What's the best way to dispose of watermixable oils?

- Internet says use soap and water down the sink. 


  • If you have your own septic system- that's NOT advisable. the pigments, dyes and filler can react badly with the good microbes that work to bio-degrade the wastes. If you are connected to a municipal system put it down the toilet it won't affect the treatment plant chemicals. Best option though is to spread them out on newspaper or other like items and let dry then dispose of in the normal trash.
  • edited April 2017
    Where I live in Canada it is recommended that we do not send our discarded oil painting products for art and household to landfill sites any longer, not with regular trash. I must submit it to a "hazardous material recycling depot" only available 2 or 3 times a year and they take care of it from there, the service is free. Putting out the trash not as easy or convenient as once used to be. and I haven't figured a way to safely store this trash on my property for so long without any danger, given that it is unpredictably combustible. I am in the process of seeking other folks with similar situation that I may be able to team up with and work something out. I just don't like toxic material being stored on my property intended for the trash for too long a period at all, not safe and always a worry/concern whether real or imaginary and the danger of completely forgetting about it all together.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited April 2017

    Check you city administration website. Mine has a purpose built facility for liquid and hazardous waste.
    Free for ratepayers to use. My neighbour took half a dozen of my old, part used house paint tins over for me on her last visit. The city combines all the useable acrylic and sells it back as a soft grey interior house paint.

    FYI Australia has a national policy you might adapt to Canada.


  • edited April 2017
    @dencal ,I was just about do that myself with city admin. and there is an art school nearby as well that I can check with. I'm on foot, conveniently in heart of downtown here, so I will be able to resolve this soon enough. Thanks!
  • edited April 2017
    Put them on canvas!  ;)  Even just mix them into a neutral color use them for toning.

    Another suggestion is to offer them to someone starting out if they are still good. Perhaps through your local art center?

  • sonnystrauss

    The safest and ecologically sustainable way to get rid of water mixable paint is to take out your biggest palette knife and your biggest canvas. Have a ball creating a few abstract paintings.

    Here is an example of a palette knife portrait by an artist Ahn Do.


  • Forgiveness

    Here is a story on paint disposal and recycling in Oz.

    Did you know you can recycle unwanted paint?

    A new national industry-led recycling scheme is repurposing paint cans and harnessing energy from paint.

    Read the full story 

    This article states Australia is treating 7.3 million litres of waste paint in the first year.
    I estimate the US being twelve times bigger could process around 88 million litres ( 23 million gallons).


  • Don't dispose of paints in closed containers. Paint them onto anything or give them away. Schools can use them for backdrops and all manor of things. If you just can't paint with it or give it away open the containers and let it harden. Once it is solid it is no longer a hazardous waste, just an ordinary waste for the household trash can.
Sign In or Register to comment.