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How to dispose of unused car touch-up paint

In the home, many different kinds of substances that might pose a danger to life or the environment, from cleaning fluids to the battery in the TV remote.

Solvent-based products, which includes car touch up paint and lacquer, is a hazardous material, and should be disposed of properly after use.

Because it can be difficult to know what to do if you have left-over car touch-up paint, we’ve put this short guide together.

The advice covers the disposal of other unwanted or used solvent-based products like white spirit (also turpentive/turps), gloss paints, degreasers and acetone-based nail polish remover. Check with your local authority recycling centre if you’re in any doubt.

Why do car paints have solvents in them?

Solvents keep paint free-flowing for easy application. They also provide a robust, waterproof result that protects your car and gives long-lasting good looks.

Paint technology is improving all the time and we’re starting to see very good water-based products being developed. In fact, we supply high quality water-based custom mixed car paint to trade customers and we’re planning to roll this out to all our customers.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that, presently, water-based car touch up paint still requires the application of a solvent-based lacquer to finish off the repair.

How to dispose of unused car paint

  • Don’t put solvents in your normal household bin.
  • Don’t pour solvents down the sink or outside drain.
  • Do take them to your local household recycling centre
  • Do keep them in the original container for reference.
  • Remember there’ll be a residue even if you’ve used all you can.

Your local authority household recycling centre should accept precision touch up pens, bottles with a brush, aerosols of car touch-up paint. Attendants will be able to advise you on where to put them - which is one reason why original packaging is important.

We don’t advise transferring car paint from one container to another anyway because the container material might not be suitable and there’s a risk of spillage. Also, during the transfer, you’d risk inhaling solvent vapour, which should be avoided because large amounts over a prolonged period are toxic.

What PaintNuts is doing

We sell small amounts of car touch-up paint in different sizes. You only have to buy the amount you need, which means less waste and smaller amounts to dispose of.

  • Touch up pens (20ml)
  • Bottles (50ml)
  • Aerosols (400ml)

We’re here to advise you on the amount you’ll need to do your job - as well as anything else you’d like to know about repairing scratches, scuffs and stone chips on your bodywork. Get in touch with our customer service with your question.


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