A Guide to Household Solvents

Taking Care of Household Solvents

Someone applying varnish, one of many common household solvents

Summer is the perfect time to get all your home ‘DIY’ projects underway!  The great sunshine, warm weather, and long nights make it perfect for working on your deck, shed or whatever outdoor project you want to get completed. Keep in mind, however, that some products from the hardware store can pose a risk to your home. This is especially true when they’re stored too close to your heating!  One product you need to take extra care of when storing is solvents.  Being flammable and sometimes corrosive they pose the greatest risk and can potentially do a lot of damage.


What are Household Solvents?

Solvents are liquids or gasses that are used to dissolve or extract other substances.  For example, they can be used to dissolve grease, oil, and paint.  They can also be used to make other chemicals.

Products that contain solvents include paint, ink, coatings, household cleaners, spot removers, adhesives, nail polish remover, automotive products, metal and vapor degreasers, paint strippers and thinners, refrigerants, foam blowing agents, and coolants.


How to Store Them

Storing your solvents close to any gas operated appliance, such as your furnace or hot water heater, is not recommended.  This is due to the flammable components within your solvents posing a fire risk when being stored too close to gas.

The corrosive components of solvents can also bring on a gas leak.  Even when the container is properly sealed, fumes can still escape.

Therefore, it is best to store your solvents in cool, dry places, away from your main appliances.  Garage shelves are normally a good place, if your shelf is high up it also has the bonus of also being out of the reach of children.  Outdoor sheds or storage containers also make good options.

If you do not have a suitable place to store your solvents, contact your municipal government to see if they can safely dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions, contact Butler Plumbing today!