For the most part, household cleaning supplies find their way to a secure location and never move again. However, where and how you store chemicals is vitally important. Many of us don’t give these products much thought and even handle them carelessly. The truth is that any cleaning product—including organic varieties—all have their risks.
Many are toxic, others can impact allergies, and some are even mildly caustic. In addition to this, improperly stored chemicals can also release fumes and, if leaks occur, they can also damage the furnishings they’re stored in. Chances are, it’s time to step back and look at how to properly store cleaning chemicals to ensure your home is as safe as possible.
Store Chemicals Safely
Maintaining temperatures is one of the first lessons on how to properly store cleaning chemicals. Most of us have heard this, but few are innocent of shoving cleaning tools anywhere they’ll be out of sight. Some very common places where homeowners like to hide their supplies are under sinks. These spaces can be good options so long as the plumbing is excellent.
That means no leaks or condensation, ever. Cleaning supplies are chemicals and can change when they interact with heat and moisture. Therefore, it’s essential to store them in a cool and dark space with fairly consistent temperatures.
Another consideration is ventilation. Throw out old or damaged packaging to reduce the chances of fumes escaping. For the rest of your supplies, make sure to store them far from vents. Storing them near water pipes and sinks increases the risk of the packaging and product becoming damaged. If one of your supplies is already compromised and you don’t know it, it could expel gases directly into nearby vents, spreading fumes around the home.
Avoid Repackaging Chemicals
Not every plastic is made to withstand the potentially caustic nature of a cleaning product. Many of us see the plastic containers that solutions come in and believe one is as good as the next. There are many reasons why someone would want to put the product into a new container. Many packages do not have convenient features such as dispensing pumps or spray tops. This can make them inconvenient to use, so it’s only natural to switch packages.
Some chemicals, however, should only be stored in chemical safe containers that have not previously been used. Plastic that is not up to the required grade can leach unhealthy chemicals and fumes into the product. Gases can also be produced by mixing solutions—if you are repurposing an old bottle of a different chemical, always wash it thoroughly. Obtaining a new chemical-grade dispenser is always a safer option.