Household Hazardous Wastes

Household hazardous wastes are materials in your home that are labeled flammable, corrosive, or toxic. Know which hazardous wastes are present in your household, and how to properly dispose of them to minimize their impact on the environment; or better yet, swap some of them out for eco-friendly alternatives!

Common Household Hazardous Wastes

Toxic/Poisonous – Capable of causing injury or death through swallowing, breathing, or skin absorption:

• Brake fluid

• Fertilizers

• Rat poison

• Brass polish

Reactive – Can react with air, water or other substances and result in fire, explosions or the generation of toxic gases:

• Bleach

• Dish washing detergent

• Toilet bowl cleaner

• Ammonia and chlorinated cleaners

Flammable/Combustible – Can catch fire at relatively low temperatures:

• Paint thinner

• Paint

• Rubber cement

• Hair spray

Corrosive – Can eat away materials and burn living tissue by chemical action:

• Drain clog remover

• Car batteries

• Pool and spa chemicals

• Oven cleaner

Tips for Disposal

• Do not pour hazardous materials down toilets or drains – this could lead to contamination of septic systems or water treatment plants

• Do not pour hazardous materials down storm drains

• Contact your solid waste coordinator to find out if/when there will be a collection event in your community

• Recycle CFL bulbs at Lowes or Home Depot

• Donate unused materials to Habitat for Humanity

• Check with local car part stores and mechanics to discard oil, antifreeze and other car fluids

• Harden paint with kitty litter or paint crystals, then discard into landfill bound waste


Alternatives to Household Hazardous Waste

All-Purpose Cleaner:

• One cup of baking soda in one gallon of hot water

• In one quart of hot water, mix 1 tsp liquid soap, boric acid (borax), lemon juice, and vinegar

Furniture Polish:

• 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice, apply and polish with a soft cloth

Metal Cleaner/Polish:

• To remove stains from aluminum cookware, fill cookware with hot water and add 2 tbsp crème of tartar to each quart of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for ten minutes

• Un-lacquered brass may be cleaned with a soft cloth dampened with Worcestershire sauce. Olive oil also retards tarnishing.

• Tarnish can be cleaned off gold and silver (not silver plate) with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush or cloth

• Polish chrome with baby oil


• Baking soda or cornstarch

Glass Cleaner:

• 1 part water, 1 part vinegar

Drain Cleaner:

• Prevention: Use strainer to trap food and hair, don’t pour grease down drain, and pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain weekly to melt built up fat in the drain.

• Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour ½ cup baking soda then ½ cup white vinegar down drain and cover. Set for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain.


Toilet Bowl Cleaners:

• Pumice stone to remove stains

• Borax and lemon juice paste will clean rings if you let them set for two hours


• Club soda can take out blood and chocolate stains

• Use borax instead of bleach

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