Gearing up for some spring cleaning? If you find household hazardous products you no longer need lurking in your house or garage, don’t throw this stuff in the trash. All of it poses a threat to people or the environment — or both — if not disposed of properly.
How do you know what products are hazardous?
Look for these words on the product's label. Caution is the lowest level of hazard, followed by Warning, Danger, and finally Poison indicating the most hazardous. As a general rule, most chemical products labeled with Warning or higher should be brought to your local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility for safe disposal. If you live in Minnesota, find your household hazardous waste collection site.
Here are a few things to look for while you're cleaning. You can also use this handy
Use this checklist to find hazardous products in your home. Decide whether you'll use it up or take it to your collection facility where it can be set out for reuse or disposed.
In the basement or laundry room:
- paint thinner
- household batteries
- furniture stripper
- furniture polish
- spot remover
- pet flea spray/collars
In the garage and where yard products are kept:
- motor oil
- weedkillers, insecticides and other pesticides
- pool chemicals
- other chemicals
Tips for reducing your use of hazardous chemicals
- Choose the least hazardous product for the job.
- Read and follow label instructions. Use the right product for the job and use the correct amount of the product.
- Use it up or give to someone else to use.
- Healthy lawns require fewer chemical applications, hold soil in place, and withstand drought better than unhealthy lawns. Find out more about how you can take care of your yard without a lot of chemicals.
The best way to handle household hazardous waste is to prevent it in the first place.
- Common household materials such as baking soda, vinegar, or plant-based soaps can be an effective cleaner.
- Replace toxic chemicals with some elbow grease
Find out more
To learn more about how to dispose of hazardous waste, check out our main Reducing toxicity in the home webpage.