Solvent disposal

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Forum topic by rut posted 01-14-2013 07:33 PM 778 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 2382 days

01-14-2013 07:33 PM

I admit it, I’ll buy foam brushes to use for painting oil based paints just so I can throw them away and not worry about using solvent to clean anything, or leaving a good paint brush in a container of solvent until it turns solid and must be tossed.

But I have an airless sprayer that I want to use some oil based primer in and thorough cleaning is mandatory if you want it to work properly next time.

So how do you guys/gals handle messy clean up in a way that minimizes solvent use and how do you dispose of the now dirty solvent? I live in a rural area where recycling stuff is an afterthought that requires a 30 mi drive to the landfill where they have recycling containers (not really sure if they would accept it there).

Also, when cleaning water based paint I normally just let the water run continuously while brushing the sprayer’s components. Obviously this isn’t practical for expensive solvents. So how do you reduce the amount you use for each cleaning?

Anxiously awaiting your replies!


1 reply so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 10:17 PM

I don’t know if your concern is for the environment or for personal health and the two things have different solutions.

Environment: Keep solvent in a closeable container. Something you can fit your sprayer parts into and submerge in the solvent. Soak them, scrub as needed, then rinse with clean solvent and drain runoff into container. Close the container and keep it till next time you need it. After it has settled a few days, before the next use, carefully pour off the top clean solvent and then scrape out the settled solids into another container to be disposed of, and recycle the bulk of the solvent back int your wash container.

Incineration is how hazardous waste disposers deal with the collected solids. In my part of the country the city collects this type of waste a couple times a year and they deal with proper disposal.

Health: It’s a good idea to wear a mask with the correct cartridges to handle organic solvent fumes. Also, wear nitrile (or other approved for the type solvent) gloves and work in a well ventilated space.

PS: My dad was a hardwood floor finisher, trim carpenter and painter for over 50 years. He quit working on floors when he was 84. Almost all the finishes he worked with were oil based or contained lead and he never wore gloves, a respirator or even dust mask. He also smoked for most of that time. His lifestyle finally got the best of him when he died of pneumonia at 87. I think this stuff affects different people different ways.

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