In Your Home

Household Maintenance
  • Always read labels carefully before buying household cleaning and maintenance products. Know that ingredients range in classification of level of toxicity from CAUTION, which means least toxic, to warning and finally, to danger or poison. A symbol of a skull and cross-bones also refers to high toxicity. Avoid buying products displaying the labels representing extremely toxic ingredients.
  • Use safe, less toxic alternative cleaners such as baking soda, salt, borax, vinegar, water or elbow grease.
  • Choose water-based paints instead of oil-based paints. Don't use any paint over 15 years old since it may contain lead.
  • To minimize waste and spills, use products carefully and store them in heavy duty, air-tight containers.
  • Flush drains with boiling water instead of using potentially hazardous chemical drain cleaners.
  • Buy products made from renewable resources and recycle all substances that are non-biodegradable.
Disposal Practices
  • Never pour toxic paints, preservatives, brush cleaners, solvents or anything else into gutters or down the storm drains, sinks or toilets. Take them to hazardous waste disposal facilities or find out about local collection events by calling Polk County Solid Waste at 863-284-4319.
  • Only buy amount needed and use all of the product. Otherwise, give unused portions to a neighbor instead of throwing it away.
  • Let paint particles settle out of paint thinner in a closed jar. Pour out the clear liquid for future use and dispose of the waste by wrapping it in newspaper and throwing it away.