6 Smarter (and Safer) Ways to Store Your Cleaning Supplies

Storage bucket of cleaning supplies
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Keeping a clean home takes time, energy, and the right cleaning supplies and tools. To maximize your efforts, your cleaning supplies should be organized and stored for easy access. You'll be more inclined to clean regularly if you don't have to dig through a jumble of products or you can find the broom in seconds.

Tips for Organizing Cleaning Supplies

Before you decide on the best method for storing cleaning supplies in your home, take a few minutes to evaluate how and when you clean each area of your home. What products and tools do you use every week? It's probably time to weed out seldom-used items.

Evaluate Cleaning Tools

Do you need every mop, broom, vacuum, and duster you have stashed away? Dispose of duplicates, worn-out, or hard-to-use tools. Take the time to thoroughly clean the ones you are keeping. The one exception for duplicates is if you have a multi-story home: It is easier to have a set of tools for each level of your home.

Evaluate Cleaning Products

How many open bottles of toilet cleaner or glass cleaner do you have under the sink? There should only be one of each. If you have two partially used bottles of the same brand, combine them and toss or recycle the empty container.

Warning

NEVER mix different cleaning brands or formulas because the ingredients can form a toxic reaction.

Look for multi-purpose cleaners that can be used on several surfaces. You don't need always need a separate cleaner. Or, go organic and make cleaning products using distilled vinegar, baking soda, and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. If you make a homemade cleaning solution, be sure to label it properly. As with cleaning tools, multiples of a product are a good idea so cleaning supplies are handy on every level of your home.

Evaluate Your Storage Space

Cleaning supplies don't always have to go under a sink. You may find that a garage, linen closet, behind a door, or a hallway closet works best for you. One rule you should always follow is that no cleaning products should be stored where young children, pets, or vulnerable adults can reach them. It's also always a good idea to get cleaning products off the floor.

Never store cleaning supplies near open flames or hot pipes. Cleaning supplies should always be stored in areas that are dry and temperature-controlled.

6 Cleaning Supply Storage Ideas

  1. Use the Vertical Space on Doors

    Mops and brooms can be hung on the inside of a door with hooks or spring-activated clamps. Add narrow wire or plastic baskets to hold containers and lower hooks for dustpans, dusters, and small scrub brushes. A towel bar can be used to hang spray bottles.

    For removable storage, choose a hanging shoe bag with clear pockets to hold bottles of cleaner, cloths, and brushes. There are also over-the-door storage racks with narrow shelves for supplies. If the bottles are too tall to stay in place, stretch a bungee cord from side to side on the rack.

  2. Double Your Cabinet Space

    Since many cleaning products come in a spray bottle, add a small diameter removable tension rod under bathroom or kitchen sinks. The spray handles will slip over the rod and free up valuable cabinet space for additional storage. This same idea works great in linen closets or laundry room cabinets.

    If you have wire shelving, many bottles will easily hang from the outer edge of the shelf.

  3. Go Vertical in a Closet

    Head to the closet organization department to look for hanging storage organizers. The ones designed for sweaters are perfect for holding small plastic bins of cleaning supplies. Label each one—glass cleaner, cloths, dusting, bathroom cleaner, etc. You can easily grab the one you need when it's time to clean.

    Use S-hooks over the closet rod to hang mops and brooms. Don't forget the closet's wall space. There might just be room to slip in some narrow hanging baskets, like those used for mail or magazines, between the closet rod and the doorframe.

  4. Create Easier Access

    Use a Lazy Susan turntable in cabinets for easier access to cleaning supplies. This will help you use every product and keep an eye on when it is time to replenish supplies.

  5. Put Supplies on Wheels With a Rolling Cart

    A small utility cart is a perfect storage spot for cleaning supplies. Search for one that fits in a closet, behind a door, or between appliances. Use clear acrylic trays or small bins to corral similar cleaning supplies together.

  6. Use Caddies and Bins on Shelves

    Cleaning caddies are perfect for shelf storage because you can easily grab one and go. Use separate caddies for bathroom, kitchen, and living areas with the right type of cleaners and supplies in each one.

    If you like to keep extra products on hand, use clear plastic labeled bins so you can quickly see what you have on hand.

Don't Forget That Cleaning Supplies Lose Their Effectiveness

While most cleaning products will last for many months, they do lose their effectiveness as they get older, especially after the seal is broken. Before you buy in bulk, consider your cleaning habits and these "best use by" rules:

  • Laundry detergent: Effective for 6 months to 1 year after opening 
  • Bleach: Loses effectiveness 6 months after opening 
  • Multi-purpose and disinfecting cleaners: Effective for up to 2 years
  • Dishwashing liquid: Effective for 12 to 18 months