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Homeowner Tips for Using Chemicals
- Wood could be better.
Try using cedar blocks instead of mothballs in your closet. You have to replace them more frequently, but won't have to worry about getting the chemical smell out.
- Properly store chemicals.
Keep all chemicals in their original containers. Check labels to determine if items can be stored next to each other. Make sure they are stored in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children and pets. Flammable materials should be stored in a fire-retardant cabinet.
- Use latex (water-based) paints.
Latex paints reduce your exposure to toxic solvent vapors and don't require solvents for clean up.
Note: If the paint can is more than half full, you might want to consider donating it to your local charity. If only a little paint is left, place plenty of newspaper in the can to soak up the paint. Then, dispose of the newspaper and once it's dry throw away the empty can in the garbage as well.
- Other tips for paints and chemicals.
You can also take leftover paint, cleaning solvents and other household chemicals to the Miami-Dade Department of Public Works and Waste Management Home Chemical Collection Centers. Don't toss these products in the garbage unless the cans are empty. Never pour them down the drain.
- Only buy what you need.
Many chemical products lose their efficiency if they are stored in the heat. The more products you have, the higher the chances of having a spill or accident.
- Forget the stripper.
Don't use solvents and other chemicals when you can sand off the paint. Another option is to take the item to a commercial furniture stripper that recycles their solvents!
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