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Safe Cleaning

How to use cleaning products safely and effectively.

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Read the label carefully before using cleaning products.

Whether you're tackling a big cleaning project or just going about your weekly cleaning routine, it's important that you use cleaning products safely, especially with young children or pets around your home or apartment.

The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) has a few reminders to pass along to keep your home clean and safe.

The Soap and Detergent Association

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1. Read the Label

Labels on household cleaning products and packages contain just about everything one needs to know about a product's safe and effective use. Use them as resources for answers to your questions.

2. Use as Directed

Cleaning products are most effective when used as directed. If there are any questions regarding its use, call the manufacturer, whose toll-free number appears on the label. The Soap and Detergent Association recommends caution if combining cleaning products, as many "recipes" can be harmful and produce dangerous fumes.

To reduce the likelihood of unintentional exposure of products to children and pets, schedule routine cleaning when there's a lull in activities, such as nap time or when children aren't in the room. Even with this routine, put the product away immediately after removing the amount needed for the cleaning job at hand.

Keep caps and spouts closed and use only the amount of product that is needed, and promptly store the container. Do not leave cleaning buckets where children or pets can get into them.

3. The Supplies Closet

Consumers will find guidelines for product storage on the label and package. Products should be stored in their original containers, away from food, with their original labels.

A well-planned cleaning supplies closet will be locked and have a prominent display of important telephone numbers, including the national toll-free poison control and prevention hotline, 1-800-222-1222. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you call this number, you are automatically connected to the poison center for your area.

4. Safe Disposal

Dispose of empty cleaning containers carefully. Finish the entire product, or if you are unable, give it to a friend who will use it, or dispose of it per the label's instructions. You can find directions for discarding a product on the label and package of the product.

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