Paint can be dangerous to the environment if it is not disposed properly.

Paint can be dangerous to you, your children and your pets if it is not disposed properly.

Disposal – Latex Paint

Step 1: Combine With Cat Litter

Add equal parts cat litter to the latex paint in the can. If you have more than half a can, you can also pour the paint into a lined box or trash can. Then pour in the cat litter.

Step 2: Allow the Mixture to Set

Stir the cat litter into the paint until it thickens and won’t spill. Allow the mixture to sit for one hour.

Step 3: Throw It in the Garbage

Throw the dried paint (in the can) in the garbage. Be sure to remove the lid from the can.

If you do not have much paint left in the can, just remove the lid and let the paint dry out on its own. You must leave it in a location where small children or pets can NOT get to it.

If you prefer not to use cat litter, you can purchase paint hardeners in hardware stores. 

Disposal – Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is a different ballgame.

Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and must be taken to an appropriate disposal or drop-off center. Check with your local officials for information and instructions about where to dispose of this type of paint safely.


Different areas of the nation treat paint disposal in various ways. You must be certain you are compliant with state and local regulations.

To be certain, please contact local household hazardous waste facilities, paint stores, the chamber of commerce, fire departments (please make sure they know immediately that this is a non-emergency) or your city village.  

These helpful tips are presented by HazChem Environmental Corporation in Addison, IL. HazChem Environmental only handles paint disposal for businesses, not residents.