Every year, thousands of Canadians trust their local moving companies for packing and carefully transporting their stuff. But there are some items movers can’t and won’t handle, and these include a wide range of chemicals.


Most hazardous materials can put your movers, drivers, and yourself at risk. Make sure to dispose of any chemicals before the arrival of the moving team. By disposing of them well ahead of time, you can avoid delays on moving day, and everyone will have a much safer experience!

Why Can’t Moving Companies Transport Chemicals?

Among the items prohibited by most moving companies, hazardous materials are at the top of the list. The task of moving from one home to another means taking household goods along bumpy roads for long hours in a truck that can get very hot or very cold. Chemicals and objects that include them are extremely volatile or fragile, and they create a dangerous situation in the back of the truck.


If chemicals do get in, they can put you and your moving team in danger while loading and unloading the truck. If they spill or combust, they can damage the rest of your property in the truck, as well as the moving equipment.


What Chemicals Are Not Allowed?

The list of chemicals and other hazardous materials not allowed is comprehensive:


  • Explosives and flammable materials
  • Compressed gases and pressurized containers
  • Oxidizers 
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Fertilizer, pesticides, and poisons
  • Corrosives 
  • Light bulbs
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Motor oil and grease
  • Kerosene, gasoline, and propane
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Charcoal and charcoal lighters
  • Fireworks
  • Darkroom chemicals
  • Pool chemicals
  • Ammunition
  • Household batteries and car batteries
  • Radioactive materials


As you can see, many household products are considered hazardous materials, too, and won’t be handled by your moving company. For these items, you must find an alternative arrangement before moving day!


What Should You Do With These Chemicals Instead?

Truenorthmovers-handingboxes-giveawayChemicals and hazardous materials can accumulate quite easily in a home, and moving is a great way to purge these items and start fresh. While you’re packing and cleaning your old residence, get rid of everything on the previous list in one of the following ways: 

  • If others can put the hazardous materials to use, consider giving them away to friends, family, and neighbours. For example, a can of motor oil should not go to waste!
  • You must dispose of items like old paint, used batteries, and dead fluorescent light bulbs according to the guidelines for your municipality. You can usually drop them off or have them picked up by your local waste disposal to limit the potential for pollution of groundwater, lakes, rivers and soil.
  • Some items must be safely packed and moved separately by you; these range from small things like nail polish to highly dangerous items like ammunition.

If you’re unsure about an item, use this standard: if an item has any warning labels on it, give it away, dispose of it safely, or arrange for alternate transportation!