Green cleaning

Learn about natural and healthy alternatives for your household chemicals.

What’s in your house?

Do you use chemicals in your home? Most people use hazardous chemicals every day without thinking about it.

Common chemicals include:

  • Paint, solvents and paint strippers
  • Wood preservatives
  • Glues
  • Garden chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilisers
  • Petrol, oil and other vehicle products
  • Toilet and drain cleaners
  • Kitchen and oven cleaners
  • Pool chemicals
  • Bleach and disinfectants
  • Batteries
  • Furniture and shoe polish
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover

Why are these products hazardous?

They can harm people and the environment because they are:

  • Toxic (poisonous)
  • Flammable
  • Corrosive or caustic (cause burns)
  • Chemically reactive

If you have these chemicals in your home, they must be:

  • Stored properly
  • Labelled accurately
  • Disposed of safely

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Do your bit for our environment

  • Buy environmentally friendly products - look out for the New Zealand Environmental Choice logo.
  • Only buy what you need and read the label first to avoid highly toxic products.
  • Share left-overs with neighbours, friends or community groups to ensure products are being used efficiently.
  • Find safe substitutes - this booklet will help you to do this and gives helpful hints on easy alternatives to using chemicals!

Safe storage

  • Store in a dry place, away from heat or flames.
  • Keep product in original container.
  • Re-label if necessary.
  • Keep tightly closed.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

Safe use

  • Always follow directions on the package.
  • Use all the product if possible but do not use more than recommended by the manufacturer.
    Do not mix products.

Safe disposal

  • Never pour chemicals down the sink, stormwater drain or onto the ground.
  • Do not put hazardous materials out with your household rubbish.
  • Reuse or recycle where possible.
  • Take unwanted hazardous chemicals to a household hazardous waste drop-off facility.

Safe alternatives for the home

We have produced a publication to help you assemble a natural cleaning kit.  Most of the ingredients we recommend can be found in your local supermarket.  We also provide recipes to help create natural cleaning products at home.

Find out more:
Download or view online our Green Cleaning guide