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Household Cleaners - Disposal

Household Cleaners - Disposal

You might be surprised at just how many of your ‘normal’ household chemicals are considered to be hazardous waste by your local council. 

Most common everyday cleaners that you buy, like laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent etc, are designed to go down the drain. These Household cleaner bottles, once emptied, can be rinsed and placed in the council recycling bin.

Others like corrosive drain cleaners (typically highly concentrated acid or alkaline), oven and BBQ cleaners and some highly acidic toilet bowl cleaners are dangerous.

Manufacturers are not required to disclose the contents of cleaning products so the safest way to ensure you eliminate toxic chemicals from your house if to not buy anything labelled TOXIC, WARNING, POISON, CORROSIVE or DANGER. Even if a manufacturer claims their product is earth friendly, don’t buy it unless they openly disclose contents.

Many councils offer safe disposal options for household chemicals – check here for your local council for advice and instruction.
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Science Notes
The list of chemicals contained in household cleaners is fairly long. Amongst the most common are chlorinated phenols (toilet cleaners), diethyleneglycoland ammonia (window cleaners), nonylphenolethoxylate, (a common detergent surfactant), formaldehyde (spray and wick deodorizers), petroleum solvents (floor cleaners), perchloroethylene (spot remover), butyl cellosolve (all purpose cleaner) and phenols (disinfectants). 

These chemicals are dangerous to you and the environment, wildlife, pets and humans if not safely disposed of and frankly are of debatable relevance to most households.

Related Tip
Natural, chemical free household cleaners which are not environmentally harmful can be made at home: baking soda, lemon, salt and vinegar being primary ingredients. You can find excellent recipes here and all over the web.