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Laundry Safety

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Holidays are approaching and families will be busy entertaining, having house guests and with that comes extra laundry. When storing laundry products and doing laundry safety is important The American Cleaning Institute® suggests a healthy and safe laundry routine, and encourages everyone to follow these guidelines each and every day.

Store laundry products safely.

  • Keep laundry products out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Remember to keep products in their original container with the original label intact and immediately put them away in a secure location after use.
  • Children are usually curious and explore all the new things they find around a household. Take care to keep laundry products out of reach of young children.

Pay attention during use.

  • Read and follow all recommended instructions on the laundry product label prior to use. Be sure to pay particularly close attention to "Caution", "Danger" or similar statements.
  • Never combine laundry detergents with ammonia or other household cleaning agents because some chemical mixtures may release irritating gases.
  • Remember to clean up any spills, and immediately wash your hands and any items used to dispense or measure products.
  • Choose to do laundry in the absence of young children so you can give it your full attention without distractions.
  • Always close the laundry detergent container, box, bottle or pouch immediately after each use. Make it a habit to put laundry products away when you have finished using them.

Dispose of products properly.

  • To protect children, pets and garbage handlers, remember to rinse and re-cap the bottle before throwing away or recycling.
  • Never use empty detergent containers for storage of any other materials, especially for anything intended for human consumption.
  • Teach young children laundry products and their containers are not toys.

Know what to do.

  • Laundry product labels contain first aid information and are a valuable resource for consumers.
  • Familiarize yourself with product labels and know where the safety information is located on the label. Know what to do before unintended exposure happens.
  • Keep the Poison Control Center phone number (1-800-222-1222) available at all times.
  • To ensure the safety of you and your family, cleaning product manufacturers work in close partnership with the Poison Control Centers to share information about products on a routine basis.

By following these guidelines everyone can be safe while doing laundry and not worry about children getting into laundry supplies when they explore areas that are off limits.


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(This resource was added December 2012 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180