Resin or epoxy is one of the most popular products used today for creative projects in the art industry.
It is a clear substance that hardens once you mix the appropriate amount of part A and part B chemicals.
Its quick hardening properties make it a great substance to use for more durable projects – such as making coasters, trays, and even jewelry boxes.
Since the substance is clear in nature, you can add colorings and decorations of choice.
On most arts and crafts pages, you will find people adding gold foil pieces along with glitter to give their craft project a luxurious look.
Even though epoxy resin has taken the arts and crafts world by storm, it is very important to know how to dispose of unwanted epoxy safely.
Through this article, we will highlight a few easy steps through which you can dispose of resin and be environmentally responsible at the same time.
Before we get into disposal methods, let’s answer one of the most frequently asked questions about disposing of resin:
Can you Dispose Unwanted Epoxy Resin Down the Toilet?
This is a hard pass. No, you cannot flush down unwanted epoxy resin because it can have severe consequences.
Well for starters, the epoxy resin will not go down the drain just like any other liquid, instead, it will most probably stick to the bottom of the bowl.
Once it hardens, not only will it block your pipes but will also render the toilet usable.
After all, how are you going to use the toilet if you will not be able to flush the residual matter down the drain?
As a result, you will have to call in a plumber and most probably break the toilet bowl.
Since resin is meant to be set like hard rock, it will become a part of your toilet bowl. You cannot chisel it off or melt it under that condition.
Hence, you would have to purchase a whole new toilet and get it installed in your bathroom.
So, before even thinking of flushing down unwanted epoxy down the toilet, think of the hassle and cost that it will bring!
That being said, you can judge the strength of cured epoxy resin!
Now, when it comes to actually disposing of epoxy resin in a safe manner, you will have to be mindful of it before you start working on a project.
Since epoxy requires mixing and curing, this is what you have to keep in mind.
Also read: Is Cork Biodegradable?
How Much Resin Do You Need for Your Project?
Resin is not like a tub of glitter. If you add extra glitter on top of a project, you can always dust it off and save it in another container for further use.
This is something, that unfortunately, you cannot do with resin.
Once you mix the epoxy resin with the hardener, the curing process begins immediately.
So, if you mix more resin than you actually need for your project, you will be left with a ton of extra.
Therefore, before you start a project, try to estimate exactly how much epoxy resin you need to mix before you begin.
This will save you from a lot of hassle, as well as save the amount of product used.
If you are working on a project that does not give you an accurate estimate, you can mix your resin and hardener in small quantities.
Once you have completely utilized one batch, then you can move on to mixing another.
Can I Save Spilled Epoxy Resin?
You can definitely save spilled epoxy resin for future use if it has not been mixed with the hardener.
That being said, if the separate components create a spill, you can carefully collect them in a container and use them for future projects.
However, if you’ve already mixed the resin with the hardener, you have to use it immediately. Once the epoxy resin is mixed with the hardener, it does not take time to set.
So, if you have spilled mixed epoxy resin onto your table, it is best to clean it out as quickly as possible. If the resin is set on your table, you will be looking at a pretty annoying bumpy stain.
To help the process along, there are several chemical solvents available in the market.
These chemical solvents can help you remove epoxy stains from clothing and other hardware. However, there is nothing much you can do if the epoxy resin has completely cured.
Can I Store the Epoxy and Hardener Separately?
The epoxy resin and hardener that comes with it have a very long shelf life.
This means that you don’t have to dispose of the two products once you are finished with your projects. You can easily store them in the same container for a long period of time.
If you do not want to keep big containers on your shelf, you can transfer the remaining product into smaller containers and store them away.
This way, you will have some epoxy resin and hardener available for any smaller future projects.
Make sure that the product you are storing is unused. If you have already mixed the components, it will cure and sit stiffly in your container with no actual use.
How To Dispose Off Resin Safely
If you’ve given all of these points a thought, but still need to dispose of resin, here are a few safe ways to do it:
Wait Till Your Epoxy is Fully Cured
You must ensure that the unwanted epoxy is fully cured before you dispose it of. Cured epoxy resin is hard as a rock so you will be easily able to tell when it’s done.
If you are throwing away their containers, make sure they are absolutely empty.
Pouring down liquid Epoxy or Hardener down the trashcan can be very harmful because it will cling to all the other trash contents.
Even though this may be an ‘out of sight out of mind‘ issue for you, it will create a huge mess in the landfill.
Not to mention, it can be dangerous for the person on the other end who is going to handle your trash.
Ensure Proper Mixing Ratio
You must try your best to combine the resin and hardener in the right ratio. If you do not follow the correct procedure, you can turn the epoxy resin into a hazardous material.
When the Epoxy and hardware are mixed at the ratio that they are supposed to be, the end result is not hazardous.
An incorrect ratio will also not cure properly, so make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging.
Recycle Your Mixed Your Epoxy
If you have leftover mixed epoxy resin, you can simply recycle it into another project.
For example, if you have any silicon molds lying around, you can use the leftover epoxy resin to create fridge magnets, coasters, or any other thing that you desire.
It will be a cute little addition to your house and save you from the hassle of curing and disposing of the epoxy resin.
Now that we have highlighted a few ways in which you can safely dispose of resin, here are a few tips for draining a resin container:
How to Drain an Epoxy Container
Before disposing of epoxy resin from a container, you have to understand that these containers are easier to drain when they are warm.
You can leave your container in a warm corner, or even blow-dry the edges to raise the temperature.
Remember, even though the resin is a low toxic product, it can still be considered hazardous.
If the temperature rises too high, or if there is a nearby combustible product, the warm resin can ignite a fire.
Once the container is warm enough, you can lift it up high and swirl it around till all the liquid falls into your mixing cup.
You can even use a wooden popsicle stick to scrape off any extra liquid that might be stuck to the walls.
Once all the liquid is out, the containers are good to go in the trash.
This process can be used for both epoxy and hardener containers since both of them have similar consistencies.
Remember to Check Your Local Waste Regulations
Local waste regulations vary depending on the area in which you live. So, you must ensure what waste regulations apply as per your local government.
Make sure you look up the legislation on disposing of hazardous waste so that you have a clear idea about what you are dealing with.
Another great idea is to contact the brand technical support team from which you have purchased the epoxy.
Their customer care can also help you figure out a few ways to which you can dispose of your resin.
The Bottom Line
Whether you enjoy arts and crafts as a personal hobby or a business, it is essential for you to think about the environment’s safety.
Therefore, it is your responsibility to safely dispose of resin along with any other hazardous materials that you may be using.
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