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How Do I Dispose of Acetone?

By Kristin Bennecker ; Updated July 27, 2017

Before you throw an old bottle of nail polish or furniture lacquer away, you should consider the threat it could pose to the environment. Acetone is a solvent found in common household products such as nail polish, nail polish remover, lacquer and degreasers. When disposed of improperly, acetone products often end up in landfills, causing water contamination and various health risks. It is simple to dispose of acetone properly by contacting a hazardous waste disposal facility. Find your local disposal facility by contacting your city's waste management department or the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Gather the acetone products you need to dispose of. Ensure that each product is tightly closed. Put on protective gear — gloves and goggles — if contact with skin or the eyes is a possibility.

Place the acetone products in a sealed glass or metal container. Avoid plastic containers. Acetone can dissolve some plastics.

Store the sealed container in a dry, isolated place, away from children, pets or fire.

Take the sealed container to the disposal facility. Use caution as you transport the container so that none of the acetone containers open or break. If any products spill inside the container, dispose of the container as well.


Be prepared to pay a small fee to dispose of your acetone products, though some disposal facilities provide the service free of charge.


Short exposure to acetone won't hurt your skin, but you should never be ingest the chemical or inhale the fumes.

Acetone is highly flammable. Never smoke or use a lighter around it.

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