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How to detox your home this spring

Community Support
18 October 2023
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Dangerous and hazardous items and chemicals can often be overlooked when undertaking a yearly spring clean.

The temperature is getting a little warmer, the days are getting longer, and you can smell the fresh-cut grass in the air. Yes, that means that spring has finally arrived! And for many, the arrival of spring means one thing – time to clean.

While most of us undertake a spring clean focus on decluttering clothes, shoes, and anything else we’ve stuffed and hidden in the cupboards or garage throughout the year, we often forget about the hazardous chemicals we have lying around the house. These chemicals can not only pose a risk if left unattended but also be dangerous to the environment if not disposed of correctly.

Here are some helpful tips when it comes to detoxing your home from these hazardous materials.

What are some of the major items that should be on your detox list?

Cleaning products

Cleaning products are the most common hazardous chemical found in households, and range from dishwashing detergents to surface sprays, toilet cleaners, and disinfectants. According to researchers from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU) at the Monash University Accident Research Centre, cleaning products have accounted for over 850 emergency department visits over the last decade.

Hand Sanitiser

COVID-19 brought hand sanitisers into most households over the last few years. Sanitisers can be a hazard to both aquatic life and groundwater if it is disposed of incorrectly, as well as being a fire risk due to its flammable nature.

Beauty products

From hair sprays to nail polish removers, beauty products can be somewhat of a surprise to most when they find out just how hazardous some of these products can be. I mean, we put this stuff on our skin and hair!


227 people have been treated by the emergency department over the last 10 years for ingestion of insecticides, which include rat poisons and ant killers. The vast majority of these patients were children aged between 0-4 years.

Flammable chemicals

Turpentine, kerosene, mower fuel, and other cleaning and garden chemicals can pose a hazard for a variety of reasons and are most dangerous during fire season.

Why is it so important to dispose of hazardous chemicals correctly?

Correct disposal of hazardous materials reduces the risk that they can have on both the environment and humans. It will also help these chemicals from ending up in our waterways and landfills.

How do I dispose of these chemicals?

Because there are so many different types of hazardous chemicals littered throughout your home, there is no one single answer.

Your best and only option to detox your home efficiently is through Sustainability Victoria’s ‘Detox Your Home’ drop-off events. Each year, Sustainability Victoria team up with local councils to host approximately 40 of these detox events across Victoria.

How these events work is that toxic chemicals are dropped off at the events and immediately sorted by qualified chemists, and then transported to a specialist waste treatment facility where they are either repurposed, recycled, or even stored in secure landfills.

To find a Detox Your Home event near you, visit:

Are there items that ‘Detox Your Home’ events won’t accept?

Yes, there are specific items that won’t be accepted for disposal. These include:

  • Anything over 20 litres or 20 kilograms
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries and car batteries
  • Chemicals used by businesses for industrial purposes
  • Farm chemical
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Gas bottles
  • Medical waste
  • Motor Oil
  • Paint
  • Print cartridges
  • Pharmaceutical and medicines

Is there a Detox Your Home even happening anywhere soon near me?

You’re in luck! Both Ballarat and Bendigo have events coming up over the next few weeks.


Saturday 21 October 2023

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

City of Ballarat - Operations & Environment
2 Trewin Street, Wendouree, VIC 3355


Wednesday 1 November 2023

8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Bendigo Livestock Exchange (Saleyards)
Lot 2 Wallenjoe Road, Huntly, VIC 3551

Community Support
18 October 2023
Save Article

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