List of Flammable Household Liquids

Most people keep an assortment of liquids, from dish detergent to shampoo, around their homes for a variety of purposes. But some of the most common household liquids happen to be flammable. This makes proper use and storage of these liquids key to basic household safety. Some such liquids include: hand sanitizer, paint thinner, stain removers and beauty products.

Old paint brush tool in the over the can.
credit: Jay_Zynism/iStock/GettyImages
List of Flammable Household Liquids

Hand Sanitizer

Almost all hand sanitizers, whether in gel or liquid form, are alcohol-based. Because alcohol is highly flammable, it's no surprise that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are flammable as well. In testing performed by the Federal Aviation Administration's Fire Safety Team, alcohol-based hand sanitizers combusted easily when exposed to high heat, such as a grill lighter.

Fortunately, hand sanitizers are typically kept in bathrooms, away from sources of high heat. Due to their combustibility, hand sanitizers should not be kept near stoves, heaters or other very warm areas. This means that the best cleanser to keep near the kitchen sink is regular soap.

Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is usually used to remove paint from brushes, rollers and other tools. However, because paint thinner is typically sold in large containers, many people find themselves with leftover paint thinner after their work is done. This means that many people end up storing leftover paint thinner in their homes or garages for later use. This can be problematic because paint thinner is very flammable.

In the event of a house fire, large quantities of stored paint thinner can explode, making them very dangerous. Even paint thinner fumes can catch fire in high-heat environments. For this reason, it may be best not to store leftover paint thinner in your home unless you plan to use it in the near future. It's also important not to use paint thinner around any sources of high heat, such as stoves, grills or electric water heaters.

Stain Removers

Stain removers are used to clean carpet and clothing, and many stain removers contain flammable ingredients, such as alcohol and detergents. These ingredients are what allow stain removers to break through dirt and grime. But because of their flammable nature, stain removers should never be used around sources of high heat, including washers, dryers and irons.

Stain removers are commonly stored in laundry or utility rooms. If this is the case in your home, make certain that they are stored in a cool section of the room or a closed cabinet, away from the heat produced by electric water hearts, washers and dryers.

Beauty Products

Many liquid beauty products contain ingredients which make them flammable. For example, nail polish and nail polish removers contain acetone, which is flammable. The aerosol in canned hairspray is highly flammable, as is the alcohol contained in many perfumes.

Beauty products are typically stored in bathrooms, which don't have many sources of high heat. However, make sure that none of these products are stored on sunny window ledges or within close range of electric hairdryers. Do not use hairspray directly before or after drying your hair with high heat.

Maria Cook

Maria Cook

Maria Cook is a freelance and fiction writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University in Indianapolis and has written about eco-friendly home improvement projects and architecture at Green Matters.