Reader Question: how to safely dispose of old nail polish


Hi Jamie,

Do you know how to properly dispose of nail polish, by any chance? I hate the idea of just throwing it in the trash because of the fact that it can pollute the soil and ocean.



Hi J!

Honestly, I applaud the fact that you’re conscious of this…it’s something all of us should be better at!  Nail polish contains various toxic chemicals and is classified by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as a hazardous waste.

I did a little research and found three really great and fairly easy options for you, because easy is my style.

1. Take nail polish to your local hazardous waste facility: This seems the most obvious but, I’ll be the first to tell you the likelihood of me (or most people, for that matter), actually doing this is slim to none.  Personally, I prefer options two and three.

2. Dry it out: Uncap the bottle and let it sit out until the polish dries out completely, becoming a solid. Next, screw the cap on tightly and throw it away; since it’s no longer a liquid, it won’t leak and contaminate water or soil. (source)


3. DIY it!: Tell me these are NOT the cutest thing EVER, especially for a bathroom or closet area.  I found this great nail polish bottle upcycle on Cremedelacraft.com and it seems like a fantastic solution for your empties.


2 thoughts on “Reader Question: how to safely dispose of old nail polish

  1. Thank god for this post! I did not know how to get rid of old polish, it’s just be hanging around and drying out, which thankfully, in this case, is a good thing! 🙂


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