HazmatFilter: Oven Cleaner Spill Edition
April 10, 2020 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I have what I think is a pretty minor chemical spill in my basement involving oven cleaner and latex paint, but I'd like to make sure that I take the right precautions when cleaning it up and disposing of the spilled materials. Details below.

Apparently, this oven cleaner bottle started leaking slowly at some point inside of a cabinet in my basement where I keep cleaning supplies, paint, and other potentially harmful chemicals locked up. Pics of the resulting spill here, here, and here, oven cleaner ingredients listed here.

I know I'll have to wear gloves, eye protection, have adequate ventilation, etc. when cleaning this up, but is there any danger beyond the usual here that I should keep in mind? I have no idea how I'll dispose of the damaged paint cans and the oven cleaner given that the world is shut down for COVID-19. Is it safe to leave these in a plastic bag in my garage in the mean time, or could this stuff break that down as well?
posted by tonycpsu to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Best answer: That's all innocuous at this point. I wouldn't lick it or rub it in my eyes. Throw the main bits out. Yes, wear some Playtex Living Gloves type gloves, and wipe what's left down liberally with water and a big sponge or scrub brush.

Any dump will want you to simply leave latex paint open to dry and the throw away with normal garbage. The alkali and salts from the cleaner are incidental amounts.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:56 PM on April 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The oven cleaner is mostly sodium hydroxide which is a nasty base chemical. I'd probably pour a little vinegar (acid) on it just to cover bases. Sodium Hydroxide (like lye) it pretty good at injuring your skin and such.

Clean it up with paper towels, put them in a shopping bag and put them in the bin outside.
posted by sanka at 6:13 PM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Dried out latex paint isn’t considered a hazardous, but oven cleaner is mostly sodium hydroxide, and that is no fun to get in your eyes, or under your finger nails.

Wear glasses and gloves, scrape up as much of the latex mess as you can, double bag and throw in the garbage, and then wash the area multiple times with vinegar and water. If you touch it and it feels soapy, that means you haven’t neutralized all of the hydroxide yet.
posted by kjs4 at 7:44 AM on April 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

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