How To Safely Dispose of Harmful Products

When you are changing over to healthier products for your home, you can find yourself with many chemicals that you are not sure how to dispose of. In fact, removing old cleaners and products can be a stressful part of the switch. Don’t let it make you anxious though. There are some simple ways to make this work. Check out these tips on how to safely dispose of harmful products.

How To Safely Dispose of Harmful Products

Index
Kitchen
Bathroom
Laundry Room
Garage
Outdoor Products

Disposing of harmful kitchen products

The kitchen is one of the main areas where harmful products can be used and kept. Many kitchens will have cleaners, soaps, and sprays that are not safe for the home. With most of these items, it is not wise to simply throw them in the trash if you switch to non-toxic cleaners. Instead, many of these cleaning supplies have a protocol connected to them. Here are some tips for disposing of harmful kitchen products.

How to dispose of 5 common harmful kitchen products

  1. Nonstick cookware - While nonstick cookware can be helpful when it comes time to clean up, it can also release chemicals into your food that are less than savory. However, these aren’t items you can simply throw away. Instead, you can send them to a safe recycling center, take them to a scrap yard, or seek out programs that dispose of these types of pans.
  2. Plastic food storage containers - Many people will use plastic food storage containers as a way to keep things organized. However, these plastics can put chemicals into your food that are less than desirable. Don’t throw these items away. Instead, recycle these items through your local recycling program. If you are willing to donate items to a local charity, many charities will take these items for people who can’t afford to purchase more eco-friendly options.
  3. Plastic cutting boards - Plastic cutting boards can seem like a great option. However, these can release chemicals into food and are very porous so they can trap germs. Opt for glass or wood depending on what you are cutting on it. Plastic cutting boards can often be recycled and repurposed into something else. These items can also be donated to a local charity or thrift store.
  4. Plastic bags and zipper bags - Another area many people overlook is all of the plastic bags in a home. These can be plastic grocery bags or zipper bags for food storage. As you move to reusable bag options, you can end up left with a bag of bags. For the grocery store bags, many stores now have a bag recycling container you can return them to. Bring a bag of bags with you each time you head to the grocery store to safely recycle and remove them from the home. For zipper bags, placing these with your recycling is probably your best bet.
  5. Kitchen cleaners, soaps, and sprays - When you move to safer cleaning products it can be a breath of fresh air. However, removing all of the old cleaners can be very stressful. Some of these items can’t be dumped down the sink or drain as they can then contaminate waterways. Items that can go down the drain are water-soluble items. Items like powders, sponges, and aerosol sprays should be sent to a waste recycling center. 


Removing harmful items doesn’t have to be a difficult process. If you have doubts about disposing of certain kitchen items, reach out to your local recycling or garbage center to find out the best practices for that item. With a little preparation, you can remove harmful items from your kitchen and dispose of them in a safe way.

Disposing of harmful bathroom products

One area you will see a lot of stronger cleaners in your home is in the bathroom. With stubborn stains, hard to clean areas, and difficult drains, it can be easy to opt for strong chemicals. There are safe bathroom alternatives that will get the job done though. Making the switch doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some tips for disposing of harmful bathroom products.

How to dispose of 5 common harmful bathroom products

  1. Moisturizers, sunscreens, and shampoos - Many of your personal care items can actually be quite unhealthy for you. These will need to be switched out for healthier alternatives that will cause no harm. However, you will still be left with all of the old products. When disposing of shampoos, moisturizers, and sunscreens you will want to dump the majority of what is inside of the container into the garbage. After you have emptied the container, the container can be moved to your recycle bin to be disposed of.
  2. Makeup - Cosmetics can be one area where many chemicals hide that are harmful to your health and your home. While the temptation can be to simply throw them in the trash, this may not be the best option for the environment. Instead, you will want to dump all of the actual makeup out of the container into a garbage bag. Sadly these items can not be recycled. Once all product is out of the container you can then recycle plastic or glass makeup containers with your local recycling collection.
  3. Hand soaps - Many bathrooms offer guests hand soaps to be used. Whether these are bar soaps or a liquid dispenser, these soaps can be filled with harmful chemicals. When you switch to safe natural hand soap for the bathroom, you may find yourself stuck with the old cleaners. For these, you will want to dump the contents of the container down the drain. You can then rinse out and recycle the containers that these items come in. If you don’t want to see these items go to waste, donate them to a local charity or shelter where these items can be reused by people who have less.
  4. Drain cleaners - Drains can easily get stopped up in the bathroom. Many will opt for strong chemical cleaners that are not healthy to have in the home. You will want to switch to a natural drain cleaner. After making the switch, you will need to safely dispose of drain cleaners. Many of these drain cleaners can be dumped directly down the drain. After completely emptying the container, you can send the containers away for recycling.
  5. Cleaners, sprays, and soaps - There are some difficult to clean areas in the bathroom that can prompt you to use chemical cleaning products. There are natural alternatives that are safer that you can switch to. Many cleaners and soaps can be dumped down the drain. The containers can then be recycled. For aerosol cans, you will want to ask your local recycling agency if they accept aerosol. If they do not, these items will find their way into the trash. 

