Paint thinner is a common household item used in construction or renovation projects. If you don’t dispose of it correctly, it is dangerous for your health and the home environment. Don’t throw it away with your household trash because the thin synthetic chemicals can contaminate groundwater.
It is also dangerous for causing a fire hazard. Paint thinner is a hazardous waste and you must dispose of it correctly. Here are some useful ways and tips you can use to dispose of paint thinner.
Use Fireproof Containers
When you soak rags in paint thinner, it can catch fire because they are combustible. You must keep them in air-tight containers. Make sure you fill water in the containers. These containers that contain thinner-soaked rags with water is easy to dispose of at a waste collection site.
Make smaller rags in case you don’t have sealable containers. Next, dry the rags in an open area. Once the process of drying completes, you need to place the rags in a fireproof container. This way, you can easily dispose of paint thinner. Here are the steps to dispose of paint thinner.
1. Extract Clean Paint Thinner
Most people throw away the thinner after using it. This is not a good practice. Instead of doing this, you can pour the thinner into a glass container. Leave it for some time. You will see that the contaminants settle at the container’s base.
Remember, the separation process takes quite enough time – i.e. from 3-5 weeks. However, it mainly depends on the intensity of thinner contamination. After completing the process of separation, you need a strainer, and using it, you must pour some clean thinner in a container that is free from contaminants or any other substances.
Don’t fill the new containers to the brim. It is always good to leave some space. The important thing is to place the lid tightly on the container. Also, you must label the container. This helps you know which one has the clean thinner and vice versa. Don’t forget to wear safety gear while carrying out this procedure.
2. Dry the Thinner
The next step is to leave the remaining paint thinner in the container. Place the container in a ventilated area. For your information, this is the container that contains the contaminated thinner.
Anyway, to speed up the process of drying, we recommend adding some cat litter, sand, or sawdust. This will boost the drying process. For safety, you must place the container somewhere safe so that it is out of reach of children. Don’t smoke in that area.
3. Wrap Up Dry Thinner
It is important to dry and solidify the remaining paint thinner. Once you have done this, it is time to wrap up the paint thinner. You can use an old newspaper for this task. Add the dry thinner in the newspaper and wrap it.
Next, put the wrapped newspaper in a plastic bag and close it tightly. The next step is to throw away the bag in the trash can. The garbage collection trucks will pick the trash and transfer it to the disposal or recycling center.
4. Get rid of the containers
After you have thrown the dried thinner in the trash or garbage can, you need to get rid of the empty containers that previously contained the paint thinner. According to the regulations, there is no harm to dispose of it with your regular household trash if the residues left in the container are less than an inch. These containers must not go into recycling. Likewise, take the container to the waste disposal site if there is liquid inside it.
How to dispose of excess paint thinner?
If you have any excess paint thinner, which is of no use to you, then, you can give it away. For example, you can give away the paint thinner to your friend or someone in the neighborhood.
You can take the excess paint thinner to the waste disposal facility. These are zones designed and constructed for disposal of hazardous waste material. You can search for such sites online or ask someone about them.
The majority of these sites accept the thinner material contained in metal containers or air-tight glass. If you have a large amount of excess thinner that you need to dispose of, you can contact the waste disposal facility and tell them about the thinner.
Wrapping up, when you opt to dispose of the paint thinner, you must follow the above steps and tips. Besides, if you have a strong thinner, it is important to store it in an air-tight container.
Make sure there is no leakage. Don’t keep it near the heated objects or anything that can cause a fire. Lastly, you need to neutralize the fumes of the thinner after completing your DIY painting project.
Can I pour paint thinner down the drain?
Is paint thinner hazardous waste?
Can I put paint thinner in a plastic container?
How do you dispose of used mineral spirits?
- Find your nearest hazardous-waste recycler.
- Put your used mineral spirits in a plastic bag or stable box to transport them to the hazardous-waste collection site.
- Drop them off at your local hazardous-waste collection site.
Is paint thinner and mineral spirits the same?
Does paint thinner evaporate?
How long does paint thinner take to evaporate?
What temperature does paint thinner evaporate?
Can paint thinner spontaneously combust?
Is it OK to get paint thinner on your skin?
What materials can spontaneously combust?
- Rags and waste with oil and paint residues.
- Towels and linen, during laundering and drying.
- Paint overspray or material from a paint spray booth.
- Green waste piles and compost.
- A number of chemical substances, such as cellulose nitrate.