How to properly remove nail polish
It’s almost summer, which means it’s time to swap those winter boots for those open-toed sandals. While you’re embracing the wardrobe swap, it can also scare you as those chipped leftovers from a pedicure on your toes are about to be exposed to the world.
Before you rush out to buy a bottle of your new favorite nail color, think about what you’ll do with that bottle of polish when it’s empty (or more realistic, when you’re bored of the color).
US EPA considers nail polish to be household hazardous waste (HHW) because of the toxic chemicals that swarm in that sparkle and shine bottle. This means that throwing the bottle in the trash or recycling bin is not an option, and a smart and conscientious person like you wouldn’t dream of dumping it down the drain to contaminate the water resources.
Fear not though, because your user friendly household hazardous waste facility is here to save the day. Bring your old bottles to your nearest establishment and these professionals will drop them off safely.
Keep in mind that these facilities often only accept trash from county or city residents who own it, so call them to confirm you’re headed to the right place. While you’re at it, also collect those cans of old paint, motor oil, and leftover garden chemicals.
Enter your zip code into our recycling search directory to find your nearby HHW facility.
Check out the following infographic from visual.ly to learn more about why nail polish is household hazardous waste.
Originally published on February 21, 2015, this article was updated in June 2021.