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Posted on: May 10, 2022

Proper Paint Disposal Tips

Paint cans

Never dump leftover or unwanted paint on the ground or into a storm drain. Paint can pollute our groundwater and harm fish and other wildlife. The good news is you can safely dispose of water-based or latex paint by following a few simple steps. 

  1. Remove the paint can lid to dry out the paint and keep them in a well-ventilated area, away from children and pets.
  2. To speed up the drying process, stir in absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust or shredded paper. It can take 2-5 days to dry.
  3. Place cans out with regular trash. Leave lids off so waste collectors can see the contents are completely dry and therefore acceptable.

Paint Cleanup

  1. Squeeze all excess paint from brushes and rollers back into the paint can.
  2. Use paper to wipe off any remaining paint from brushes, rollers and tools. Discard paper in the trash.
  3. Clean brushes and tools with warm soapy water in your sink.

Paint Storage

  1. Cover the can with plastic wrap to create an additional seal before closing the lid with a hammer.
  2. Mark the date and color name in a permanent marker on the can for easy future reference.
  3. Store indoors in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Additional Disposal Tips

  • Paint thinner can be disposed of the same way as latex paint.
  • Oil paint contains toxic chemicals and should be taken to an environmental management/recycling company for proper disposal.

For more information on proper household hazardous waste disposal, visit more information on proper household hazardous waste disposal, visit more information on proper household hazardous waste disposal, visit

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