Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nail polish

How would you dispose of nail polish? In middle school, I liked to buy the really cheap polish at Wal-Mart (the stuff that chips after one day). I’ve been trying to make more room in the bathroom cabinet and decided the cheap nail polish needed to go. It didn’t seem right to just toss the bottles in the trash, so I looked online for ways to dispose of nail polish. Several sites said to pour the polish onto newspapers, let it dry, then throw the newspaper away. So I gathered up newspaper, went outside, and started pouring. It was kind of a disaster. It was really windy and the newspaper kept flying around. My hands got covered in nail polish and I got some on my shirt, the trash bin, the sidewalk... Luckily the stuff on my shirt was plain glitter polish, so at least there’s not a color.

As I was pouring and getting nail polish everywhere I actually thought about the process and it didn’t make much sense to me. The polish bottles were sealed tight. The website said nail polish usually dries out after two years, but these bottles were 10-15 years old and still fine. Wouldn’t the formaldehyde and other chemicals be less likely to get in the ground if they stayed sealed in the bottle, as opposed to poured out? Or would trash compacting break the bottles?

Obviously, freecycle would have been the best option, but of course I didn’t think of that until after I’d poured out half of the bottles (I do plan to list the other half and see if anyone takes them). I’m having fun going through all our old stuff but the actual process of getting rid of things can be exhausting. I feel like everything could be hazardous and its annoying trying to dispose of it all properly.


  1. Never given it much thought. I'd probably just toss it all in the trash. I clearly don't have any kids or pets. And I'm a little lazy, so pouring them all out sounds time consuming.

  2. It wouldn't have even occurred to me that I couldn't just toss the bottles in the trash.

  3. I've always just thrown them in the trash. Probably I'm responsible for the chemical deaths of a lot of fish and worms.