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Safe storage of household chemicals

hazardous products

If chemicals must be stored in the home for a short term, it’s critical to store them safely and properly until they can be deposited at a designated depot. Safe storage methods may differ, but instructions are typically provided on the product label or directions enclosed with the packaging.

Look for symbols on the label that indicate flammable, corrosive or toxic hazards. If in doubt, contact the retailer and request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS provides key information and safety recommendations related to the product.

Safe storage of household chemicals

  • Store flammable liquids preferably outside in a metal cabinet or in an unheated area. Never store near an open flame or spark. Flammable liquids include gasoline, camp stove fuel, paint thinner and lamp oil.
  • Store corrosive materials in a place such as a plastic tub or tray where the product can't spill out if the container leaks. Examples of corrosive materials include drain cleaners, bleach and acids.
  • Store out of the reach of children and pets. Household chemicals should never be accessible to those who are not aware of their proper use or application.

In some cases, a label may recommend not storing one product with another. Take care to separate the products into different storage areas.

Look for alternatives to household chemicals

There are many environmentally friendly household products on the market today. When possible use these products instead of household chemicals.

Disposal of household chemicals

Year-Round Household Chemical Drop-off Locations Map (view the interactive map).
Drop off your household chemicals today, tomorrow or any day

Transporting household chemicals

Refer to our page on transporting household chemicals for more information.