Safely store and dispose of your household chemicals

Published on 08 February 2024

Person cleaning toxic waste out of garage

Our homes contain any number of chemicals for various uses. From the bathroom to the kitchen or the garden shed, there are many chemicals that need to be stored and - later - disposed of safely.

Some of the most common chemicals you will find around the home include:

  • aerosol cans, cleaners, and detergents
  • make-up and nail polish remover
  • fire extinguishers
  • herbicides, weed killers and pool chemicals
  • fuels and car care products
  • glues, paint strippers and wood finishers 
  • gas cannisters and cooking oils.

So, how do you store them without harming your loved ones? Firstly, check the label on each chemical container for instructions on how to store them safely and correctly. This will also guide you on what items cannot be stored together. For example, dry chemicals should not be stored near liquid chemicals so they do not mix and react.

Where possible, keep chemicals in their original packaging so you know what they are and the dangers they may pose. An added safety measure is to store chemicals in a separate, locked cupboard away from food. This will also ensure chemicals do not end up in the hands of children.

Before you put chemicals away, check if the lids are secure and tightened, and that containers are in good condition. If something is leaking or damaged, place it inside a larger container, seal it with a lid and label it with the contents. Avoid using food or drink containers.

When you need to dispose of your chemicals, never use your general waste bin or tip them down the drain. Chemicals have the potential to mix and explode in your bin, while chemicals tipped down the drain can pollute and damage our environment.

Instead, take your household chemicals in their original packaging to one of the free upcoming Detox Your Home events in and around Maroondah.

Upcoming Detox Your Home events


Saturday 23 March
8am to 3pm
Maroondah City Council Operations Centre

Find out more and register online


Saturday 6 April
9am to 2pm
Yarra Ranges Council Lilydale Operations Centre

Find out more and register online


Sunday 19 May
9am to 4pm
Knox Operations Centre

Find out more and register online

Registrations are essential. To register, visit the Sustainability Victoria website. You can attend more than one event, and an event does not have to be in your local area.

Before you go, check what you can and can’t take. All events are drive-through and contactless.

Stay up to date with the latest Detox Your Home news by subscribing to Council’s Waste and Sustainability newsletter