problem can also be averted by reading the label. Never ever store cleaning supplies made with a base solution (such as ammonium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide) next to cleaning supplies made with an acid solution (such as acetic acid (lemon or citrus cleaners), sulfuric acid, or hydrochloric acid). Acids and bases are substances that are totally incompatible with each other – if an acid solution comes in contact with a base solution, the disastrous result will be toxic fumes and, possibly, an explosion.
- #Tip 6. Use cleaning supplies only in a place that has proper ventilation. If not stored properly, some cleaners may emit fumes that can overwhelm you when you open the container. Be sure that the place where you will be working is properly ventilated. If, while working, you begin to feel light-headed or faint, seal the container and go outside for some fresh air.
Make sure the storage space you are using to store your cleaning supplies is also ventilated. If you smell an overwhelming odor when opening such a storage space, move away and open doors and windows to ventilate the area. A container may have burst and might be leaking – check back later with breathing safeguards and dispose of the broken container properly.
- #Tip 7. Never ever leave a bottle or container of cleaning supplies open and unattended while you’re doing your cleaning. Always close and put away the cleaning supply if you are interrupted. You do not want any temptation sitting around that may harm your child out to explore what you had been doing.
- #Tip 8. When cleaning, take only the proper amount that you need from the container, seal the container back up, and store the container away immediately. Use the proper equipment for handling the cleaning supply material, as recommended on the label. Do not ignore any warning that says you should use such protective gear such as gloves or goggles.
- #Tip 9. When you are all done with cleaning, properly dispose of the materials that touched the cleaning chemicals. At this point, rags and paper towels may now be very flammable. Government safety standards (again, on the label) will tell you how to dispose of this waste material in the least dangerous manner.
- #Tip 10. Know what to do if a problem arises with human or animal contact with these cleaning supplies. Based on the information on the warning labels of the cleaning supplies, create and keep nearby a first-aid kit that includes any emergency-wash liquids.
Keep a list of telephone numbers in the kit for:
- National Poison Control (1-800-222-1222)
- Your doctor
- Your nearest hospital
- Your local ambulance service
John G. says
As an investor and someone who sales home privately to people, your site is a great resource for me to refer my clients to.
Keep up the great work. I’m subscribing to your feed.
Recently I’ve stopped using cleaning products in favor of bio cleaning products. The best part: there is no risk , and they are much cheaper too because you can do them yourself.
Good tips, especially as many people take health for granted. It is good to stay clear of the vapors and try not to inhale any of the vapors as much as possible, even if they might not hurt you.
Usually the doses are too small to hurt you but still it is better to avoid inhaling… One of the most thorough post about this that i saw recently. And yes i try to use vinegar instead heavy chemicals as well because it also does not harm the environment and can remove dirt easily.
Good tips, these tips really help specially to the people who concern about their health. I am agree of what you have stated above, if you’re done to the supplies try to keep it or throw it away from the children. Can you share to me what the best cleaning supplies??
Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Barber says
Great information Melinda,
I had never thought of disposing leaking containers, rather than finding a generic container. It makes complete sense though.
“#Tip 6. Use cleaning supplies only in a place that has proper ventilation.”
I’ve had a couple clients preparing their homes for sale make that mistake. They had to clear out of the area for hours.
@Mia – I have done the same with a few of my cleaners as well. I have pets and I’m very concerned about using chemicals on or around areas they are regularly in contact with.
Great tips and reminders! Everyone should have that poison control number pasted somewhere in the house. Mine is on the frig. It’s a huge magnetic one and I wish I could remember where I got it. Kids are curious and will get into anything. Annually over one million children are accidentally poisoned in their own homes. Out of these children; 250,000 are hospitalized, 3,000 will end up in the ICU and many more will die.
I agree that you need the poison control number and your doctor’s number posted if you have kids. You can childproof your home all you want but kids will find a way to get into your medical cabinets, electrical stuff and cleaning supplies.
It is always important to review safety rules when they have to do with keeping our children safe. Sometimes, we must be reminded on the proper storage of such cleansers. Thanks for a great review!!
Melisa Peveto says
Thank you for posting your list of the ten most useful tips for storing cleaning supplies in your home. This Saturday, I will be having a general cleaning in our house so these tips are really timing. It is time now to have my house get a new look.
Storage London says
Bathroom storage:Hang towel rails or hooks behind bedroom doors for personal towels can be stored there. Bathroom towel rails can then be reserved for guest towels. Allocate a different colour towel and washer to each family member to make it easy to keep track of which belongs where.
hazardous waste Long Beach says
Proper safekeeping and handling of household chemicals should be practiced in every home. This is very beneficial to your health and safety especially if you have children or pets. It is very important that all safety precautions are done in order to avoid untoward incidents brought about by improper handling of such.