When working on home improvement projects, one may need to use paint thinner. Although useful, paint thinner is a hazardous substance and must be disposed of properly. There are a few things you can do to make this an easy process.

Buying the Correct Amount

When purchasing paint thinner, it is not always beneficial to have much more than you need. Excess just means that you have more to dispose of. Even if the container that is larger has a better price, you need to consider the fact that it may inconvenience you later to have that much left when the project is complete.

Be Familiar with Local Laws and Procedures

It is important to call your local waste facility to find out what the local laws and procedures are regarding paint thinner. These rules can vary, so do not assume that they are the same if you have moved to a new area. Knowing what to do will help you decide how to handle leftover paint thinner.

Use the Leftover Paint Thinner

Any leftover paint thinner should be poured into a glass container, such as a jar or bottle. Make sure the container has a lid and close it tightly. It is also a good idea to label the container. This should then be stored out of reach of children and animals. If you do not want to keep the paint thinner for future use, ask around to see if someone else can use it. Always wear gloves when handling paint thinner.

Dry Out the Paint Thinner

The residue that is left in the bottom of the can, as well as any leftover that will not be stored, may be left in a well ventilated area where it cannot be reached by animals or children. The liquid will eventually dry leaving a solid residue. Adding cat litter or sand may make this process occur faster, but be sure that the paint thinner is completely dry before disposing. In many cases the dry residue can be wrapped up and thrown away, but always call the local waste disposal facilities before disposing in this manner. If this is not allowed in your area, there is probably a designated place for hazardous waste items to be dropped off.

Paint thinner is a volatile substance and cannot be treated like other garbage. Never pour it down the drain or just throw it away. There will be local regulations in place to help you dispose of this material.

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