The bathroom can be an area with many strong cleaners. However, many of these are water-soluble and safe to dump down the drain before recycling the container. If you are concerned about specific cleaning products, reach out to your local recycling center. They can advise you on proper protocols for specific items.

Disposing of harmful laundry room products

The laundry room is another area in the home where harmful products can often be used. Items like laundry soap, stain fighters, and even dryer sheets can be harmful. Once you make the switch to natural laundry products you will want to safely dispose of these items. Many of these items are easier than you might believe to dispose of. Here are a few tips for disposing of harmful laundry room products.

How to dispose of 5 common harmful laundry room products

  1. Laundry Soaps - Many laundry soaps contain chemicals that are not safe for your skin or your health as a whole. Moving to a natural laundry soap can be a smart move. What do you do with old harmful laundry soaps? You have two options here. You can either dump out the laundry soap in a drain with plenty of water to wash it down or you can wait for a hazardous waste pickup. If you dump it down the drain, make sure to recycle the container.
  2. Liquid bleach - Many laundry rooms have bleach as a laundry room staple. However, bleach can be very harmful to your health. Once you have moved to a chlorine-free bleach you will want to dispose of the leftover bleach you used to use. Bleach is safe to dump down the drain with water. Make sure to dilute it water though. You will not want to pour straight bleach without adding water when disposing of it. Once you have dumped the bleach, recycle the container.
  3. Stain treatments - In the laundry room of most homes you will find different stain treatment options. However, many of these are filled with toxic chemicals. Once you replace your stain treatments with a natural alternative you will want to safely dispose of stain treatment products. Many of these items can be watered down and dumped down the sink. Once you have poured this item out, you can recycle the container.
  4. Dry cleaning chemicals - There is a lot to be said about the convenience of home dry cleaning products. However, many of these have harsh chemicals that were never intended for the home. The general rule is that if it can be mixed with water, it can be safely poured down the drain. If you have questions about these products, call your local recycling center to confirm.
  5. Fabric softener sheets - Fabric softener sheets are used in most homes to give laundry a boost. However, many fabric softener sheets are filled with chemicals and can often be replaced by adding vinegar to the wash. You might be leary of throwing away these fabric softener sheets. Throwing them away is probably your best bet though. These sheets cannot be recycled and so they must be thrown away with the trash. If you are uncomfortable with throwing these in the trash, many homeless shelters will use them for taking care of the laundry for the people who use the facility. 

Cleaning out the laundry room doesn’t have to be a stressful job. In fact, most items are water-soluble and easy to dispose of. The containers can often be added to your weekly recycling. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Items like dryer sheets and aerosol cans have a different disposal process. If you have questions about any specific product reach out to your local recycling facility and ask them about safe disposal.

 

Disposing of harmful garage products

The garage is one area where many harmful chemicals are often stored. Cleaning products, paint, and many other harmful chemicals are often moved to the garage. If you are working to replace harmful products in the garage, it is important to safely dispose of the old items. Many of these items are easy to dispose of but there are some that require some special attention. Here are some tips for disposing of harmful garage products.

