Cleaning chemicals should be handled with care, and everyone should follow all instructions indicated on the packaging to ensure one’s safety when using them and to avoid damaging the surface they’re being used on. However, other things aren’t indicated on the cleaning chemical’s label and user manual (or are written down but are often glossed over) that you should be aware of.
So, here’s a list of things that you should keep in mind when handling commercial cleaning chemicals for your home or business establishment:
Read the Manual
One should take the time to thoroughly read the instructions of cleaning chemicals and take note of how to handle them, what equipment should be used, and in which surfaces they can be used on.
Have an Inventory of Cleaning Chemicals
Although this isn’t necessary when cleaning one’s home since you usually don’t need an extensive array of cleaning chemicals for your house, it’s essential for larger establishments such as a hospital, manufacturing firm, or even an office building. Make sure to have a complete list of all chemicals being used, the volume stored, and where they are stored, as well as important notes and potential hazards of each. Additionally, one should make sure that all chemicals are properly labelled, complete with instructions and cautions. For containers found having chemicals but have no labels, be extra careful and don’t sniff to check what’s inside; it’s best to not use any chemical containers or products with no or damaged labels.
Never Mix Chemicals
One should never mix any chemicals, even if they’re the same type (i.e. detergents, acids, abrasives). Not only can they create a chemical reaction that could be volatile and dangerous, mixing even weaker chemicals may end up nullifying their effects or possibly damaging the surface they clean.
Wear Gloves and Other Protective Gear
Always wear gloves and mask to protect your skin and lungs from chemicals. Other stronger cleaning chemicals may require you to wear goggles to protect your eyes and protective gear/clothing to minimise exposed skin. Additionally, one should thoroughly wash their hands before and after chemicals even after using gloves.
Keep Away From Fire, Smoke, and Food
When using chemicals, it’s vital that no one smokes nearby, and ensure that no open flame or heat source could trigger a chemical reaction or even ignite flammable chemicals. Additionally, one should not use cleaning chemicals near food unless the compound itself is safe for food (or part of the process) such as antimicrobial sanitizers for fruits and vegetables.
Your cleaning chemicals should be stored somewhere well ventilated, but also far from any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or HVAC) airways and units to avoid spreading the chemical fumes to other areas. They should be kept somewhere cool and away from heat which could damage the container or trigger a chemical reaction. Speaking of ventilation, one should also exercise extra caution when using cleaning chemicals in a confined or poorly-ventilated area. Also, make sure that all containers (drums and bottles) are properly sealed to avoid fumes as well as potential leaking.
Cleaning chemicals are essential to keeping a clean and spotless home or business establishment. But just as important as choosing the right cleaning chemical for the job is knowing how to handle them properly. So, the next time you clean your home or establishment, keep these pointers in mind to make sure that you clean safely and adequately.