Cleaning Product Safety 101: Everything You Need to Know | Maid4Condos

Cleaning Product Safety 101: Everything You Need to Know

Cleaning Product Safety 101: Everything You Need to Know
August 16, 2023

You might think it’s safe to assume that the household cleaning products you find at your local grocery or hardware store are harmless. However, although they might be approved for household cleaning, many contain harmful chemicals that can put your family at risk.

Cleaning product safety 101: Everything you need to know

Luckily, you can use this cleaning product safety overview to learn everything you need to know about cleaning product use.

Always Read the Label

When selecting household cleaning products, always read the label. You want to understand the recommended uses, how to handle the cleaner, and its ingredients. Some of the most hazardous components include:

  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • Triclosan
  • QUATS (quaternary ammonium compounds)
  • Butoxyethenol
  • Chlorine
  • Sodium hydroxide 

You can also look for the hazard symbol on the label to see if the product can cause injury or health issues.

Teach Kids to Recognize Hazard Symbols

Young children should be taught to recognize the hazard symbols and told never to touch any bottles with those symbols. The sooner they learn that those icons mean danger, the safer they will be when the products are home. 

Follow the Instructions

Even when using “natural” or “green” household cleaning products, you need to ensure you are using the product as intended. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, not just for use but also storage. 

Never Mix Household Cleaning Products

If you think combining cleaning products will help you clean more efficiently, think again! Mixing cleaners pose a serious risk of injury and damage to household surfaces. Most household cleaning products contain ingredients that can create a chemical reaction with other chemicals, producing dangerous, toxic gases that can cause serious injury. 

Not only should you not physically mix them in a spray bottle, you should never put them in a container together, even if it is in water. Also, never use products together without thoroughly rinsing the surface first. For example, you would never spray the tub with one cleaner and then add another on top if it doesn’t clean to your satisfaction.

Understand the Difference Between Child-Resistant and Child-Proof

Selecting child-resistant containers is always safer. However, child-resistant is not the same as child-proof. Child-resistant means it is more difficult for a child to open the container. However, to make the container more child-proof, you must follow the instructions to ensure the closure is tight.

You should also always check household products stored under the counter to make sure they are not leaking and that the lids are secure with the child-resistant features activated. Ideally, dangerous chemicals should not be stored in an area where kids can reach them. 

Lock Away Household Cleaning Products

That brings us to locks. If you live in a smaller home, you might not have enough storage space to keep cleaning products out of reach of children and pets. If this is the case, it’s best to be safe than sorry and apply a lock or child-proof device on the cabinet so kids can’t get in.


Only use household chemical products in a well-ventilated area. Whether it is a ceiling fan, bathroom exhaust fan, or opening the windows, always work with proper ventilation to remove the gases that can make you sick. If this isn’t possible, wear a mask, keep the door open, and take breaks to get fresh air while you work. 

Wear Protective Gear

Although the idea of wearing protective gear when cleaning sounds like overkill, masks, goggles, and gloves protect your eyes, respiratory system, and skin from exposure to chemicals.

Strong-smelling products like bleach are very irritating, and if you inadvertently mix household cleaning products and then release gases, you will reduce the risk of serious injury.

Again, it’s all about following the manufacturer’s recommended use to keep safe. Their instructions should never be considered “suggestions” but instead always followed carefully.

Never Switch Containers

Always keep household cleaning products in the containers they came in. If the container is damaged, it’s best to dispose of the cleaner safely to avoid confusion and accidents. A piece of tape with the name written on it can easily become difficult to read, increasing the risk of mistaking the product for something else.

Additionally, don’t reuse empty cleaning product spray bottles for other purposes. The material used might not be suited to the new liquid you are storing. It’s also possible for chemicals to leach into the bottle materials, leading to dangerous chemical reactions or the release of noxious gases.

Dispose of Leaky or Damaged Bottles

It’s best to dispose of leaky or damaged cleaning products. Leaks can lead to risks of toxic gas release and combustion. Do not pour the chemical down the drain. Instead, check your municipality’s guidelines for safe disposal of chemicals and hazardous waste. 

Avoid Stockpiling Household Cleaning Products

Most of us are guilty of this. We stock up on household cleaning products under our kitchen sinks that sit unused for years. Not only do the chemicals in the cleaners change, but they can also eat away at their containers and leak.

It’s always best to buy only the cleaning products you need and trust to reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals stored in your home.

When to Use Bleach

Thanks to its virus-killing power, bleach was flying off the shelves during the pandemic. However, the safe use of bleach is essential to avoid health issues. Follow these steps:

  • Always dilute bleach using increments of 250 mL of water to each 5 mL of bleach.
  • Never mix bleach with anything other than water. 
  • Never use bleach as a disinfectant for human use; it is only intended for surfaces.
  • Ensure you have proper ventilation.
  • Wear goggles and rubber gloves.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water if bleach gets on your skin.
  • Even when in use, secure the container lid and put the bleach away if you are using it around children or pets.

If anyone in your household is exposed to chemicals, call your local poison centre and let them know what chemicals were involved. They will tell you how to proceed.

Call the Cleaning Professionals in Toronto

The expert Maid4Condos team in Toronto uses safe household cleaning products and procedures to keep your home sparkling and toxin-free. For more information, call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.

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