4 Easy Ways to Dispose of Paint Water

It’s important to dispose of paint water properly because it can clog your plumbing if you don’t.

In addition to that, it can have serious environmental issues in the long term.

Different types of paints can also be worse for your plumbing and the environment than others.

Thus, this article on how to dispose of paint water will help show you what to do.

Different Ways to Dispose of Paint Water 

If you are an artist or use paints often, it’s best to use simple but effective methods of disposing of paint water.

These methods are explained below, along with the steps required to complete each one.

Some methods require you to use certain materials that you may already have access to in the house. If you don’t, you can switch to another way of disposal.

The following disposal methods pertain to acrylic and latex paint water in particular.

Use a Coffee Filter to Remove the Paint Solids from Water

Using a coffee filter to remove the paint solids from water that utilizes household equipment.

Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1. Gather the Necessary Supplies

You won’t need many materials for this method, and the process is fairly quick. Gather the following necessary supplies.

  • Two large bowls
  • One small container with an opening smaller than the size of a coffee filter
  • One piece of coffee filter (use larger commercial ones, if possible to catch more solids at once)

It’s important to choose a container that has enough volume to capture the amount of paint water you want to dispose of.

Step 2. Place the Coffee Filter Over the Opening of the Container

Place the coffee filter over the opening of the container securely. Make sure that it stays in place when you pour water into it.

It may help to tape some of the edges of the coffee filter to the container.

This way, you’ll help prevent the filter from falling into the container due to the weight of the water.

Step 3. Pour the Paint Water into the Container

Place your container with the coffee filter into a large bowl. By doing so, you’ll catch any paint water that spills.

Next, carefully pour the paint water through the coffee filter and into the container. Make sure to stop every time you see the water starting to get caught in the coffee filter.

Wait for a few moments for the water to drain into the container, and then add more paint water. Continue pouring until all of the water is in the container.

After this, you’ll notice that the paint solids are caught in the filter. In addition to that, the water will be clean in the container.

Coffee filters are excellent for trapping small particles that other sieves may otherwise not capture.

Step 4. Repeat the Process

It is typically a good idea to perform this process twice to ensure that the water is completely clean from the paint.

Thus, start by removing the coffee filter from the container. Next, remove the paint solids from the coffee filter. Place them on a piece of paper to allow them to harden.

At this point, you can reuse the coffee filter or use another. In any case, you will need to empty the container’s water into your third bowl.

After that, tape the coffee filter back onto the opening of the empty container. Next, pour the water from the bowl through the coffee filter and into the container.

Through this process, you may be able to trap some minuscule paint solids that may not have gotten trapped earlier.

Step 5. Dispose of the Paint Solids

Transfer the paint solids from the coffee filter to the piece of paper as mentioned above.

Leave the paint solids for some time so that they dry and harden. After that, you can dispose of the solids in your trash.

Step 6. Clean Your Utensils

It’s crucial to clean your bowls and container thoroughly soon after the disposal process.

This way, you’ll reduce the chances of paint remnants staying on your utensils.

It’s typically best practice to have dedicated utensils for your paints instead of using cooking ones.

As a result, you can help reduce the chances of paint contamination.

Let the Water Evaporate

If time is not a concern for you, you can simply the paint water to evaporate. This method also separates paint solids from paint water like the one mentioned above.

However, the advantage of this method is that you don’t have to use any specific supplies. Here’s what you must do.

Step 1. Transfer the Paint Water in an Appropriate Container

Transfer your paint water into a large container. Pick one that is wide and not too deep.

Large containers will increase the water’s surface area.

In addition to that, the minimum depth and maximum surface area will allow the water to evaporate faster than in a small and deep container.

Step 2. Place the Container in the Sun

The fastest way to get the water to evaporate is to expose it to heat.

Increased temperature gives the water molecules more energy, which can quicken evaporation.

Thus, the best thing you can do is place the container under sunlight.

If there isn’t much water and the container is appropriate, the evaporation process shouldn’t take long.

Step 3. Dispose of the Paint Solids

When the water evaporates fully, it will leave traces of paint solids in the container. You can now remove those solids and throw them in the trash.

Make sure to wait till all of the water dries, however. The paint solids should be hard and dry before you dump in them the trash.

The chemicals in the paint are locked in the mass when it hardens.

Therefore, disposing of damp paint solids can cause it spread the chemicals, potentially harming the environment in the process.

Consider Using a Drain Screen

A drain screen is a device that you install at the opening of the drain in your skin.

It can help trap solid particles and allow only the water to go down the drain.

Step 1. Install the Sieve in Your Sink

Drain screens are inexpensive, and you can install one yourself. All you have to do is place it at the opening of your drain.

Step 2. Pour the Water into the Sink

You can pour the paint water directly into the sink after installing the drain screen.

The drain screen will trap the paint solids and prevent them from getting into your drain.

If you have to dump a lot of paint water, don’t pour all of it at once. Pour some paint water, and then check if the drain screen is not already full.

If it is, then remove the drain screen and empty the solids.

If not, then you continue pouring more paint water into the sink. The purpose of checking is to ensure that you don’t pour paint water in an already full drain screen.

In that case, you won’t be able to trap all paint solids effectively, and some might pass through.

Step 3. Clean the Drain Screen and Reinstall It into the Sink

After pouring the paint water, remove the drain screen. Next, take the paint solids out of the drain screen, and place them on a piece of paper to allow them to harden.

Reinstall the drain screen in your sink. Once the solids are dry and hard, you can trash them.

Challenges of a Using Drain Screen

While you can use this device to dispose of paint water, it may not trap all paint solids.

Therefore, in the long term, you may still be risking your plumbing and draining system. In addition to that, you may also put the environment at risk.

If you do plan to use a drain screen, it’s important that it has a sieve that’s capable of trapping small paint solids.

In addition to that, it should be large enough to trap all paint solids.  

Consider Using Clumping Kitty Litter

If you have a pet cat, you can use some of its clumping kitty litter to dispose of paint water.

An important consideration for this step is that it may be more costly than the other methods mentioned above.

The others either didn’t require supplies or used inexpensive ones.

Clumping kitty litter can be expensive. With that said, keep the following steps in mind.

Step 1. Gather the Necessary Supplies

You’ll need the following supplies.

  • A large bucket (about 5 or 6 gallons of volume)
  • A considerable amount of kitty litter

Step 2. Put the Kitty Litter and Paint Water in the Bucket

Put in about 6 or 8 inches (in height) of kitty litter in your bucket.

Next, pour the paint water into the bucket full of kitty litter.

Step 3. Dispose of the Clumped Kitty Litter

When you let the kitty litter and paint water sit, the former will clump up. Therefore, both the water and the paint will be part of the kitty litter.

You can then directly dispose of the kitty litter in the trash.

Other articles you may also like: