Do you know everything you should and shouldn’t put down the drain? Sure, it seems like just rinsing off the paint brush is no big deal. Think about it, though. Where does that paint go? Into our water system. So there are certain types of paint that can go down the drain, there are other types that you should never be washing into the water supply.
Have you ever heard of natural paints? These paints are biodegradable. Clay, marble, and chalk, complimented with minerals. Interested in using natural paints for your next project? So look for these types: lime paint, clay paint, casein paint, or distemper paint.
Oil based paints are definitely not safe to wash down the drain. So to dispose of these, you will need to find your local hazardous waste drop off center. Same maybe true for latex based paint. An easy to use website, search.earth911.com, has a great search tool to help you find your nearest recycling center.
Some states will allow you to dispose of latex paint in other ways. While you should still never wash it down the drains. Some areas allow latex paint to be thrown away with the trash. To do this, you will need to let the paint dry first. You can do this by setting it out in a warm, dry environment with the lid off. You will want to do this in an outdoor or well-ventilated area. Small amounts will dry fairly quickly on their own. So for larger amounts, you may want to add in some kitty litter or sand to help expedite the process.
With the growing popularity of homemade crafts, you may have another option available. So if there is enough paint left for a project, post it on Craigslist or a social media site. Chances are that someone will jump at the opportunity for cheap or free paint. You can also check with schools or groups like the Girl Scouts to see if they would be interested in donations.
Remember, we only have one earth and we need to take care of it. By preventing hazardous material from entering the waterways, we are helping to keep the environment safe. Let’s all make sure that we are disposing of materials through the proper channels!