You may not realise it, but your laundry room might be the most dangerous room in your house, if it isn’t kept clean and organised. Bleaches and detergents are full of dangerous chemicals that can poison your children and pets if they aren’t kept in a safe location.
So what can you do to prevent accidents and mishaps in your laundry room? Read on to learn about how you can optimise your laundry storage space for both convenience and safety.
Install a high cabinet
The best way to preventing your children and pets from getting into any dangerous chemicals is to put them as far out of harm’s reach as possible. Your first step is to install a cabinet or shelf where all of your cleaning products can stay safe.
Make sure the cabinet is tall enough so only adults can reach and it is wide enough to store plenty of bulky bottles and containers. No detergents should be left lying around in between loads. Keep this area clean and try not to overload it.
You could also install a shelf rather than a cabinet, but your child might be attracted by the brightly coloured bottles. Usually, children will be deterred by the height, but if you’re really worried about your child getting up there, a lock on a laundry cabinet will stop them in their tracks. If you don’t have space to install a high cabinet, a low one with a lock will work just fine.
It might not be a bad idea to keep other cleaning products in the cabinet as well. Some people like to keep cleaning products under the sink, but this place is easily accessible to a curious child.
Keep all products in good condition
Most laundry containers have pretty distinct shapes and designs, but if there was no label, could you be 100 percent sure of which liquid is which? Do you want to take that chance?
Do not mix any cleaning solutions, be they laundry detergents or cleaning solutions. You never know who might try to do laundry or use a carpet cleaner to clear up a mess. For safety’s sake, keep all liquids in their proper bottles and preserve their labels.
You also shouldn’t leave containers out and lying around your laundry room. As soon as you’re finished with a detergent or bleach, close the bottle or bag and put it away in your cabinet and lock them up. Accidents do happen so get used to doing this step to prevent any unnecessary accidents.
Use single-use laundry packets with care
You’ve probably seen these single-use packets advertised in catalogues and on television. Rather than measuring out a cup of detergent or bleach, you simply drop a packet into your washer and let the pouch work its magic with seemingly no mess.
However, users tend to forget that these packets have harmful chemicals inside and can be easily broken into by a child. In addition to keeping these packets in your newly installed cabinet, they should never be sliced or torn open. The entire packet is designed to dissolve in the washing machine. You shouldn’t need to get into the packet itself.
Be very careful when handling single-packets that are sticking together. Pulling them apart my rupture them and spill chemicals all over the laundry room. You can try to gently pull them apart, but if it looks like the packets might split, throw both of them away. It might seem wasteful, but it’s better than having a chemical spill on your hands.
When starting a load of laundry, always dry your hands while handling these packets. They’re designed to dissolve even in very small amounts of water so try to keep them as far away from water as possible.
Practice safe suds
The act of doing laundry can make storage more dangerous if you’re not careful about what you’re doing. Though you might be tired at the end of the day or not quite awake in the morning, it is important that you pay close attention while doing laundry. Ignore all distractions and give the task your full attention to avoid making mistakes.
Read all laundry detergent labels carefully and be sure you understand the kinds of warnings on the bottles. Pay close attention to bottles with “Warning,” “Danger” or “Poison” labels. Never try to mix detergents with other cleaning products. You can’t be certain what those chemicals will do when mixed. Discard any empty detergent bottles and do not try to reuse them.
If you happen to spill a bit of liquid detergent, don’t wait to clean it up. A wandering pet or child might come across it. Also make sure you always wash your hands after handling these chemicals.
When you’re finished with the laundry, make sure you return all bottles and single-use packets to their cabinet or shelf and lock them up tight. Your safety measures in the laundry room are only useful if you and your other family members follow them.
What’s really important about laundry storage safety is how well you educate your household about the dangers of laundry detergents. Sit down with your family and talk about how to safely use and store all laundry and other cleaning products. Encourage everyone to do their part and keep the laundry room safe for everyone.
Featured photo by Bob Greenspan / Source: Houzz