With colder temperatures settling in it is time to begin preparing for the winter season. This means storing all your pool chemicals and supplies to preserve them for next season. Not sure how to store your chemicals or dispose of ones you no longer need? Here are a few tips to prepare.

Store your chemicals and test kits for winter

Make sure to relocate all pool and spa chemicals for winter season to avoid freezing. This means your shed is not going to cut it. We recommend moving your chemicals out of exposure to the elements and into your garage. Store your chemicals in dry spaces with consistent temperatures between 40 and 85 degrees in sealed buckets with tight lids. We recommend bringing test kits into the house as the reagents are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Make sure test kits are out of reach of children and pets.

A few things to remember

  • Do not mix chemicals powder or liquid under any circumstances
  • Label all buckets and bottles in large visible writing in permanent marker if not already labeled 
  • Make sure to remove all tablets from skimmer baskets/ feeders/ and chlorinators for winter season chemical storage
  • Do not throw away or unused chemicals
  • Do not pour outside into nature
  • Do not pour unused chemicals down drains, into sewer, into any pond, lake, stream or body of water

Why labeling and proper storage is so important

Do you know the difference of your pool chemicals by looking at them? Most people do not. In this image one product will raise ph and the other will lower the ph, most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. If you are one of those people that can, good for you. If you don't when it comes to potentially hazardous chemicals taking risks and lack of knowledge can compromise the safety of you, your family, your home, your pets, etc. If your chemicals are not labeled you won't know in the spring time what you are adding and this can be unsafe and dangerous.

Pool chemical storage is safest when the chemicals are stored in the containers in which they were bought. In some cases, it can be dangerous to transfer pool chemicals into new storage containers and we highly advise against ever doing this. This is because some chemicals may react with certain kinds of plastics or metals to form gases or other compounds that can be dangerous, corrosive or flammable.

The safest option for storing pool chemicals is to put the sealed containers into hard plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. Ideally, use several bins so that you can separate liquids and solids, and so that reactants such as chlorine and muriatic acid can be stored separately. 

I have chemicals I do not need, what should I do with them?

For chemicals you no longer need or do not want anymore contact your local municipality for drop off days for safe disposal. 

Never place chemicals in dumpsters or recycling as they can cause dangerous reactions with other components that can cause danger.

HHW Collection

For household hazardous waste (HHW) collections in McHenry County check out the link below. Make sure to always call recycling and waste facilities to ensure they can properly and safely dispose of pool/ spa chemicals as not all facilities have the capability. Also always call to confirm hours and drop off dates as they may vary by location.