Having organized cleaning supplies makes the task of everyday chores so much easier. Plus, cleaners left here and there throughout your home can be unsafe. Not everything should go under the sink! But what should go where? Read on to learn the best spots for keeping cleaning supplies, plus a few simple tips on how to properly store them.
Keep Cleaning Supplies Out of Reach
Find a cabinet, closet, or shelf to dedicate to cleaning supplies. Remember that curious kiddos — and pets — love to explore cabinets, so keep cleaning products out of their reach. Harsh cleaners can be dangerous, and some, like dishwasher pods, could look like candy. The best place to store cleaners is on a high shelf. If a lower cabinet is your only option, and you have little ones at home, use a cupboard lock.
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Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Many cleaners are flammable, so always check the label. The warning on the bottle will tell you if it needs to be kept under a certain temperature. Keep those products in a cool, dry location — even in hot weather — and never near a flame, beside electric switches or appliances, or in a bright, sunny spot.
Keep Cleaners Dry
Under the kitchen or bathroom sink is a storage favorite, but those areas are prone to wetness. Leaky pipes and humidity can lead to dampness and mold, so under the sink is not a good place to keep harsh cleaners (think bleach), bug spray, or anything flammable.
What should you keep under the sink? Use the spot for counter cleaners and cleaning tools like a dustpan, rags, and brushes. It's also a good place to stash garbage bags and reusable plastic bags. If the space is large enough, put a garbage can or recycling there.
Keep Cleaners Away From Food and Food Prep Areas
Ever kept a spray cleaner out on the counter? Or in the pantry? It might be convenient, but it's still a bad idea. Accidentally contaminating your food and ingesting a cleaning product can be dangerous.
Store Cleaners Together in Containers
Use baskets, buckets, or some sort of organizer to keep cleaning supplies together. Keep them together by room (kitchen, bathroom, laundry) if possible. It's not just because it looks good! Grouping cleaners makes it easier to clean — everything is already in your bathroom basket — plus the handy container will catch any leaks or spills.
Keep Cleaners in Original Bottles
Keep cleaners in their original bottles because some cleaners lose their effectiveness when exposed to air or in the wrong bottle (for example, hydrogen peroxide needs to be in a dark container). Don't peel off the labels, or soon you'll be wondering what's in that bottle. Plus the instructions will come in handy if you have any questions about usage. Not all cleaners are suitable for all surfaces, so check before using.
However, if you like to make your own cleaners, always label them and note the date. (For DIY inspo, check out this all-natural lemongrass spray, this amazing carpet cleaner, and these garbage disposal refreshers.)
Store Brooms Upside Down
Use a broom holder to hang brooms and mops. Or turn them upside down. This will prevent bending and breaking the bristles and help brooms last longer.
Wash Rags Often and Let Sponges Air Dry
If you clean with rags, wash them after each cleaning use. And don't take them from room to room; you risk spreading germs. Sponges are another common cleaning tool, and to make them last, always let them air dry between uses. Keeping them wet or sitting in water is a recipe for bacteria growth. Clean sponges weekly and toss them when they start to smell.
Clean Your Cleaners
Take a quick second to wipe down your cleaning bottles after each usage. You might be thinking, now I have to clean my cleaners?! Yes, it can be tedious, but you don't want to continue breathing in fumes after you're done cleaning. Plus, you'll catch spills before bottles can turn sticky and gunky.
Toss Out-of-Date Products
It's a good idea to weed out yours cleaners every so often to get rid of ones that have been sitting around forever. Chances are they're past their expiration dates. Another reason to keep those labels on — you'll know when a cleaner is out of date and how to properly dispose of it.
Want More Cleaning Tips?
At Hunker, we are all about helping you make your home a clean, lean, living machine. For more cleaning advice and tips, check out: