Detox your garage

You've probably been meaning to de-clutter your garage for months (years?) so why not give it a detox while you're about it.

The garage/toolshed probably wins when it comes to toxic substances in the home. Some of the worst offenders:

Carbon monoxide: poisonous gas that can be deadly in enclosed spaces, produced by incomplete burning of any fuel source e.g. motor engines, generators, charcoal burners.

Used motor oil: contains toxic compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, many of which are carcinogenic. Exposure to used motor oil may also contribute to heart problems.

Toluene: in some paints, thinners, lacquers, wood putty and petrol. Exposure increases risk for liver and kidney damage, and miscarriages.

Benzene: in some paints, paint thinners, petrol, motor oils and resins. It's carcinogenic, and toxic if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed by the skin.

Lead: in unleaded exhaust fumes and old paint. Ingested or inhaled, even at low doses, lead can affect almost every organ in the body and exposure is particularly dangerous for children.

Charcoal lighters and briquettes contain petroleum distillates, some of which contain benzene. Carcinogenic benzopyrene is released when they are burned.

Garage detox tips

*Never idle the car engine inside the garage.

*Carefully dispose of old chemicals. Don't pour antifreeze, oil or other chemicals on the ground, down the drain or into the stormwater system.

*Recycle used motor oil through the Rose Foundation. Read: Used motor oil is toxic glop.

*Call your local municipality to see if they have a disposal location for used car batteries and other household hazardous wastes.

*Keep products in original containers when possible. If a container is leaking, put it in a spill-proof secondary container.

*For a braai fire, substitute charcoal lighters and briquettes with kindling and paper.

Follow us as we detox the rest of the house. The idea for doing a "Toxic Tour" of the home comes from groundWork.

Read more:
Detox your livingroom
Detox your bathroom
Detox your kitchen

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2299 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9926 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7643 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 759 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.