The house is a place with many items, if not used correctly, may cause much damage. With young children and domestic helpers around, they may get hold of these items and destroy your stuff unintentionally or pose a hazard to you and others. It is commonly understood that you should keep washing detergent, sharp tools and the medicine cabinet out of reach of young children. So what are some common household items you should store away from domestic helpers – especially fresh ones with no working experience?
I have round up a few on my list which you may like to keep away from the prying hands of young children and domestic helpers.
1. Household bleach
This tops my list due to the amount of disaster it can do to any piece of coloured clothing.
Bleach is very effective to clean stains, remove mold and mildew and disinfect surfaces. But you should always use it in a diluted form and avoid contact with any coloured fabric. Even a single drop of concentrated bleach, if not washed off promptly, can cause permanent discolouration and ruin your clothing.
2. Paint thinner
I always keep a bottle in my cabinet because it is an effective solvent for a lot of things. You can use it on stains which cannot be removed by alcohol or acetone. It is most useful for tiles, glass or laminated cupboards. However, if used wrongly, it can strip away the paint on painted surfaces. Once, I caught my domestic helper using it as a cleaning liquid for my window sils. It shouldn’t be used indiscriminately as a stain cleaner for carbon coated surfaces such as window sils. She wanted to save time to remove the stain and I wanted to save my window sils.
Most of the synthetic insecticides contain toxic substances such as organophosphates or pyrethrins, which is definitely not safe to ingest. It is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly after use. To avoid accidents of roaming pets licking up surfaces after it has been sprayed, it is best to limit it’s use or apply biological insecticides, which may be less effective. I find it is best to make it inaccessible to young children or fresh helpers, unless you are confident they have a high level of safety awareness.
4. Steam iron
This is one of the electrical appliances which can cause the most damage. A chat with a few mummy friends has revealed that one of the most common complaints we have is burnt clothing from an overheated iron, wrong use of temperature or a lack of common sense on how to iron correctly. A steam iron is also a potential weapon for anyone who gets real mad and out of control. So keep away your steam iron, and get a standing garment steamer – less risk of burnt clothes – you can even steam your delicate chiffon with it.
Chinese loves our cleavers to chop bones for soups and dishes. Like all knives, it should be kept away from young children. But amongst all sharp tools, I find the cleaver the most dangerous. If you are not careful with its use, you can end up chopping your own fingers. It can also be used easily as a weapon and it can be quite intimidating if you see a person waving a cleaver (or any other knife) at you. For safety reasons, you may want to store it away until you are sure of the mental well being of your helper.
These are the top 5 items I would keep away. As each household is different, I am sure they may be others on your list. Some people are “very chill” and does not believe in storing away any item – it is entirely up to them. But do remember accidents do happen, it’s better to err on the side of caution.