We all need chemicals to keep surfaces bug-free, but they can be hazardous to children if they get their hands on them. Similarly, brooms and mops can be dangerous in the wrong hands. So how can you keep cleaning products and equipment out of reach and safely tucked away?
Weíve built up a reserve of handy tips for storing cleaning products that can help parents child-proof the home. Here are some of the ways you can ensure you have all the necessary equipment for a clean home without compromising on safety.
Keep mops and brooms handy for cleaning but out of reach of young children by using wall-space in your kitchen or utility room to store them. Using easily installed wall mountings or hooks, you can place your broom at a level that makes it accessible for adults, but well away from the reach of kids. Place mops and brooms close to a window or doorway that can be opened, allowing fresh air to pass through. That way, any excess moisture can dry off. In general, it is also better to store brushes, dustpans and brooms in the open air, away from moist cupboards and dusty corners, where bacteria can accumulate.
Keep Cleaning Cupboards Tidy and Organised
Organising your bathroom cabinet is vital. Try using a cross-beam made from a broomstick handle or something similar and hang bathroom cleaners, towels or toilet cleaners from it. Beneath that, you will have more space for shower gels, toothpaste, rubber gloves and other products. Donít store anything loose on shelves. Keep them safely in a single cabinet, and make sure you know what it contains.
Ordinary kitchen cabinets tend to consist of fixed shelves. This means that when storing cleaning products, they can get pushed to the back and forgotten about. A better solution is to install a detachable basket on a sliding rail underneath your kitchen sink. The basket should be big enough to contain your kitchen cleaning chemicals, and should be easy to remove to that you can rearrange them. That way, nothing should get lost and forgotten about.
Improvise in the Utility Room with a Shoe Holder
Shelves can get cluttered pretty quickly, and as they get more and more full with clutter, they can start to lean or eventually even collapse. A better solution for cleaning products is to use a shoe container Ė the kind that hangs in cupboards or the back of doors. These containers have individual compartments for shoes, which happen to fit cleaning bottles very well. The compartments can be tightly secured, and parents can see at a glance if anything has been moved.
Keep Sensitive Spaces Safely Locked Up
You can make certain areas of the house off limits to children, for example the laundry room or the bathroom cabinet. While it probably isnít practical to place padlocks on every cupboard, you can lock the laundry room so that children can only access it when you are using it. If locking the laundry room isnít possible, keep one cupboard locked or out of reach and use this to store the most hazardous products and chemicals.
Always Iron Safely and Sensibly
Itís worth investing in a high quality ironing board for safety reasons alone. Cheaper models can be easier to topple, leading to the risk of harming children as they fall. They may also have less secure storage points for the iron, allowing children to pull them off the board using the electric cord. A cordless iron is a good idea too. That way, you can remove the risk of babies or toddlers yanking on the cord. When you store your iron and board, do so with a secure rack, not just leaning up against a wall or inside a cupboard. It is easy for children to knock over even bulky items, so secure them well.
Dispose of Used Containers Safely
Itís easy to forget that used cleaning chemicals still pose a threat to child safety. Kids can route through bins and pick out colourful containers, which could contain dangerous substances. When you throw away your chemicals, make sure that they are rinsed out. Preferably, bag them up to create an extra layer of protection. You could also tuck away any bins in cupboards with child-protection catches.
Child safety is the number one priority of any parent, and keeping the home clean and tidy is an essential part of minimising the risk of infection or accidents. We hope you find our tips useful for keeping a clean home while ensuring the equipment for doing so is stored safely!
This advice was provided by Helpling, a platform that connects Melbourne households with vetted and insured cleaners from just $29/hr.