How to Dispose of Old Vitamins

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that expired medications not be flushed down the toilet, as drinking water across the United States has tested positive for trace elements of various medications 1. Many Americans are unaware that flushing old pills is an unsafe practice. Proper disposal methods for expired medications include incineration and disposal (incineration is only recommended for controlled substances such as narcotics and painkillers). Over-the-counter medicines such as expired vitamins can be safely disposed of at home using a few tools.

Remove the expired vitamins from their plastic container.

Pour 1/2 cup of lukewarm tap water into a disposable cup.

Add the expired vitamins to the cup of water and let them dissolve. This process should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the dissolved vitamin-water mixture into a Ziploc bag.

Add spent coffee grounds or cat litter to the dissolved vitamin mixture—this will make the vitamins unappealing to pets or stray animals that might be attracted to the expired medication.

Seal the Ziploc bag tightly and discard it in the trash.