How To Dispose of Nail Polish Properly

For celebrating this year Earth’s day, I would like to rewrite our old article about why and how you can dispose your nail polish properly so we can be more kind to the earth.

But you may said “I usually just throw them away in the trash bin.” So, is it alright to just toss them in the trash?

According to US Environmental Protection Agency, nail polish can’t be thrown away in the trash just like other household waste.  The reason is nail polish is flammable and it’s categorized as household hazardous waste. It means nail polish is as hazardous as your household cleaners or your car oil. And to dispose it improperly would pollute the environment and post a threat to human health.

So what can you do with your old nail polishes? You can recycle or you can dispose of them properly by participating in your local household hazardous waste collection program. Contact your city or county’s environmental health, solid waste, or public works department for information regarding which wastes can be recycled in your area.

For city of San Diego where I live,  there’s a household hazardous waste transfer facility nearby that accepts not only nail polish, but nail polish remover, batteries, light bulbs, paints, etc. It’s open to City of San Diego residents only. And an appointment is required. So, I called them and made an appointment. I didn’t wait for a long time until somebody took my call. And I got an appointment on a Saturday (they open only on Saturdays).

Dropping the waste off was quick. Just drove in, had my ID checked, then drove to a designated area where some people were waiting for taking all my old nail polishes from my car’s trunk and I was ready to leave. Best of all, it’s free! The whole process from setting up appointment to dropping of the waste was actually pretty easy.

I believe you can bring up to 50 pounds of waste at a time. You can also bring all sort of hazardous waste. I brought some used batteries along with my nail polishes in a plastic bag. Make sure your nail polish bottles are securely closed before disposing them.

I usually collect nail polish with batteries and old light bulbs for a year. Then, I make my yearly trip to the facility. I also volunteer to collect the waste from friends and relatives to make my trip worthwhile.

If you’re a resident in another city, you may contact your city’s website or Earth 911 website. At Earth 911, you can search a recycling center near you based on a city or zipcode.

And if you feel creative, reusing your old, unwanted nail polishes is always an excellent idea. From preventing rust at a deep scratch on your car to color coding belongings in your house, nail polish could be handy.

Photo source:

What do you do with your old nail polish? Do you recycle or dispose? Feel free to comment below and if you like this article, please share it to everyone you know. Let’s be kind to our earth.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment