Kitchen countertop and sink with a number of chemical bottles on counter and in a storage cabinet.

How to Store Cleaning Products In the Kitchen: 5 Safety Tips

Have you ever taken a moment to think about where you store your cleaning products in the kitchen? Or, like many of us, do you just toss them under the sink and call it a day? Well, in this article, we’ll consider proper chemical and cleaning product storage

Table Of Contents
  1. Introduction: The Importance of Proper Storage for Cleaning Products in the Kitchen
  2. Understanding the Risks: Why Proper Storage Matters
  3. Common Mistakes to Avoid: What Not to Do with Cleaning Products in the Kitchen
  4. Safety Tip #1: Keep Cleaning Products Out of Reach of Children
  5. Safety Tip #2: Store Cleaning Products in Their Original Containers
  6. Safety Tip #3: Separate Cleaning Products from Food and Cooking Supplies
  7. Safety Tip #4: Use Childproof Cabinets or Locks to Secure Cleaning Products
  8. Safety Tip #5: Dispose of Expired or Unused Cleaning Products Properly
  9. Additional Precautions: Protective Gear and Labels 
  10. Conclusion: Creating a Safe Environment in the Kitchen for Your Family 
  11. FAQs: Storing Household Cleaners and Chemicals 

Proper storage of cleaning products isn’t just about maintaining an organized kitchen—it’s about ensuring your household’s safety. Stick around for our top five safety tips on how to store cleaning products in the kitchen.

Introduction: The Importance of Proper Storage for Cleaning Products in the Kitchen

The kitchen—a place where family time is spent cooking meals and enjoying each other’s company. Full of cheer, nourishing meals, and, yes, the occasional mishap. We often designate this space to store our cleaning aids as well. For many families, industrial-level cleaners, dish soap, detergent, and the like are staple ingredients for maintaining a squeaky-clean kitchen.

However, have you spared a moment to ponder about where and how these potent cleaning aids are stashed away? Similar to how you store those sharp knives that are inaccessible to tiny hands, your cleaning supplies require proper and safe storage space as well. 

The kitchen is one of the most common areas where accidental poisonings occur.

This guide aims to highlight the prioritization of effective safety measures while storing cleaning supplies in your kitchen. Whether you’re a diligent mother, father, or a mindful homemaker, these five safety tips will be useful.

Kitchen safety is paramount for your family; it’s not something to take lightly.

Understanding the Risks: Why Proper Storage Matters

Well, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I bother with all this hubbub about safely storing cleaning products? I’ve been keeping them under the sink for eons, and nothing bad has ever happened.” 

Well, hold onto your scrubbing brushes. There’s more to this story than meets the eye. Let’s dive in and find out why proper storage is so crucial when it comes to cleaning products in the kitchen. 

The Proactive Preventers

A wise person once said,

“Prevention is better than cure.”

This doesn’t just apply to health; it applies to maintaining a safe kitchen as well.

When you store cleaning products correctly: 

  • You minimize the risk of accidental poisoning: Kiddos are curious by nature, aren’t they? Moreover, they cannot differentiate between a disinfectant and apple juice. Safe storage ensures these harmful substances stay out of reach.
  • You prevent dangerous chemical reactions: Ever heard of the saying “some things just don’t mix”? Well, certain chemical products are a literal embodiment of this. Storing them separately can prevent reactions from hazardous chemicals and other hazardous substances. Chemical safety is key here; different chemicals can produce fatal reactions, so don’t take it lightly.

The Organized Operators

Ever run into the issue of not finding your favorite all-purpose cleaner when there’s a spill to tackle? Here’s how properly storing your cleaning products could help: 

  1. You keep your cleaning supplies organized: With proper storage, you can have everything in its place, making it super easy to locate. Trust me, your future self will thank you. If you can’t find your own cleaning products, that means it’s a lot easier for someone else, like your children, to find them. 
  2. You prolong the life of your products: Excessive heat or cold can degrade cleaning products over time. Proper storage ensures they’re kept at optimal conditions, thus extending their shelf life.

The Financially Frugal

Who doesn’t like saving some bucks? Well, proper storage could help with that, too! 

