If you’ve got great furniture at home, you want it to last and keep looking as great as the day you bought it. Whether you’ve got handed-down heirloom furniture or like to make, restore, or finish your own, you can accumulate many furniture products that can contain hazardous chemicals that prohibit at-home disposal. Today we will go over hazardous furniture cleaner, polish, and related products and what should be done with them during use, storage, and disposal.
What Makes Furniture Products Hazardous?
Furniture products, especially cleaning products that contain solvents, can contain hazardous chemicals that require special care when using and storing them and may bar them from at-home disposal in the trash or down the drain. Before buying or using a product, make sure to read the label. This will contain information about what dangerous chemicals it might contain and the risks (inhalation, skin irritation, etc.) that it might pose. It also may contain instructions for disposal. Solvents like benzene or petroleum distillates are particularly dangerous to use, alongside volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Learn more about the hazards of cleaning products in our Why Certain Cleaning Products are Hazardous blog.
Handling and Storing Furniture Cleaner and Polish
Like with all potentially hazardous household products, you want to take care with any heavy-duty furniture cleaning, restoration, polish, or stain product. Here are the most common steps to take to keep you and your home safe.
- Read the Label: It’ll provide instructions on use, including whether protective gear is needed, ventilation is required, and any potential hazards.
- Cleaning Up: Make sure to tightly seal the containers after using them on the furniture. Cleaning rags should either be disposed of or placed in airtight containers to avoid toxic fumes. Make sure to wash exposed skin and launder your clothing.
- Storage: These products may produce flammable fumes, so take extra care to store them away from high temperatures and sources of sparks. Keep out of reach of pets and children.
Disposing of Cleaning and Polishing Agents
Of course, the best option is always to use up the product yourself or give it away to someone who can. However, if you’re concerned about the safety of the product, downsizing the furniture away, or need to deal with empty containers, it’s time to find a hazardous waste disposal event or facility. Your town or county might run such a program (check for them here), but if you’re in New England, you’ve got another option: our NEDT Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers!
We accept many kinds of household hazardous waste; see our full listing here. Make more of your trip by bringing in the other products you no longer use, old eWaste like CRT monitors, paints or stains, and other household hazardous waste, and bring it to one of our collection centers or contact us for pickup. Household hazardous waste shouldn’t be difficult!