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How to Dispose of Cleaning Products.

How to dispose of cleaning products

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We are no stranger to the number of chemicals within everyday cleaning products. Showing off our intense cleaning routines within the bathroom and kitchen across social media. However, the vast amount of toxic chemicals used can be deadly and damaging to our environment.  So how do we dispose of cleaning products at home?

9 times out of 10 I advise that you read the back of your cleaning product labels which will tell you how to correctly dispose of the chemicals. The back of the bottle is going to be the best source of knowledge telling you everything you need to know about that particular product.

Disposing of your cleaning product solutions

If you’re buying cleaning products, always try and use all of the solutions, this will help to avoid wasting the product as well as disposing of unnecessary toxic chemicals. As well as this, it is recommended to only purchase the amount of cleaning solution needed. You do not need 5 different products to clean a toilet or sink.

However, if you do find yourself in a position where you need to dispose of cleaning products make sure that you do not pour any toxic chemicals down the sink, these chemicals can contaminate water supplies. 

Knowing if your cleaning products are toxic or hazardous, again, can be checked on the back of the cleaning bottle. You can also check safety data sheets for extra advice and guidance.

Sustainable products benefit the environment in every way, they also benefit you by being a lot kinder on your skin as well as not giving off toxic smells. The toxic chemicals can make it difficult and harmful to breathe in when cleaning a surface.

How to dispose of car cleaning products

When thinking about cleaning products we may not think about car cleaning products or how to dispose of these chemicals. Most car cleaning products have very tough toxic chemicals within them as they are designed to be tough on metal in order to remove heavily built-up tar and brake dust on and inside your wheels.

When disposing of car cleaning products, firstly see if any of the products can be donated to charity or maybe even given to one of your car enthusiastic friends or family members. This helps to cut down waste and gives the product a new purpose.

However, if you have decided the best thing to do is to throw away the car cleaning product, check the back of the product to see if any of the cleaning products are flammable, an irritant or poisonous. If so, it is best to take them down to your local recycling centre. From there the centre will be able to direct you to the correct disposal and safety recycle or dispose of the cleaning products.

Being cautious of toxic chemicals

When disposing of cleaning products, it is always important to check to see if the chemical is toxic. These types of chemicals should be handled carefully and disposed of with even more caution. 

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are best to check to see what type of chemical is in your bottle, as well as following the correct way to dispose of it.

Hazardous chemicals are categorised into three different areas:

  • Always hazardous
  • Never hazardous
  • May, or may not be hazardous

Any cleaning product with the above symbol should never be poured down a sink or drain. Instead, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use a professional waste collection service. 

Pouring these chemicals down the drain can be deadly to our environment and contaminate our water supply. 

Find your local waste collection service

How to Dispose of your cleaning product containers

After you have disposed of your cleaning product, you will be left with a container that the product came in. Always check the back of the container to check whether it can be recycled. If it can be recycled, make sure to place it into the correct household recycling bin.

Check your local recycling collections and which recycling bin you need.

Alternatively, you can always find a way to repurpose the container, this could be using it for a number of different ways.

Check out one of our team members using 5-litre cleaning containers for potting his plants in!

Why not also keep the empty containers and find your local refilling station to help reduce the amount of plastic used and also save money. Most refill shops/centres will source all the cleaning products you need. We recommend The Cleaning Cabinet (based in the East Midlands, UK).

How to dispose of commercial cleaning products

We have now covered disposing of cleaning products but what about commercial cleaning and janitorial products? Commercial cleaning products have a lot more toxic chemicals compared to conventional cleaning products you might find on the shelf of your local shop. We want to guide on how to dispose of the products correctly and prevent throwing away toxic chemicals incorrectly.

According to the Environment Protection Act 1990, all businesses must make sure to dispose of waste they generate correctly, including cleaning materials. As well as this, companies should never accumulate more than 2200 pounds of hazardous water and/or 2.2 pounds acutely hazardous waste onsite at one time.

Where to dispose of and recycle Commercial cleaning products

When disposing of commercial cleaning products, never pour them down the drain. Unless you are using an eco-friendly alternative, almost 9 out of 10 cleaning products will contain some form of a toxic hazardous chemical. As these are more heavy-duty chemicals, avoid pouring down the sink to help prevent toxic chemicals from entering the water supply which can cause damage to wildlife and nature.

When disposing of commercial cleaning products, it’s always advisable to dispose of them through a professional disposable company, these companies are the easiest and best way to correctly dispose of any toxic chemicals. Alternatively, if you don’t want to hire a professional company, I advise you to take the cleaning products you want to dispose of and take them down your local tip where they can assist you by directing you to the correct disposal for toxic chemicals.

Reading the label

When identifying the type of cleaning product you have, it is important to read the label. This can help identify what type of chemical you have and the best way to dispose of it. From here you can then correctly dispose of the cleaning product. See below a quick guide to each label and the type of product they store.

CLP SymbolMeaning and Examples
Corrosive -  Oven cleaners, lye and drain cleaners.Corrosive – Oven cleaners, lye and drain cleaners.
Flammable -   Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, and some laundry products.Flammable – Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, and some laundry products.
Aerosols -   Disinfectant sprays, oven cleaner, stainless steel cleaner and chewing gum remover.Aerosols – Disinfectant sprays, oven cleaner, stainless steel cleaner and chewing gum remover.
Toxic -  Bleach, some all-purpose sprays, some toilet cleaners and oven cleaners.Toxic – Bleach, some all-purpose sprays, some toilet cleaners and oven cleaners.
Irritant -   Furniture polish, floor cleaners, mould removers, all-purpose cleaner and window and glass cleaner.Irritant – Furniture polish, floor cleaners, mould removers, all-purpose cleaner and window and glass cleaner.

Alternatives to toxic chemicals

Some companies believe only cleaning products with toxic chemicals can be used at their premises to achieve cleaning standard; this is false. There are alternatives to toxic chemicals that can be used to achieve standards without harming you or the environment.
Cleaning companies will offer environmentally friendly cleaning products, these products are better for both you and the environment. We have an online shop with a range of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies to improve your cleaning product inventory. Alternatively, you can also check out our sister company who specialises in environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning and hygiene products.

A quick recap

So, to look over, toxic and harmful chemicals are dangerous and harmful when it comes to disposing of toxic products; in both our homes and our workplaces.  I hope this article has given you the urge to dispose of your toxins correctly. Doing this will avoid harming yourself and the environment.

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