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Solvent & Home Cleaning Product Disposal

Many household cleaners have corrosive chemical ingredients and may cause short-term and long-term health hazards if not used according to label directions.  Programs can range from mild skin irritations to respiratory failure.  These problems occur most often because chemicals are used improperly.  Read the label before using any home cleaning product and never mix products unless directed by the label.

Some cleaners include "organic solvents" such as petroleum distillates.  Organic solvents do not dissolve in water and are used to dissolve difficult stains or greases.  Although solvents are useful, they can cause health hazards if improperly used or thrown away.  Short-term poisoning symptoms include dizziness or nausea within a day after use.  Long-term exposure - occurring when solvents are used on a regular basis over a long time - can cause liver damage, cancer or birth defects. 

If you have a septic system for waste disposal, you need to take special precautions when disposing of cleaning products.  Septic systems can only partially treat chemical wastes.  Waste water from the septic system is discharged into the ground and can move back into the well water.  Septic system users should attempt to use up, share or evaporate unwanted products.

This page will help to identify cleaners containing solvents and how to dispose of solvents as well as abrasive cleaners, aerosols, bleach, detergents, drain openers, general home liquid cleaners, germicides/disinfectants, oven cleaners, rug and upholstery cleaners and bathroom cleaners.

If you have further questions about disposal of specific home cleaning products or other hazardous home products not listed here, please contact your local or county public health or solid waste department or your county extension agent. 

PLEASE NOTE:  

In view of rapidly changing information about the toxicity of hazardous substances, readers are cautioned to take personal responsibility for following these guidelines. 

If you need additional advice, contact your county extension office or your district DNR office or your district DNR office hazardous waste section.

 For general disposal of specific items, please visit:
Kewaunee Recycles
Information provided by University of Wisconsin - Extension

For more information, please contact:
Kewaunee County Emergency Management
625 Third St., Luxemburg, WI  54217
(920) 845-9700