How to dispose of 5 common harmful garage products

  1. Car care products - Items like oil, antifreeze, and fuel additives can be incredibly harmful. If you have decided to stop keeping these in your garage, you will want the proper disposal process. While many cleaning products can be poured down the drain, these don’t offer the same option. Instead, you will want to reach out to your local recycling center to inquire about hazardous waste pickup or dropoff options. These are items that are best disposed of by someone trained to handle them in the right way.
  2. Paint - Old paint can be kept on hand for touch-ups of certain areas in the home. This paint goes bad over time and becomes a toxic product sitting in your garage. Paint cannot be thrown out with the trash though. Instead, you will want to try a few of the options here. You can donate paint that is still usable to your local habitat for humanity for use. You can also donate paint to your local recycling center as there are many centers that will repurpose this paint. If the paint is not usable, you will want to find out when your hazardous waste pickup so that you can dispose of it in this way.
  3. Cleaners - Many of the cleaners people don’t want in their homes will be moved to the garage for safekeeping. As you replace these items in the home, there is no need to store them in the garage. The good news with most cleaning products is that they are water-soluble and can be safely poured down a drain with water. You can then recycle the container. Cleaning products can also be donated to local charities. By doing this you will help them to save on their budget for cleaning expenses and move those funds to help further their cause.
  4. Aerosol cans - Many products such as spray paint and cleaners come in aerosol cans and bring with them a variety of harmful chemicals. When you replace these products with a natural alternative you will want to safely dispose of them. For most aerosol cans, you will want to call your local recycling center to ask about safe disposal. Each county will have its own rules and requirements for proper disposal.
  5. Batteries - Car batteries can be safely stored as long as they are safely stored. However, batteries can have toxic gases that can be a problem if they are not safely stored and cared for. If you are wanting to remove old batteries from the garage, you should not throw these out with the trash. The best way to dispose of old batteries is to take them to a mechanics shop or disposal location. Call your local auto shop to find out if they will require a fee for disposal. 

The garage is one area where many people overlook chemicals. However, there are quite a few there that can pose a problem if you are looking for a more natural home. Many of the items in a garage cannot be disposed of in the trash or through recycling. You will need to contact different places depending on the item. It will be worth it to properly dispose of these items and transition to a more natural home.

Disposing of harmful outdoor products

Many lawn care and gardening products are filled with chemicals that are unsafe. When you make a move to more natural options you can be left with a shed full of products that are harder to dispose of. Many of these items cannot simply be thrown away. So how do you get rid of them? Here are some tips for disposing of harmful outdoor products in the safest way.

How to dispose of 5 common harmful outdoor products

  1. Weed killers - Many weed killers are made of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to people and to the ground. Most of these products cannot be safely discarded down a drain. In fact, pouring these down the drain can be harmful to waterways. Look at the label on each container. Some items can be disposed of in the trash while others will need to go to a toxic waste center. It may also help to call your local toxic waste control department and ask how to best dispose of the product you have.
  2. Fertilizers - There are many fertilizers on the market that promise to help your yard and garden grow more effectively. This can seem great but many of these hold chemicals that can be harmful to your family and to the environment. Some fertilizers can be safely disposed of by mixing with water and pouring down a drain. Read the label on each product to find out whether you can dump this item or whether it needs to go to a toxic waste pickup.
  3. Paint - Old paint can be kept on hand for touch-ups of certain areas in the home. This paint goes bad over time and becomes a toxic product sitting in your garage. Paint cannot be thrown out with the trash though. Instead, you will want to try a few of the options here. You can donate paint that is still usable to your local habitat for humanity for use. You can also donate paint to your local recycling center as there are many centers that will repurpose this paint. If the paint is not usable, you will want to find out when your hazardous waste pickup so that you can dispose of it in this way.
  4. Lawnmower oil and maintenance products - Maintaining your lawnmower can be so important to keep it working. However, some of the chemicals you might store in your shed can go bad over time. How do you safely dispose of these items? Items like oil should be disposed of by either taking it to a car care facility that accepts oil or to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.
  5. Charcoal and lighter fluid - Items like charcoal and lighter fluid for grilling can be filled with chemicals that aren’t good to cook with or expose your family to. When you switch out for natural charcoal and lighting options you will want to dispose of old products. Charcoal can be disposed of with your weekly trash pickup. Lighter fluid would need to go to a hazardous waste pickup as it should not go into the trash. If you do not feel comfortable throwing these items away, reach out to a local charity and find out if there is a need. Some places will use these items for fundraiser events or for cooking for attendees of a program they run. 

When you are cleaning out the shed and yard to dispose of harmful items it can feel like a big job. With a little bit of prep and research, you can easily get rid of items that are harmful to your family so that you can replace them with natural alternatives. Some items will need to go in the trash while others will need to be taken to a toxic waste location. Make sure to check all labels before disposing of items from the shed or yard.