The Best Place to Store Cleaning Supplies in Your Home
Whatever the spill or stain, you can handle it—these days, your cleaning and sanitizing kit is always stocked and ready to go. But where should you keep your product arsenal? According to Malaika Lubega, a professional organizer, interior decorator, and the owner of Huza Home Concepts, there are a few things to consider when storing chemical cleaners—including frequency of use and whether or not you have little ones in the house. From there, think about your home's storage capabilities. "For instance, does the house have a utility room, or is it a smaller apartment with just some space under the sink?" she notes. Your answers to these questions will lead you to the optimal place to store any cleaning products, which might be in the garage, in a storage closet, or, yes, beneath the kitchen sink. It's also important to think about how you store them, Lubega notes.
Ahead, our experts explain everything you need to know about organizing and stashing each and every formula with ease.
Keep your products off the floor.
"As a mother and professional organizer, I advise my clients with curious little ones in the house to store cleaning supplies (like liquid cleaning products or detergent pods) in a cool, dry place—and out of the reach of children," Lubega shares. "All cleaning supplies should be kept off the floor. Storing items on wall-mounted shelves or utilizing useful vertical space—with something like the ClosetMaid Adjustable Wall and Door Rack ($34, amazon.com)—in a utility room, laundry room, or even in the garage is a great place to start." If you don't have the space for any over-the-door storage, Lubega says that you can put your products in leak-proof, labeled containers in a secure cabinet; secure it with The Good Stuff's Child Safety Latches ($14, amazon.com).
Cleaning tools—think vacuums, brooms, or mops—should all be kept in the same area for easy use, she adds. To get these items off your floors, the organizing expert recommends the OXO Good Grips Expandable Wall Mount Organizer ($26, bedbathbeyond.com), which you can hang in a utility room.
There's a strong case for keeping everything in your garage.
Marilee Nelson—a certified building biologist, environmental consultant, and the cofounder of Branch Basics—explains that outside storage spaces, like the garage, are arguably the safest places for your cleaning supplies. "People don't realize that having toxic cleaners scattered throughout their home creates a low-level chemical soup that everyone in the family breathes and absorbs through the skin 24/7," she says. "Products leach their ingredients into the air, many of which are harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs)." She adds that removing these products from any of your dwelling areas will improve the air quality in your home, and in turn, your health.
A dry, safe environment is key.
As Lubega mentioned above, keeping your cleaning supplies in a cool, dry environment is key. Nelson agrees, adding that you should steer clear of spaces with high humidity; if you don't, a hazardous reaction could take place. In that vein, keep products away from ignition sources and hot pipes—and leave them in their original packaging, Nelson continues. "When you are cleaning, only bring what you need to use into the home," she adds. "While using these products, ensure the area is well ventilated by opening windows or using fans. Then, return the cleaner to storage in an air-tight container so it doesn't continue polluting the air your family breathes."
Group everyday products for easy access.
Store the products you use daily, says Lubega, under your sink or in another easy-access spot. Her main tip? They should stay together. "The best way to store your daily cleaning supplies—like all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents, sponges, stainless steel cleaners, and dish soap—is to corral these items together for easy access," she explains. Lubega suggests using simple, mobile vessels, like the The Home Edit Lazy Susan ($40, containerstore.com), to further streamline your collection.
Create your own cleaning product storage space.
If you are tight on space in general, place products in air-tight containers and store them wherever possible; simply separating these chemical-ladden products from other high-touch items will help you avoid any cross contamination. "Store like-items together in clear bins, so you can see clearly what you have. Separate and label floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and kitchen cleaners; get these containers off the floor, onto shelves or in a cabinet," Lubega advises. If you're going the cabinet route, designate your own storage area for cleaning items with the SystemBuild Callahan Utility Storage ($363, amazon.com).