Without Proper StorageWith Proper Storage
Products need to be replaced frequently due to damage or degradationProducts last longer, requiring less frequent replacement
Potential medical or vet bills from accidental ingestionNo unexpected expenses due to poisoning incidents

So, there is a quick rundown on the importance of properly storing your cleaning products. Remember, it’s not just about tidiness; it’s a matter of safety, efficiency, and even your pocketbook. So, perhaps now is a good time to take a look at the cleaning cupboard and give it some long overdue organization. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid: What Not to Do with Cleaning Products in the Kitchen

Mistake #1: Leaving Cleaning Products Within Kids’ Reach

Ever turned your back for a second and found your toddler climbing up the cabinets? Yes, it happens more often than we’d like to admit. It’s like they take it as a challenge! 

We parents are utterly familiar with these adorable little climbers. However, this exploratory behavior might prove dangerous if your cleaning products aren’t securely stashed away.

Mistake #2: Storing Cleaning Supplies in Food Cabinets

Now, who would store their sponges next to their spaghetti? Or their bleach by the baking goods? Believe it or not, it happens more often than it should, and it’s the kind of bad habit that should be avoided at all costs for the sake of our loved ones. 

  • Avoid intermingling your edibles with chemicals at all times. Cross-contamination is just one misstep away.
  • Remember, these chemicals can cause serious health problems if ingested. 

Do not store chemicals where you store food, period. 

Mistake #3: Ignoring the Labels on Cleaning Products

Those labels aren’t just for show! They contain important safety information. So take a moment, read your cleaning labels and precautions, and educate yourself. 

  1. Is it safe for your particular cleaning needs?
  2. Is it meant to be diluted before use?
  3. What are the immediate first aid steps in case of accidental ingestion or contact with eyes?

Never ignore the labels on cleaning products. They’re not just pretty designs, they’re crucial information.

Mistake #4: Mixing Cleaning Chemicals

Ever heard of the term ‘Chemical Cocktail’? Well, it’s not something you want to be serving anywhere near your food in the kitchen or stored near your cooking ingredients.

Cleaning ChemicalNever Mix With
BleachVinegar, Ammonia, Rubbing Alcohol
Hydrogen PeroxideVinegar

Combining certain cleaning products can result in toxic fumes.

That’s not exactly what we want to create in the kitchen. Let’s do our due diligence and ensure safety at all costs. One simple way to avoid this is to avoid mixing ANY chemicals and also switch to less volatile natural cleaners. 

Mistake #5: Not Ventilating While Cleaning

Taking a deep breath while cleaning could mean inhaling harmful fumes. So crack a window, turn on that exhaust fan, and let your kitchen ‘breathe’ too. What’s a little extra outside dust when your health is at stake, right? 

Note: This helps circulate fresh air and minimizes your exposure to potentially harmful fumes, especially if you don’t have an open floor plan or are working in a small kitchen. 

So, next time you’re unloading cleaning supplies from your local department store or grocery store, keep the above five mistakes in mind and avoid them at all costs. A healthy, safe kitchen should be the goal of every household, especially if you have little ones. And that’s a great transition into the first of the five safety tips below; let’s take a look!

Safety Tip #1: Keep Cleaning Products Out of Reach of Children

Let’s be real: kiddos are curious little beings, aren’t they? They have this knack for getting into things they shouldn’t. So, what can we do to keep them safe? Our best bet is to always store cleaning supplies out of reach of children, preferably in a high cupboard or a locked cabinet. 

Remember, child safety locks aren’t just for baby proofing. They’re cleaning-product storage must-haves too!

Proper Placement and Arrangement 

Once you’ve chosen your child-proof storage, how you place your cleaning items also matters. It’s not just about aesthetics (but we all enjoy a neatly arranged cupboard, don’t we?); it’s about safety, too. 

  • Store heavy items at the bottom: No one wants a bottle of dish cleaner or laundry detergent landing on their foot, right?
  • Keep products in their original packaging: It makes it easier to identify potential dangers. Please never place chemicals in unlabeled containers. Even for homemade natural cleaners, if you’re using generic storage bottles or containers, be sure to label them clearly. 
  • Don’t let products touch: It might sound very antisocial of them, but some cleaning products can react if they come in contact. Ensure all cleaning storage containers and bottles are securely closed and not leaking and that there’s no way their contents can mix. 

Take an inventory of your cleaning supplies and conduct a safety inspection of your kitchen. It’s worth the time, and it’s worth the effort. A safer kitchen is a happier kitchen. Happy organizing.

