How to dispose of unwanted cleaning products

We have recently been given a bag of cleaning products by my mother-in-law. She has got a new, smaller kitchen and now has less space for her cleaning products collection. Whatever she could not fit in, she gave to us. The problem is our approach to cleaning is drastically different to hers. For her bleach is the first port of call, while I use eco-cleaning products and e-cloths, which clean wonderfully with just water. So the question is: how to dispose of unwanted cleaning products?


I wanted to give them away to friends or institutions, which may want to use them. The problem is they are mostly open and some, like dishwasher tables, are old. Not something I could gift.


I don’t want to just bin them, as this would be a waste and they would end up leaking into the ground waters if left on the landfill. I’ve tried to find out if local authorities have a special way of dealing with household chemicals, but they don’t.


All the advice I have been able to find is to use the products. Making and transporting them has already used up a lot of energy and resources. Not using them would be a big waste. If I bin them they will go to landfill and pollute anyway, so the most eco-concious approach is to use them.


I am not thrilled with this option, especially when it comes to something like dishwasher tables, as they leave residue on the dishes and I don’t like the lemony smell. I don’t want my family to be exposed to harsh chemicals. Using the cleaning products is the most eco-friendly option, but is it directly best for my family?


I think I will try to find a charity or a financially strapped institution and see if they will be happy to take some of the cleaning products of my hands.


What would you do? Would you use the products and expose your family? Bin them? Or does your local council have a programme for dealing with household chemicals? I’d love to hear from you, so do leave me a comment or get in touch on Twitter (@mumbalance).

Let's Talk Mommy