The Eco-Friendly Guide to Disposing Nail Polish

By Melissa Kuntzman


When spring cleaning rolls around every year, many people wonder what to do with excess or old nail polish. Maybe you have too many and want to make room for more or maybe they’ve become old and unusable. Whatever your reason, it’s important to be sure to dispose of any nail polish safely. Due to certain chemicals in nail polish, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies nail polish as a household hazardous waste product, meaning dropping it in the trash isn’t an option. Here are three eco-friendly ways to dispose of any unwanted or unusable nail polishes!


  1. Donate


If you have any unopened nail polish, donate it to a local women’s shelter! This is an awesome way to give back to the community and help women in need. Make sure that the nail polish has been unopened though since most shelters will not take open products. If you have any opened, but still usable, nail polishes, give them to a friend! It’s a great way for everyone to get a new, or new to them, product in a sustainable way.


  1. Reuse


Reusing nail polish is an awesome, and eco-friendly, way to get rid of any unwanted nail polish. There are a lot of easy and fun D.I.Y. crafting projects that you can do with any leftover nail polish like creating a marbled mug or painting earrings. Some D.I.Y projects can even be helpful, like using leftover clear nail polish to repair fraying fabric or painting over any scratches on your vehicle.


  1. Household Hazardous Waste Facility


Because of the chemicals in nail polishes, the U.S. EPA has classified nail polish as a household hazardous waste product. This means you should not be throwing away your nail polish with the rest of your trash. If your nail polish has become unusable and there’s no way to revive it or reuse it, make sure to dispose of it properly to ensure no harm is done to the environment. Use this locator to find a facility near you to safely dispose of any unusable nail polish.



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