Everything under the kitchen sink


As OHS professionals our number one focus is creating and maintaining a safe working environment for others. A colleague of mine once said “ You must live and breathe safety’ to be successful in this industry”.

Currently on hiatus from the profession, I got to thinking: Do we use learnt principles and practices to protect the ones we love most in our own homes? Chemical storage is a huge issue in the workplace and is highly regulated but at home I’m sure we all just throw it in a cupboard without even thinking.

Take a look under your kitchen sink, how many potential hazards can you identify? My cupboard alone holds 17 different domestic and commercial cleaning chemicals none of which I have ever checked their storage requirements.

To check how non compliant I was, I searched the web for MSDS’s for all of the products I have and was in for a bit of a shock.

Did you know that a particular brand of dishwasher tablets should not be stored with some other brands of dishwasher tablets or bleach products? And Fly spray should not be stored anywhere near any heat or ignition sources? One MSDS stated ‘Do not mix with household chemicals’.

The main issues I discovered was the actual kitchen sink– storage of most chemicals is not recommended in an unventilated cupboard, under a sink (near water) or next to a dishwasher (both a heat and ignition source also).

Did you know Dish Washing liquid should be stored in a cool, dry well ventilated space and Spray N Wipe, bleach and fly spray should not be stored near any ignition source?

The other issue was finding MSDS’s without my usual resources and as a domestic user of these products would seem a near impossible task.

The information found was not consistent and at time difficult to navigate. Storage requirements range from the basic ‘Store in original container’ to a paragraph about different potential storage conditions.

If I was to comply with all of the 17 different storage requirements, I would need to re build.

I opt for the highest level of control– I’m eliminating the risk and hiring a cleaner!


Chemwatch. (2008). Kiwi Marveer Aerosol Furniture Polish.   Retrieved from http://huntind.com.au/pdf/msds/marveer_furniture_polish.pdf

Clorox Australia. (2004). Gumption Multi Purpose Cleanser.   Retrieved from http://thegoods.com.au/sites/default/files/Kimberley Clark – Gumption – msds – Exp Apr 2016.pdf

Colgate-Palmolive. (2014). Material Safety Data Sheet Ajax Professional Mould Remover.   Retrieved from http://www.colgate.com.au/Colgate/AU/Corp_v2/ContactUs/MSDS/pdf/Ajax_Professional_Mould_Remover_2014.pdf

Colgate-Palmolive. (2012). Material Safety Data Sheet Ajax Spray N Wipe Antibacterial.   Retrieved from http://statewideclean.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ajax-Spray-n-Wipe-Antibacterial.pdf

Colgate-Palmolive. (2010). Safety Data Sheet Morning Fresh Washing Up Liquid   Retrieved from http://www.sevron.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2015 http://www.sevron.co.uk

Colgate-Palmolive (2011). Material Safety Data Sheet Palmolive Regular Dishwashing Liquid.   Retrieved from http://www.colgate.com.au/Colgate/AU/Corp_v2/ContactUs/MSDS/pdf/PO_DrySkin_Dish.pdf

DuPont. (2013). Material Safety Data Sheet DuPont Heavy Duty Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner   Retrieved from https://www.3eonline.com/ImageServer/NewPdf/650ad986-a4ba-4cf6-8d32-38ac21281f37/650ad986-a4ba-4cf6-8d32-38ac21281f37.pdf. 3eonline Retrieved 23 August 2105, from 3eonline https://www.3eonline.com/ImageServer/NewPdf/650ad986-a4ba-4cf6-8d32-38ac21281f37/650ad986-a4ba-4cf6-8d32-38ac21281f37.pdf

Milestone Chemicals. (2012). Material Safety Data Sheet Lemon Bleach.   Retrieved from http://www.milestonechemicals.com.au/pages/msds/

Pental. (2011). Material Safety Data Sheet White King Power Clean Bathroom Gel.   Retrieved from http://www.whiteking.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/White-King-Power-Clean-Bathroom-Gel.pdf

Proctor & Gamble. (2014). Safety Data Sheet P & G Professional 2 Fairy Professional Original.   Retrieved from http://www.pgpro.co.uk/_assets/media/msds/sds_pg_pa00185068_adw_pgp_h318_clp_gb-ir_en_pg professional 2 fairy professional original-1.pdf


  1. Great! Cleaning up is a dirty business.

    Even the ‘environmentally friendly’ dishwashing powder is hazardous under my sink. Dangerous Goods class diamonds are on half of the cleaning products in my cupboards.

    Kylie is right – The cleaner option is a winner with me too. Just better check the cleaner MSDS folder and complete the contractor site induction.

  2. Great post! We often think about convenience rather than safety – storing cleaning products under the sink and grouping similar products together so they’re easier to find. It’s interesting to learn these common storage methods are actually not the safest. It makes me realise how little attention the general public can pay to safety and storage instructions for readily accessible household chemicals which can affect us/our families and our homes.

  3. It is amazing what we all have under our sinks at home, considering that these are the completely wrong storage conditions for most household chemicals! I have never really liked the strong fumes from a lot of household cleaners and try to use as few of them as possible. Baking soda and white vinegar work for most things.

  4. Under the Kitchen Sink, next to our dishwasher is my ‘go to’ storage location too! Some alarming findings in this blog. Thanks for sharing. If only domestic cleaning products such as ‘all window cleaners’ or ‘all dishwashing detergents’ had the same ingredients, this way storage could become black and white and the general public could easily comply.

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