Reading a label is easy (and safe) when you know how! The most important piece of advice the detergent and maintenance product manufacturers can give you is also the simplest: please always read the label before using a product.

All the important information on how to safely use detergent and maintenance products and obtain the best results are on the label. By carefully reading and following the instructions provided, users can help protect themselves and the environment, while also getting optimal performance from the product.

Labels also carry information on what to do in the event of an accident.Lorem ipsum dolor sitamet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dlla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem.

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Understanding hazard pictograms

In Europe, the regulation on classification, labeling and packaging of chemicals (CLP) determines what hazard information must be displayed on the label of a chemical product (including household cleaning products) to help you handle and use it safely.

Below you can find the CLP hazard pictograms that commonly appear on the label of household detergents and cleaning products with a simplified explanation of what they mean and what precautions you should take when you see this pictogram on a product.

Of course, you should always read the whole label carefully.

The European Chemicals Agency website (ECHA) has more detailed information on the regulation for the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals and its requirements.

If you still have old products sitting on the shelf from before 2015, they may have different hazard pictograms. Find out how these have changed.

  • Hazardous to the environment

    Meaning: Toxic to the aquatic life

    Precaution:

    Avoid release to the environment

    Collect spillage

  • Corrosive to the eyes and skin

    Meaning: May cause severe skin burns and eye damage

    E.g. caustic drain cleaners, acid toilet cleaners, limescale remover, etc.

    Precaution:

    Keep out of reach of children

    Avoid contact with skin/eye

    Immediately rinse with water if spilled on skin

    or eyes

    Seek medical advice if spilled on skin or eyes

  • Eye damage

    Meaning: May cause severe eye damage

    E.g. on laundry detergents, automatic dish wash detergents, all-purpose cleaners. Possibly, some hand dish wash liquid detergents

    Precautions:

    Keep out of reach of children

    Keep in original container

    Avoid eye contact

    In case of accident, rinse with water

    If unwell, contact a poison centre

  • Irritant

    Meaning: May cause allergic skin reaction or serious eye irritation

    E.g. on laundry detergents, hand dish wash liquid detergents, all-purpose cleaners, automatic dish wash detergents

    Precautions:

    Keep out of reach of children

    Avoid skin and eye contact

    In case of accident, rinse with water

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About safe use icons

To help you use products safely and complement the important hazard information prescribed by EU regulations, you will also find safe use guidance on the label that has been developed by the industry.

These safe use icons and phrases help you use and store household cleaning and maintenance products safely.  They can be found on the label and provide safe use instructions in a simple, accessible and direct way. 

  • Do not change container to store contents.
  • People with sensitive or damaged skin should avoid prolonged contact with the product.
  • Do not pierce, break or cut.
  • Close the bag properly.
  • Use with dry hands.
  • Transfer refill content in the original container only.
  • Close the lid properly.
  • Do not mix with other products.
  • Do not ingest. If product is ingested then seek medical advice.
  • Rinse hands after use.
  • Ventilate the room after use.
  • Keep away from eyes. If product gets into eyes rinse thoroughly with water.
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Cleaning products are safe when used and stored as directed. That’s why you should always read the label before using a product. Here’s some good advice on how to prevent misuse and accidents and what to do in the event of an accident.

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