How to Dispose of Old Nail Polish

By Hallie Engel

Nail polish may look pretty, but it contains various toxic chemicals and is classified by the EPA as hazardous waste. Never throw it in a garbage can or pour it down the sink, as it may pollute the local water supply. Instead, take old nail polish, along with unwanted nail polish remover, to a household hazardous waste facility for safe disposal that won't harm the planet.

Young woman doing pedicure, close-up of hand and foot
credit: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
Woman painting her toe nails.

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Another Option

If you don't live near a hazardous waste disposal plant, you can still dispose of nail polish safely, according to the website Unclutterer. Uncap the bottle and let it sit until it dries out completely, becoming a solid. Next, screw the cap on tightly and throw it away; since it's no longer a liquid, it won't leak and contaminate water or soil.