These days, isopropyl alcohol can be found in every household. Whether in the medicine cabinet or kept with the cleaning supplies, you are bound to have it in one place or the other.
Isopropyl alcohol is a secondary alcohol product, also known as rubbing alcohol. It is an essential component found in a variety of disinfectants, wipes, and cleaning products.
With the rising threat of infections, isopropyl has become a product we use every day in the form of disinfectants and sanitizers.
However, most isopropyl alcohols only have a life span of three months. It is essential to find out, ‘How to Dispose of Isopropyl Alcohol?’ the right way.
Keep reading to learn just how.
Why is it Important To Properly Dispose of Isopropyl Alcohol?
Even though isopropyl alcohol is an everyday household product, it is still considered a highly hazardous waste item that can be harmful to the environment.
The chemical properties of isopropyl alcohol, especially when mixed with other ingredients, can also be hazardous for health if one is exposed to them for a long time.
Isopropyl alcohol is also considered highly flammable. Therefore, it should never be disposed of in the trash as it can easily catch fire.
This is why it is essential to learn safe and reliable methods to dispose of it.
Safety Tips To Consider While Handling Isopropyl Alcohol
While isopropyl alcohol is not-toxic to use in small quantities or when mixed in small portions and used in products, too much exposure can lead to harmful effects as it is still a highly hazardous product.
To ensure safety, you must take the following preventive procedures while handling isopropyl alcohol.
Tip 1 – Keep it in a Container
Firstly, make sure that the isopropyl alcohol is always kept in a safe and secure container.
You should check the container to ensure that there are no cracks or leaks present. You should store it in a dry and cool place.
Tip 2 – Keep It Away From Open Flames
Since it’s a highly flammable liquid, make sure you keep it away from any open flames and sparks to prevent fire hazard.
Moreover, remember to store it in a well-ventilated space.
Tip 3 – Wear Safety Gear for Protection
Secondly, proper protective gear must be used while handling isopropyl alcohol. Too much exposure to the skin will leave side effects: rashes, itching, dryness, redness, and irritation.
Therefore, protective gloves must be worn while using or disposing of the alcohol.
Protective goggles should also be worn while using isopropyl alcohol as it is hazardous for it to come in contact with the eyes.
If it accidentally comes in contact with the eyes, then wash out your eyes with water and saline solution, and get medical help.
How to Safely Dispose of Isopropyl Liquid?
Now that you have exhausted all the different ways that isopropyl liquid can be recycled, it is time to learn about the different ways it can be safely disposed of.
There are several ways that isopropyl alcohol can be disposed of safely. Let’s take a look:
Option 1: Pouring it Down the Drain
Isopropyl liquids lose their potency once it is exposed to UV rays. The chemicals present in the alcohol fade away when exposed to sunlight.
This is why keeping them out in the sunlight for a few hours will work best to help minimize the potency of the isopropyl alcohol before you can safely dispose of it.
Now that the first step has been taken, the process of disposal can begin. There are many options for disposal.
If your isopropyl alcohol is not large in quantity and is just one or two bottles, it is generally safe to dispose of them by pouring them down the sink.
Ensure that the rubbing alcohol is not high in quantity, as flushing out more than a bottle or two can be dangerous for the environment as it is considered hazardous waste.
Make sure that you are disposing of it in a well-ventilated area. Another thing to ensure is that the isopropyl liquid should not have more than 5% alcohol potency.
If it has more than 5% potency, it is not recommended to dispose of it by pouring it down the sink, as it can be too strong and considered hazardous for health.
While pouring the isopropyl alcohol down the sink, keeping the tap open and the water running is essential.
As isopropyl has strong chemical properties, it is advised that the water is kept running to neutralize the alcohol.
Option 2: Passing It On to Professionals
Suppose the isopropyl liquid is in large quantity and cannot be disposed of in the drain.
In that case, it is best to contact your civic office, find out where the local waste and hazardous disposal centers are, and then contact them to take care of your leftover isopropyl alcohol.
They may be able to take the alcohol product away and dispose of it appropriately. They also know how to utilize it in chemical plants and may be able to use it.
Ensure that the isopropyl alcohol is kept in a tight and secure container and kept in sealed container. Check the bottle or cans of the liquid for cracks to ensure it does not leak out.
Remember: isopropyl alcohol can be highly flammable and harmful for health, especially in large quantities.
Once you have contacted the local waste department and ensured that the isopropyl liquid is kept in safe and sealed containers, you can go drop it off.
Some departments might even come to pick it up from your house, depending on the quantity.
Is It Possible to Recycle Isopropyl Alcohol?
One of the most significant advantages of isopropyl alcohol is that there are various ways that it can be recycled.
Isopropyl Alcohol can be used as a household cleaner, used for cleaning makeup products, and even used as an insecticide.
Before you decide to dispose of it, try out these different ways that it can be utilized.
By mixing in part vinegar, one cup of water, and 1/4th cup isopropyl alcohol, you can easily make a DIY cleaner to use at home.
This cleaner will work well on glass surfaces and is easily put into a spray container to clean windows and glass furniture around the house.
The best way to clean your windows using this is to spray it on and then use a cloth or newspaper to clean the surface.
This mixture can also be used to remove stains and imprints and to clean other surfaces.
You can also make a deodorizer at home using rubbing alcohol you have lying around.
All you need to do is:
- Mix one-part isopropyl alcohol and four-parts water
- Add a few drops of any scented essential oil you like into the mix
- Mix it all up and put it into a spray bottle
- Now you have the perfect deodorizer to use at home
Here is how to make an insecticide:
- Mix equal parts of water and isopropyl alcohol
- Then add a few pumps of dish cleaning liquid
- Your insecticide is ready
This is the perfect insecticide to use in your garden. Add it in a spray bottle, and then spray it onto infected surfaces of the plant.
Directly spraying isopropyl liquid from a distance can also help treat plant infestations, but the soap and water ensure that it sticks to the plant and is gentler than in direct contact.
Rubbing alcohol, mixed in 1/4th portion alcohol and four parts water, can also be used as an efficient cleaner.
You can clean makeup brushes and other makeup products using this solution. Moreover, it also helps to remove makeup stains from surfaces.
Isopropyl alcohol, diluted with water, can also clean metal surfaces and old silver cutlery.
You can even mix in a teaspoon of baking soda or a tablespoon of vinegar in the mixture to help get rid of rust stains from these surfaces.
Rubbing jewelry such as silver or metal rings, necklaces, and bracelets with rubbing alcohol will help them regain their shine and lost luster.
Due to the high chemical and alcohol properties found in isopropyl alcohol, it works as a natural disinfectant.
This means that you can use it to wipe off any surfaces that you wish to disinfect.
This is especially important in the age of Covid-19, and instead of throwing away your isopropyl alcohol, make a disinfectant out of it and use it to clean!
The Bottom Line
We hope that this article on “How to Dispose of Isopropyl Alcohol” proves to be useful for you.
Next time you think of disposing of isopropyl alcohol, consider some of these alternative methods and make the most effective and thorough use.
Remember, not disposing of isopropyl properly is hazardous for the planet and even dangerous for human health- therefore, safe and proper disposal methods are always advised.
We hope this helps. Good luck!
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