Can Latex Paint Go In Trash? (& Tips)

Latex paint (water-based) in a solidified form is not hazardous waste, so you can throw it in the trash but not in wet condition. You have to prepare it properly for throwing it away.

To throw it properly, divide the paint into small amounts, add kitty litter, sand, or shredded newspaper, then mix it well. You need to leave the lid off and allow all particles to completely dry. After that, you can throw away dried latex paints.

Putting them directly into the trash is not a good practice. Many garbage collectors have the waste segregation process where solid waste, liquid waste, and recyclable products are picked differently.

In that case, the latex paint thrown into the trash can create a problem for the garbage collector centers. Because the paint will not allow them to segregate the waste properly.

Therefore, it is always advisable to dispose of the latex paint properly before throwing it away in the trash.

Can I Throw Away Old Latex Paint?

Yes, you can throw away old latex paint, but only if the paint is completely dry. If your leftover paint is not very old and still wet, then throwing it away is not a good idea.

The best way to throw away the paint is by entirely disposing of it first and then letting it dry. Throwing away wet paint is also prohibited in many localities. You must check the local laws of the place where you live to confirm whether you can throw away old latex paint.

Moreover, the latex paint, if unopened, can last up to 10 years, so you probably can not say that your paint is old enough to throw. But, if you have some leftover paint from a project and keep it for future touch-ups, you should check the condition of the paint first.

For checking that, open the latex paint can; a thick skin on top of the paint will be present, remove it. Once you have removed it, stir the paint properly and test it on a piece of cardboard or wood.

If the flow of paint is normal, you can use the paint, or if you don’t want to use it, you can also donate it. However, if you choose to throw it away instead, dispose of it properly and throw it away in the trash.

Can You Pour Latex Paint Down The Drain?

You can pour most of the liquid down the drain. But, can you pour latex paint down the drain? No, you should never do that.

Although latex paint is safe to use while it’s still wet, you should never pour leftover latex down the drain. Paint fumes are highly flammable and dangerous. If they’re released into your house, then your home can catch fire.

When poured down in the drain, the latex paint can coat the inside surface of the pipes and shrink them down. This can cause problems for you after a shorter period as no material will pass through it, and your drains will be clogged.

If, by any chance, you are thinking of throwing it away or pouring the latex paint into a city or storm drain, then please restrain your thoughts. It would be best to never throw the latex paint into the city or storm drain because it can effortlessly leak or leech into the water supply.

Pouring them in public storm drains can also cause them to leak and contaminate the groundwater. That’s because you never know if the public drains have any leakage points.

The best practice to follow is to dispose of the latex paint safely. Or, check whether your city has any disposal centers for chemical-based products. If your city has a disposal center for the chemical products, you must take your remaining latex paint there to be disposed of properly.

Related Read: 5 Products That Can Dissolve Latex Paint?

How Do You Dispose Of Latex Paint?

Latex paint is made of 99 percent water and 1 percent rubber, making it safe to dispose of. When you’re finished painting your room in a perfect shade of your choice, follow these steps for proper disposal:

1. Air Dry Latex Paint

If you want to air dry latex paint, remove the lid of the can and let it evaporate. This is best for small quantities like an inch at the bottom of a can, but be prepared because this might take several days.

2. Use Drying Agents

To remove the paint from a can, add an equal amount of cat litter or sawdust and allow it to dry. You could also use plaster of Paris, Oil-Dri, or waste paint hardener instead, which you can purchase at home improvement stores.

3. Layering

Layering is another way to dry out latex paint quickly. Pour multiple thin layers into a cardboard box lined with plastic, and allow each layer of the paint to dry before adding another one on top entirely. When you’re finished drying all the layers, your dried-up latex paint will be ready for disposal.

Can I Pour Latex Paint On The Ground?

You can pour latex paint on the ground but only the right way; otherwise, directly pouring it is not recommended. It would help if you do not throw wet latex paint directly on the ground. That’s because it releases toxic fumes and volatile organic compounds are also present in it.

Pouring leftover latex paint on the ground instead of disposing of it and throwing it away in the trash is not recommended at all. If you have extra paint, you should either store it for future touch-up needs or donate it to someone who needs it.

Latex paints are not usually hazardous, but they contain some volatile organic compounds. They also release fumes when left in the open for a longer duration.

Except if you are throwing it away after diluting it correctly by adding more water, you can pour it on the ground because then the toxicity of paint will be less. You can even clean the brushes dipped into latex paint with water on the ground. It will not do any harm as water will make it more soluble.

Moreover, the paint you use can be tough to dispose of, but it is always good for you and nature to dispose of it properly and throw it away.

You are now familiar with the procedure of throwing away any old cans of paint that may have been left in your garage for too long. It is best if you take them to a recycling center where they will be disposed of safely.

Related Read: Can Latex Paint Freeze?

Can You Use Sand To Dry Out Latex Paint Cans?

Latex paint in a liquid form can't be disposed of. So, can you use sand to dry out latex paint? Yes, using sand to dry out latex paint is one of the best methods.

You can use sand to dry out latex paint cans very quickly. If you have some wet leftover latex paint and are planning to throw it in the trash, you should dry it out first.

Generally, while doing any project, the estimates of paint requirements go wrong, and you may end up with some leftover latex paint. However, there are other ways to get rid of latex paint, like giving it to any friend who might need it or giving it for recycling. But, most people prefer throwing it in trash cans.

Yes, you can throw it in the trash but after solidifying it properly. There are few ways to solidify the latex paint, and one of the most common is adding sand to it.

Mostly, sand is available easily, so you don’t even have to hunt for it. Moreover, the process is also pretty straightforward.

Just take off the lid of the latex paint can and add sand to it, and store it in a place away from children. Remember, adding sand for solidifying paint works best on small quantities of latex paint.

Related Read: Is Latex Paint Flammable?


With the right latex paint disposal service, you can get rid of your leftover paint without any worries. However, solidifying it is an option if you don’t know how to dispose of the leftovers properly. Or, want a more permanent solution for disposing of excess paint. Above mentioned ways of disposing of latex paint correctly can make your work easy.

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