Safety Tip #2: Store Cleaning Products in Their Original Containers

Why the focus on the storage of cleaning chemicals in original containers? Well, it’s all about information. Original containers often contain instructions for use, handling, storage, and what to do if someone accidentally consumes their contents.

In our home, we do what we can to avoid the use and storage of any harsh chemicals in the kitchen or any other area of the house, for that matter. But, if you use bleach, dishwasher liquid (or tabs, which are especially dangerous since they’re easy for children to consume), or other highly toxic chemicals in your household, keep the original containers.

If you ever poured cleaning liquid into an empty cleaner bottle because the original bottle leaked, we get it, but it’s best to avoid that.

  • If, for some reason, you believe you need to store a chemical in a different container, ensure it’s clearly and permanently labeled without any chance of there being confusion about the contents of the container.
  • Also, children are quick learners, so they can easily know what juice bottles or water bottles look like. However, if they can’t read, they’ll assume that if they unscrew the lid, they’ll be drinking juice or water. In a child’s mind, bottles are for drinking. 
  • So, absolutely do not store chemicals in any containers that would typically store consumables (like juice bottles, water bottles, etc.). You should only store cleaning chemicals in chemical containers.

A Sprite bottle full of bleach? Not exactly the surprise your family or friends would like to find in your kitchen. It’s a downright dangerous example of improper storage of your cleaning chemicals. Avoid these kinds of shortcuts at all costs. 

Safety Tip #3: Separate Cleaning Products from Food and Cooking Supplies

Now, this one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Can you imagine reaching for the olive oil and grabbing the dish soap instead? So, always make it a point to keep your cleaning supplies far, far away from your food and cooking utensils. 

  1. First things first, designate a specific area or cabinet for cleaning products. Ensure this is a separate area from food storage or food preparation areas.
  2. Secondly, avoid storing them just anywhere in the kitchen, like under the sink, as this can lead to accidental mix-ups.
  3. Lastly, try to establish zones or areas in your kitchen for different activities and stick to them. This will help prevent any confusion – because, let’s face it, human error is real, and it’s far too easy to make mistakes in the normal pace of life, especially in the kitchen.

Safety Tip #4: Use Childproof Cabinets or Locks to Secure Cleaning Products

Just as you put your favorite cookies on the top shelf to avoid temptation, it’s a good idea to keep cleaning products out of the reach of children. If you’ve got young ones in your life, whether full-time or just visiting, consider storing your cleaning products in cabinets that they can’t access. But safety goes beyond that; also consider the following:

  • Childproof Cabinets: Imagine childproof cabinets as a fortress where your cleaning agents live. They keep young children in your home away from harmful substances; they keep them out. Most childproof cabinets are designed with a lock or latch that your child can’t open, isolating dangerous chemicals to that location only.
  • Childproof Locks: If replacing or modifying your cabinets isn’t feasible, you can purchase childproof locks. These locks attach to your existing cabinets and prevent them from being opened by curious little hands. They’re incredibly easy to install and are typically very inexpensive.

Remember, the point is to keep the kids safe while you get the cleaning and cooking done, so take these simple measures to ensure their safety and your peace of mind. An ordinary cabinet isn’t a secure location for storing chemicals. Instead, think of that cabinet as a safety cabinet that ensures the safe storage of chemicals.

Safety Tip #5: Dispose of Expired or Unused Cleaning Products Properly

So, have you decided to “tidy up” your cleaning cabinet? But now you’re left with half-used bottles of cleaners, some of which have probably expired or others that you simply no longer need. What do you do with them?

Like everything else in life, cleaning products also have an expiration date.

Expired cleaning products can lose their effectiveness and in rare cases, even become hazardous. That said, it’s rare they’ll become hazardous and will more likely lose their potency. Read product labels and precautions to be certain.

Follow these easy-peasy tips for disposing of cleaning products safely: 

  1. Check the Label: Always read the label for disposal instructions. Some products can be safely poured down the drain with running water, while others need special disposal methods. Take special care pouring anything down the drain if you have a septic tank.
  2. Local Waste Facility: If you can’t find any disposal instructions or if the product needs special handling, contact your local waste facility. You can usually drop these items off for safe disposal.
  3. Recycle if Possible: If the bottle is empty and clean, you might be able to recycle it. Just make sure to remove any sprayer top or pump, as these are often not recyclable.

