Hazardous materials can’t go straight into the bin, or your skip (if you have one). Fluids like unused paint and cleaners, heating fuels like unused kerosene, and car fluids like dirty oil and transmission fluid pollute the groundwater and soil if they’re disposed of improperly. Dumping used motor oil in a river can harm the fish and wildlife that rely on that river for drinking water.
The way in which you dispose of these chemicals matters to our planet and to future generations. So how do you recycle chemicals such as cleaners and paint?
Ryan Colson Reveals How to Recycle Cleaners
Ideally, you want to use up all of the cleaner before disposing of it and have an empty container to recycle. You still need to clean containers out, however. If it’s regularly mixed with water, it’s okay to pour it down your drain. If you have some soap left in a shampoo container, add some water, shake it to mix it up, and pour the resulting liquid down the stairs. You can put leftover liquid fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, hand soap, hair conditioner, and facial washes down the drain.
Cleaners that contain ammonia are also okay to be poured down the drain. However if you have a flammable item like nail polish remover, you shouldn’t pour that down the drain. The same is true of paint thinner or turpentine.
You might want to further look up the item online to get help. You may learn that the best way to dispose of it is to wrap the item up in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. It depends on the services offered in your local area.
Ryan Colson Reveals How to Recycle Paint
Most local councils have their own rules for recycling paint, some have recycling options available. If it’s a plastic paint tin, see if the store that sold you the paint takes back the empty containers to recycle them. Some places set refundable deposits in hopes of getting more people to take their empty containers back to recover that deposit.
What if you have paint that’s still good, but there’s not enough for another room? Have you considered mixing similar paints to create a new color? You can mix a satin paint with another satin paint or a semi-gloss with another semi-glass. Use that new color to paint another room in your home.
If you have paint that’s still good and you cannot use it, look for a facility that takes unneeded paint. They’ll combine them to create new gallons that are sold at discounts. It’s an affordable way to get a gallon of paint and it is a great way to recycle paint.
Ryan Colson Reveals How to Recycle Other Chemicals
What about other chemicals? Your gas grill no longer works, but you still have some propane left – see if a family member or neighbor can use it up. The metal propane tanks must be disposed of at a participating recycling center.
You have a kerosene space heater that’s not going to be used anymore. Try posting that you have leftover kerosene in your community and see if anyone wants it. If that doesn’t work, find a recycling center that accepts hazardous waste.
You’ll do the same with pool chemicals, glues and solvents, and vehicle fluids. Some auto repair stores take back used oil for a fee. Local mechanics may also be willing to take it for a fee. If all else fails, reach out to your local council for guidance.
Keep chemicals out of the landfills by making better choices when it comes to disposal and/or recycling. Before buying cleaning agents, think about the chemicals within them. If possible avoid chemical cleaners to help protect the environment. Most household cleaning projects are easily managed with more environmentally-friendly products that can be found around your home.
Another top tip is to use baking soda as a scouring agent on tiles and stainless steel surfaces. Make sure to rinse it well when you’re done. You may have to put some effort into scrubbing stuck-on grime, but the baking soda is a much gentler cleaner and won’t harm the environment.
If you have a kitchen or bathroom drain that’s not smelling fresh, pour some baking soda down it with some white vinegar. That mixture will fizz up and freshen the drain. Rinse thoroughly when the fizzing action dies down. This eliminates the need for harmful drain cleaner products.
Make a paste of water and baking soda to clean the inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Scrub the surfaces and use a wet sponge to remove the paste. Dry the surfaces with a clean towel when all of the stuck-on messages are removed.
You can also wash counters and appliances with plain washing up soap, such as fairy liquid, or perhaps an even more eco friendly option. Rinse it thoroughly and finish up with a coating of bleach solution to kill germs.
Furthermore, why not easily clean a microwave or the inside of your oven using boiled water and lemon? Bring a pan of water to a boil and add some lemon slices. Place inside the microwave or oven and close the door. Leave it like this for half an hour.
When 30 minutes are up, use a scrub sponge to remove any greasy, stuck-on mess. Rinse the sponge often. Once all of the grime is gone, use a clean towel to dry the surfaces.
White vinegar is another handy, eco friendly cleaner. Keep a gallon of it on hand. Use equal parts of cold water and vinegar to remove stains from carpeting and upholstery. Use white vinegar and heavy-duty paper towels to wash windows and patio doors.