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Cleaning Agents

Many of the chemicals contained in cleaning agents are corrosive. Follow these guidelines when working with any cleaning agent:

  • Always read and understand the label instructions or the MSDS before using any cleaning agent.
  • Mix solutions to the recommended strength.
  • When diluting acid with water, always add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid. (Concentrated acids may splatter when mixed improperly.)
  • Wear appropriate eye protection and gloves for the job (e.g., neoprene, nitrile, or rubber).
  • Do not leave aerosol cans in direct sunlight or areas where the temperature may exceed 120° F. Heated aerosol cans may explode.

The following table outlines common cleaning agents, their hazards, and safety precautions:





- Can cause severe eye and lung irritation.

- If mixed with bleach, can form poisonous chlorine gas.

- Use in a well ventilated area.

- Do not mix with bleach.

- Wear eye protection.


- Can produce a poisonous gas if mixed with other cleaners.

- Never mix with toilet cleaners or ammonia.

- Wear gloves and eye protection.

Toilet/Drain Cleaners & Lye

- Can cause serious burns.

- Wear gloves and avoid skin contact.

- Never mix with bleach.

- Protect eyes from possible splashes.

Cleaning Fluids/Degreasers

- May cause skin and eye irritations.

- May contain solvents that can cause headaches, painful cough, dizziness, and liver or kidney damage.

- Avoid direct contact.

- Only use in well-ventilated areas.

- Follow label directions carefully.

Aerosol Sprays

- Can irritate nasal passages if inhaled.

- Can cause eye irritation.

- Follow label directions carefully.

- Use in well ventilated area.

Floor Waxes & Furniture Polish

- Can irritate skin and nasal passages.

- Use in well ventilated area.

- Avoid skin contact.


June 2011
Revised November 2014