In the end, remember always to handle cleaning products with care. After all, their sole purpose is to make your life easier and more convenient.

If you’ve made your own natural cleaners with natural ingredients, there’s much more flexibility regarding disposal. That’s why we recommend natural products whenever possible.

Additional Precautions: Protective Gear and Labels 

Well, we’ve strategized and explored ideal and safe ways to store cleaning supplies and household chemicals. But that’s not all; there’s more. Yes, there’s also the idea of handling these chemicals responsibly with protective gear and reading labels. 

1.) Protective Gear: It’s quite easy for chemical substances to come in contact with your skin or eyes inadvertently. Pretty unpleasant, right?

  • That’s why wearing protective gear such as gloves and goggles is not negotiable, especially for harsh chemicals.
  • On the other hand, if you’ve made a gentle all-purpose castile soap cleaner with a few drops of essential oils, you won’t need the same gear as if spraying down your kitchen with bleach.

2.) Labels: Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were pouring sugar into your coffee, but it turned out to be salt? Imagine if you did that with a cleaning product. We can’t state this enough, and it’s worth repeating again: Always ensure your cleaning products are appropriately labeled to avoid mixups and unavoidable mistakes resulting from human error.

Conclusion: Creating a Safe Environment in the Kitchen for Your Family 

By now, you should agree that safety in the kitchen goes far beyond slicing onions without tears. It’s about making conscious decisions – from the way we store cleaning products down to the cleaning and safety gear we use when working with strong chemicals. 

Remember, safety isn’t a checkmark, it’s a lifestyle. Foster a culter of safety best practices not only in your kitchen, but in your household as a whole.

Keep in mind that over 100,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year due to accidental poisoning. Many of those trips may have been prevented with a few safety best practices, and some of those trips may have resulted in long recoveries or even death. 

With the above tips (and many others), you’ll be more empowered to create a conducive and safe environment for everyone in the home. The mistakes to avoid and safety tips we mentioned in the above article are easily solved with a few inexpensive steps. 

Take a deep breath, foster kitchen safety as a culture in your home, and put together a list of action steps to ensure you and your loved ones can continue to live happily and healthy, especially in the kitchen!

FAQs: Storing Household Cleaners and Chemicals 

Why must cleaning products be stored safely in the kitchen? 

Well, they may look harmless, but household cleaners and chemicals, if mishandled, can cause health risks. Proper storage is key to keeping your kitchen an accident-free zone. Always ensure your chemicals are locked aware or secured in a separate storage area. 

Can I store my cleaning products under the kitchen sink? 

Though it’s a popular spot, under-the-sink storage might not be the best place for chemical storage, especially if you have curious little ones or pets. A high, locked cupboard could be your safe haven. Or, ensure your under-the-sink cabinets are impervious to children if you do decide to store chemicals there.

Lastly, wherever you store your chemicals, keep them away from food storage areas and out of direct sunlight. 

Is it safe to keep multiple types of cleaners all together? 

You might think – the more, the merrier, right? Not in this case! Some chemicals can react with each other and may lead to unexpected surprises. Always check product labels and keep incompatible types separate. Better yet, just use cleaners made from natural ingredients to reduce the likelihood of dangerous reactions. Still, exercise caution with natural cleaners as well.

What should I do in case of a chemical leak or spill? 

Isolate the area, ventilate it if possible, and follow the product’s safety instructions. Keeping an emergency clean-up kit handy might be a good idea. Don’t panic and take calm measures to safely clean the spill. If chemicals are mixed as a result of the spill (like bleach and ammonia, a dangerous combination), exercise extreme caution and call 911.

Can I repurpose empty food containers for storing cleaning products? 

As tempting as it may sound, resist this bad habit. Cleaning products shouldn’t be stored in containers that someone may otherwise assume are for foods or drinks. Let’s avoid accidental sips of bleach, shall we?

Should I keep material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the cleaning products I use? 

Why not? A material safety data sheet is a great reference tool that provides important safety and handling information about a particular product. It might sound tedious, but health and safety are priceless, right?

Is it a must to wear gloves and other protective gear when using kitchen cleaning products? 

Absolutely! Gloves, goggles (and other personal protective equipment), proper ventilation, and basic safety precautions can protect you from skin, eye, and respiratory irritations while cleaning. To decrease exposure to hazardous materials, switch to products containing natural ingredients instead and avoid chemical use altogether when possible.

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