How to Dispose of Nail Polish

Nail polishes help beautify the nails (fingers and toes), but they tend to dry up and become unusable as time passes, and you need to dispose of them. Sometimes, when old nail polishes do not dry up, you may still want to dispose of them due to a preference for new colors, among other reasons.

So, what do you do with your old nail polish when you have such cases? Of course, you should not toss them in a garbage bin as it is not only wrong but illegal. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified it as a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). However, this post will explore the different ways to dispose of nail polish while keeping environmental safety in mind. 

Why Is Nail Polish An Hazardous Household Waste?

Nail polish is a hazardous household waste because it contains dangerous chemicals like Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl phthalate. The chemicals are harmful to a human’s health, and improper disposal can contaminate the water supply in an area, pollute bodies of water and cause damage to the environment.

How To Safely Dispose Of Nail Polish

nail polish disposal

Safe disposal of nail polish is essential, and there are various options to consider instead of tossing it into garbage bins, as you will see below.

Methods of Disposing of Reusable Nail Polish

Here are the ways to dispose of reusable nail polish.

Repurpose It

One of the best ways to dispose of Nail polish is to repurpose it at home. Repurposing your nail polish helps you save it from wastage and give it good reuse. Some of the ways to repurpose nail polish are as follows:

Keep Shoelaces From Unraveling With Your Nail Polish

You may not know this, but you can repurpose your nail polish by keeping the ends of shoelaces together with it. You can try it on shoelaces or even threads of clothing to keep them from unraveling. 

Also, if you want to quickly make a sewing thread through the eye of a needle, you can put that nail polish to work.

Paint Items In Your Home With Nail Polish

Instead of disposing of that nail polish, why not turn on your creativity mode and paint items around you with it?

Nail polish can come in handy if you need to paint household items. For example, if you want to differentiate the keys in your home or to mark identical gadgets like chargers, earphones, etc., Using nail polish to paint items in the home can also be a form of repair, especially when those items match the color of the nail polish.

You mmay also like to read our article on how to dispose of paint thinner.

Change Jewelry Color

Sometimes your jewelry does not quite match, but you can change that by using your nail polish stash. Painting your jewelry can renew it, and you will avoid spending money on a new piece of jewelry that only matches one outfit. 

You can also change the entire look of your jewelry by painting pieces to coordinate with what you are wearing. Using non-acetone polish remover and a cotton swab, it’s also possible to gently remove the polish and paint it another color later.

There are other ways to repurpose your nail polish; you will find more options here.

Donate Nail Polish

One of the ways to dispose of reusable nail polish is to donate it to others that may need it. Sometimes, you may not like the color of your nail polish, but there might be someone who does. Instead of disposing of that nail polish, you should think of someone who may need it.

The nail polish you want to donate must be neat and safe for reuse. You should clean the container effectively and make it presentable. You can drop it off at a beauty or makeup artist shop close to you as their customers may love to own it.

If you cannot find a close store to take it, you can ship it to Beauty BusGive & Makeup, or Project Beauty Share. There are also donation centers across the United States; you can find one close to you at Donation Town

Swap Colors With Friends

Another easy and cheap way to dispose of your nail polish is to swap it with a friend. It is ideal if you do not like your nail polish color after buying it.

Swapping nail polish is a bright idea because you get rid of that color you do not like and get a color you appreciate better. You can ask a few friends if they have a nail polish color they are sick of; they might consider a swap of colors.

Mix Colors To Get New Ones

Disposing of nail polish can be fun and artistic. Yeah! There are many new colors to discover, and you may be on course to making discoveries when you try this method. Who knows? You may like the resulting color or get people that will like it. 

Therefore, if you find your nail polish boring, try mixing it with another color in a plastic paint palette. Not only will you discover new nail polish colors from the mixture, but you may also save yourself the cost of buying new nail polish.

You will get a marble effect when you layer different nail polish colors in a bottle.

How To Safely Dispose Of Non-Reusable Or Old Nail Polish

Disposing of non-reusable nail polish is quite different because you need to do away with it, and you cannot give it out.

Here are some ways to safely dispose of non-reusable nail polish.

Empty The Nail Polish Bottle On A Newspaper

If you think the nail polish is no longer reusable by you or anyone else, you can dispose of it in a newspaper. Here is how:

  • Pour the nail polish gently on a newspaper. 
  • Spread it out in the newspaper.
  • Leave the polish to dry up. 
  • Dispose of it in the trash bin.
  • Dispose of the bottles as glass or according to their material.

It is essential that the bottle is empty and the nail polish is completely dry before you dispose of them. 

Find A Hazardous Waste Center Near You

Hazardous waste centers will help you to dispose of Nail polish properly. Most states in the United States have at least one, and RCRAInfo Web is an excellent place to find a hazardous waste center near you.

Before you take your old nail polish to a hazardous waste center, place a call to find out if they will take it, then you can go on with your plan. Hazardous waste centers have trained professionals who handle the nail polish properly and keep it from adversely affecting the environment.

Also see: How to dispose of paint

Locate A Recycling Center 

On websites like Earth911, you can easily find recycling centers near you that would gladly help you dispose of bottles of old nail polish.

Call the recycling center to set up an appointment and ask if they have a fee. Also, ask if there are any specific instructions and make sure you follow these instructions carefully.

Apart from your old nail polish bottles, you can also take other household wastes for recycling.

When To Dispose Of Nail Polish

Nail polishes do not last forever. Like other beauty products, they have expiry dates, and once they are expired, they are no longer helpful as when they were new.

Here are ways to know when nail polish needs to be disposed of

Checking The Packaging For A PAO

PAO means Period After Opening and is usually inscribed on the nail polish bottle or its packaging. The PAO logo contains a letter and number combination, usually 12M or 24M, which means 12 months or 24 months, respectively. If the PAO of your nail polish is 12M, note the date of opening and safely dispose of your nail polish after 12 months. 

Check How Quickly It Separates

When your nail polish separates too quickly, it may be time to dispose of it. Sometimes, nail polish separating too quick is a quality issue rather than an expiration issue, but you should check it to be sure.

Irrespective of the cause, a nail polish that separates when you apply it is unsuitable because it will produce an uneven coat. Therefore you should dispose of it.

Inspect How It Smells Or Looks

If you use nail polish regularly, you should know what it looks or smells like. If your nail polish has decolorized or has a foul smell, you should dispose of it.

Check For Consistency

Nail polish does not change e even after opening it. However, if you observe any change, it is time to discard it. The kind of consistency nail polish possesses is that its thickness or thinness does not reduce; if it does reduce eventually, you need to dispose of it safely.

Disposing of Nail Polish is Avoidable

You can avoid the stress of disposing of nail polish by buying environment-friendly nail polish every time you need one. There are many nail polish brands with quality products; getting one of such ensures you get a lasting product. 

In addition, avoid keeping nail polish at home for too long if you do not like its color or get bored of it.

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