Safe Spring Cleaning

Does your list of spring cleaning projects include clearing out your garage or under your sink? If so, you will probably find leftover or unused containers of hazardous products – things like oil-based paints and thinners, solvents, pesticides, vehicle fluids and cleaning supplies.

Do you have any of these hazardous products at home?

Even if you’re just cleaning your house, you might be exposed to hazardous products — common household products like cleaning sprays can be hazardous.

Hazardous products can harm the environment, people, and pets if they are not properly stored and disposed. These hazardous materials shouldn’t be thrown away because they could leak and enter the water system — instead, they should be taken to safe disposal locations. Likewise, you should take precautions to protect your family from hazardous products through proper storage. Stay safe when you’re spring cleaning this year!

Stay safe with hazardous products

How do you know a product is hazardous?

Check the label for these words!

Most Hazardous
  • Danger
  • Poison
Less Hazardous
  • Warning
  • Caution

6 guidelines to keep your family safe around hazardous products

  1. Store products in their original containers. Do not remove labels.
  2. Store hazardous products in a container to capture spills or leaks.
  3. Clean spills and leaks according to label instructions.
  4. Never combine products.
  5. Dispose of household chemicals at a local hazardous waste collection facility, like the Factoria Transfer Station or the Wastemobile. Don’t pour them out on the ground or down a storm drain or throw them in the garbage.
  6. Don’t stockpile hazardous materials. Purchase the smallest amounts needed; don’t store extra products.

5 tips to store hazardous products safely


  1. Turn spray heads to ‘off’.
  2. Keep lids on tight.
  3. Store in a tray or tub to catch drips and leaks.
  4. Keep products in original sealed containers, never in empty food or beverage containers.
  5. Store in a covered area, on a shelf or a second story.

Switch to less toxic cleaning products

green cleaning kit closeup - smallConsider making the switch to less toxic cleaning products. They are better for your health and the environment, and are easier to dispose! Find safer household products using EPA’s Safer Choice. Create your own green cleaning ingredients (pdf) using the starter kit below.

Green Cleaning Starter Kit

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda or Bon Ami
  • Dr. Bronner’s fragrance free or a fragrance free dishwashing soap such as Planet, Seventh Generation or BioKleen
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Non scratch pad
  • Nylon brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket

Where to safely dispose hazardous materials for free

Want to get rid of some of your hazardous products? Take them to a hazardous waste collection facility:

Factoria Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Service
13800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue
Tues – Fri, 8 AM – 4 PM
Sat – Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
(206) 296-4692

Traveling Wastemobile
The Wastemobile travels around King County, providing residents with a closer place to safely dispose of hazardous waste.