Disinfectants

Common hazardous ingredients:
Ammonia, aromatic hydrocarbons, cationic detergents, formaldehyde, hydrocarbon solvents, lye (sodium or potassium hydroxide), monoethanolamine, phenols, pine oil, quaternary ammonium chlorides, sodium borate (borax), sodium hypochlorite, triethanolamine

Potential hazards: Irritant, may be flammable or corrosive

Use and storage:

  • Use according to label instructions.
  • Avoid aerosol dispensers to reduce exposure to hazardous vapors.
  • Use chemical splash goggles and heavy rubber or nitrile gloves to protect from corrosive effects.
  • Use in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not use around food, pets or children.
  • Keep container lid tightly closed when not in use and store out of reach of children.

Disposal:

  • Best: Use up or give away. Dispose of empty, nonaerosol containers in the garbage.
  • Second Best: if connected to a city sewer system, flush small amounts of disinfectants down an inside drain (toilet is preferable) with plenty of water.
  • Third Best: If you are on a septic system or have aerosol containers, hold for a household hazardous waste collection. In Oregon, call 1-800-732-9253 to find out if there is a hazardous waste collection event scheduled in your community, or call your garbage hauler, local government solid waste department or the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at (503) 229-5913 or toll-free at 1-800-452-4011.

Alternatives:

  • Rubbing alcohol is a disinfectant, although it is extremely flammable. Use in a well-ventilated area far from possible sources of ignition. Wear nitrile gloves. Apply with a sponge and allow to dry.

For LOADS of green cleaning suggestions, we recommend:
The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning” by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Back to Green Home Cleaning Campaign home page

Check out our list of Toxic Beauty and Body Care Products