How to Store Strong Cleaning Chemicals Safely - dummies

How to Store Strong Cleaning Chemicals Safely

By Gill Chilton

How and where you store your cleaning supplies can have a big impact on your health, safety, and pocketbook. By treating cleaning chemicals with respect, you can prolong the life of your cleaning tools and add to your quality of life by gaining peace of mind and monetary savings.

Create high, strong storage for chemicals in the rooms where you need them. For example, a small shelf that you can purchase for around £2 at a DIY store is all you need in the bathroom. Paint a plain wood one to match the wall and your toilet cleaner and bathroom bleach are safe and close to hand.

How to make cleaning chemicals last longer

Once opened, most cleaners slowly lose their power. Bleach, for example, is only at its best for three to six months. This relatively short life is a good reason for sticking to multi-purpose cleaners and disinfectants rather than buying specialist treatments that could sit in your cupboard for years losing potency. Good storage techniques, however, help both cleaning products and your equipment last longer. So why not try these tips?

  • Wrap soap-filled scouring pads in foil to prevent rusting.

  • Make soap last longer by keeping it in a soap-dish with drainage holes, rather than on the sink side where it may sit in a pool of water.

  • Keep chemicals in a cool, dry cupboard.

  • Seal open packets of dry cleansers such as washing-soda to avoid clumping.

  • Add a few grains of salt to stiffen the bristles when you wash an outdoor broom.

How to create good storage for cleaning chemicals

Ideally, you should set aside a cupboard entirely for cleaning – under the stairs is perfect. Inside your cupboard use hooks and simple shelving to keep everything – except the vacuum cleaner – off the floor.

If you have children, choose a cupboard to store chemicals and fit a bolt on the door. Do not simply rely on keeping chemicals in childproof bottles. These are designed to resist opening but cannot keep out a determined child. The design aims to buy you time, but they’re not foolproof locks.

To store a broom, fix into the wall two long nails, about 10 centimetres (4 inches) apart, and hang the broom-head on them. Use the same system for sponge-mops. Sew on a loop to a corner of dusters, so that they can hang up in your cleaning cupboard. Old hair scrunchies work well.

Fabric mops, once thoroughly dry, can be detached to sit on shelves in the cupboard. Save space by choosing multi-fit tools. Dustpan, brush, and mop can all share the same handle.

Keep liquid cleaners in a handled tool carrier or pail, so you can take them with you as you work around the house.

Empty plastic food containers make simple storage boxes for brushes, cloths, and unused sponges.

Remember to clean out the cleaning cupboard now and again! An under-the-stairs cleaning cupboard can easily become dank. Leave the door open whilst you clean, provided there are no children at home.

See your supplies more easily by hooking up a light. You can get a portable battery-powered lamp from pound shops.