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Cleaning Product Storage and Use

801. Cleaning Product Storage and Use

Housekeeping staff use a wide variety of chemicals in their work, including products for floor care, restroom maintenance, and general cleaning. Suppliers furnish these items ready to use, in “trigger bottles” and aerosol cans, or as liquid or solid concentrates that are to be mixed at the site with water. The amount of each chemical product that a custodian uses each year varies with the specific types of buildings for which she/he is responsible.

  • Products with incompatible ingredients should be stored separately. Separate glass cleaner with ammonia from tile cleaner with bleach.
  • Cleaning products containing acid or other strong ingredients should be placed in plastic tubs or containers so that leaks will be contained.
  • MSDSs should be readily available and reviewed prior to using each product. This is in conjunction with a training program for individuals who use these products.
  • All cleaning products must be properly labeled. It is suggested they be kept in their original containers.
  • Follow all manufacturers’ recommendations for use, storage and disposal. Pay particular attention to appropriate concentrations.
  • Use appropriate PPE when handling these materials.
  • Do not store above eye level.
  • Standardize products throughout the campus to minimize training on specific materials and make following safety practices easier.
  • Refer to Hazardous Materials BMP for additional information.


  • All staff directly involved in the handling of cleaning products should be provided with training specific to these materials prior to use, and on a periodic basis thereafter.


  • Change from products with highly toxic ingredients to  those with less toxic ones.
  • Dispose of old and outdated products.
  • Begin tracking how much of each product is being used to reduce consumption.
  • Be sure vendors are readily available during trials of their products.
  • Change from aerosol bottles to “trigger bottles” for two reasons: One, propellant chemicals are not needed; and two, chemicals are no longer discarded when spray nozzles fail.
  • Procedures to respond to small spills should be readily available to janitorial staff.