Household cleaners

Window cleaner, furniture polish and dishwasher tablets are all products that can be harmful. Here are some tips to help you use and store them safely.

For more advice call The Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON). 
If a person is not breathing or is unconscious, call 111 immediately.  

Read the label

The labels on household cleaning products give you important safety information about how to keep yourself and your family safe.

Remember 'natural’, ‘organic’, and ‘environmentally friendly’ products can still harm you and other people, so it's important to follow the label on these products too.

Keep products in their original containers

Keep household cleaners in their original packaging or containers.

Cleaning products often have child-resistant lids on them to make it more difficult for children to get into the product. But remember, child-resistant is not child-proof – kids may still be able to open them.

We recommend keeping the product in the original container with the child-resistant lid on, closing the lid tightly and then putting the product in a locked cupboard or up high out of reach.

Never transfer household chemicals into food or drink containers. It's just too easy for someone to be confused about what's in the container.

Before you start cleaning

Check the labels on all the products you plan to use, so you know how to keep yourself and others safe. Follow the instructions on the label and remember to:

  • wear gloves and any other safety gear if recommended by the label.
  • never mix different cleaning products together. Different cleaning products may react producing poisonous gasses.
  • keep windows and doors open so fumes can blow away.

While you clean

While you are cleaning be extra careful if you have young children or pets in your home. Try to:

  • keep young children away while you are cleaning.
  • keep product lids closed at all times apart from when you are getting product out of the container.
  • store all cleaning products away as soon as you are finished with them.
  • take special care with spray bottles. These are very easy for children to use, and they could get the spray in their eyes or on their skin. Turn off the spray nozzle when you have finished spraying.

When you've finished cleaning

It's important to make sure any chemical residues are removed after you've finished cleaning, so:

  • empty and rinse any buckets, containers, sponges and scrubbing brushes and put them away.
  • wash your hands.

Store your products safely

When putting your cleaning products away:

  • keep all products in their original packaging.
  • clean any drips or spills from the outside of the bottle or container.
  • check the bottle or container is closed properly.
  • store them up high, out of reach of children, and ideally, in a locked cupboard.