Ensuring the safe storage of cleaning chemicals is crucial, particularly in homes with small children and pets. Incorrect storage can pose significant risks making it essential to keep these substances out of reach and in designated areas.
Although storing chemicals under the kitchen sink may seem convenient and out of sight, it may not always be the safest option. In this article, we will explore safe storage practices for cleaning products and provide tips on keeping them away from children and pets.
Improper storage of cleaning chemicals can pose several risks, including:
- Accidental ingestion
- Skin and eye irritation
- Inhalation of toxic fumes
- Chemical reactions
- Fire hazards
- Environmental contamination
- Degradation and loss of effectiveness
It is crucial to store cleaning chemicals safely to minimize these risks and ensure the well-being of household members, pets, and the environment.
Table of Contents
Keep all cleaning chemicals away from children and pets
Cleaning chemicals should be stored on a high shelf if possible, so as not to come within reach of small hands. Make sure the shelf is no higher than at eye level for easy access and organisation.
If practical store these substances in a locked cabinet or closet if possible, to keep children and pets out of reach. This is especially important for products that are poisonous (for example, oven cleaner or drain cleaner).
Organise your cleaning products by type and use. This will make it easier to find what you need when the time comes. Also keep in mind that some chemicals are incompatible with each other so if there is any chance of cross contamination store these substances separately from one another.
Label the containers with their contents to avoid confusion
Keeping cleaning chemicals in their original containers is important to safety as these often come with safety features to help prevent children gaining access to their contents.
If you do not have the original container, make sure to label it with its contents. This will help avoid confusion and keep children safe in case they find a chemical that is poisonous or harmful if ingested.
Store all cleaning chemicals in a cool, dry place
The best place to store chemicals is in a cool, dry area. This will help them last longer and be less likely for the chemical’s contents or container itself to break down over time from exposure. This could lead to it being more harmful if ingested by children.
If you have any questions about how long your particular cleaning product should stay stored before use – check with the manufacturer’s guidelines as they may provide this information on its packaging. If not, information should be made available on their website.
Store cleaning chemicals away from food
Avoid storing cleaning chemicals with food items such as flour because it can cause contamination issues. Keep them away from food preparation areas as well. Ingestion of cleaning products can be very dangerous and can lead to serious health problems.
Can you store cleaning products in an airing cupboard or a boiler cupboard?
An airing cupboard can get very warm, and as previously mentioned chemicals should be stored in a cool and dry place. If you have a cool and dry place in your house, then it is worth considering storing them there.
The airing cupboard is not the best option because of how warm they can get – but if that’s all available to store chemicals at home (and it’s out or reach for children) then an airy space may be better than nothing.
If possible, try to find somewhere else though as this will keep cleaning products safe from heat exposure which could cause chemical reactions with other items stored nearby.
Can you store cleaning products in a bathroom cupboard?
The bathroom is a good place for storing cleaning products because it’s generally cool. It can also be difficult to reach the chemicals in here, which means they are less likely to get into children’s hands or eaten by pets.
This makes them safer than if you were putting these items under your kitchen sink as well.
Under the kitchen sink is a common place for cleaning products to be kept. But bear in mind that these can be easily accessible to young children, it’s a great idea to invest in some safety catches for your kitchen cupboards that children can easily reach.
It’s also worth noting that the kitchen is a warm and humid place, which means these chemicals can degrade faster. This can lead to them being more toxic than they should be. So, it might not always make sense for you to store your cleaning products under there.
As previously mentioned, if storing chemical cleaners at all then keep away from all food preparation surfaces such as worktops etc.
Alternative storage solutions
Here are some additional storage options for safely storing cleaning chemicals:
- Dedicated storage cabinet or shelf: Consider designating a specific cabinet or shelf in a well-ventilated area for storing cleaning chemicals. This helps keep them organized and out of reach of children and pets.
- Utility room or laundry area: If you have a utility room or a designated laundry area, it can be an ideal location for storing cleaning chemicals. These areas often have storage space and are typically well-ventilated.
- Garage or shed: If you have a garage or shed, you can allocate a section or shelf specifically for storing cleaning chemicals. Ensure that the area is cool, dry, and inaccessible to children and pets.
- High shelves: Storing cleaning chemicals on high shelves in various areas of your home can be an effective way to keep them out of reach of children. Just ensure that the shelves are stable and secure.
- Lockable storage containers: Consider using lockable storage containers or cabinets designed specifically for storing hazardous materials. These containers provide an extra layer of safety and security.
- Wall-mounted storage systems: Wall-mounted storage systems with hooks, shelves, or baskets can be a practical solution for organizing and storing cleaning chemicals. They keep the chemicals off the floor and provide easy access when needed.
- Under-sink storage with childproof locks: If you prefer to store cleaning chemicals under the sink, install childproof locks on the cabinet doors to prevent children from accessing the chemicals. Ensure proper ventilation in the cabinet and avoid storing chemicals near food items.
When choosing additional storage options, prioritize cool, dry, and well-ventilated areas that are out of the reach of children and pets. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific storage recommendations for each cleaning chemical to ensure safety and effectiveness.
If storing chemical cleaners anywhere, then make sure its somewhere safe where no one will accidentally come into contact/ingest any harmful substances.
And remember, always read the label of your cleaning products, always follow manufacturers guidelines.