Mineral spirits also known as white spirits are petroleum-based cleaning solvents that dissolve oil. You can use them to clean oil-based wood finishes and stains, adhesive left from stickers, and sticky sap. You can also use them to revive old oily finishes that look grimy and dirty. Mineral spirits can also act as a degreaser, especially if you are working in the auto industry. According to WikiHow, mineral spirits are mostly used with art paint and decorating products. After using them to clean paint brushes, to thin paint, or to perform other tasks, you can choose to store them and reuse them or you can look for a hazardous waste facility that is responsible for disposing of waste products. Mineral spirits are hazardous and you should therefore dispose of them in the right way. Here are tips on how to dispose of mineral spirits.
1. Find your closest hazardous disposal center
Before deciding to get rid of mineral spirits, you need to identify a hazardous waste disposal center that is located near your place of residence. At times, you may find that there is no such a center near your location. If this is the case, find out whether the government has made arrangements for special pickups for hazardous waste. Ensure that you label the container you put the mineral spirit to ensure they are disposed of properly. Alternatively, you can look for a company that offers hazardous waste disposal services and make arrangements with them to pick the waste especially if it is a lot.
2. Ensure proper storage before transportation
It is important to prepare the mineral spirits for safe transportation whether you are the one to take the waste to the waste disposal center or whether you are giving it to a company that collects such waste. One way to store your mineral spirits is by putting them in a plastic bag or a properly constructed box for safe transportation. Avoid keeping the mineral spirits in your car’s cabin. Note that you can also put them in sealed plastic bins. However, it is important to consult with a company that offers hazardous waste removal services first for more advice.
3. Dropping off the mineral spirits
After you have safely contained your mineral spirits, you should call the company that offers waste disposal services to collect them. Alternatively, you can drop them off at the hazardous waste collection site if you have not made arrangements with such a company. There are rules and regulations that you should follow once you get to the waste disposal site. According to Wood Working Stack Exchange, mineral spirits disposal services vary depending on where the site is located. Make sure that you understand these regulations and follow them.
Safety measures when disposing of mineral spirits
Some people ask whether it is wise to dispose of mineral spirits on the drain. You should never pour mineral spirits on sewers or drains because they are toxic and they can contaminate the groundwater. Contamination of groundwater can result in possible health issues for you and your loved ones as well as people living in the surrounding. It is also important to note that mineral spirits can easily evaporate. Some people chose to open the mineral spirit containers and leave them outside for them to evaporate. However, this is not an appropriate method of disposing of mineral spirits, especially if you have pets and kids. Leaving mineral spirits to evaporate, especially if they are in large quantities can also pose threat to the quality of the air. As aforementioned, one of the best places to store mineral spirits before transportation is in plastic containers. However, it is important to remember that some types of mineral spirits can dissolve certain plastics. Paint thinner is a good example of mineral spirits that can dissolve different plastic containers, including ABS, EPDM, and HDPE. Similarly, linseed oil will dissolve neoprene, rubber, and EPDM. Although people can consume Ethyl alcohol, you should not put it in a polyurethane container since it can dissolve it. It is advisable for you to be careful when selecting containers to put different kinds of mineral spirits.
Another thing to remember when dealing with mineral spirits is that they are made from various chemicals and they can therefore cause health issues if mishandled. According to Upgraded Homes, mineral spirits can cause irritation to your skin or skin burn. You should therefore handle the mineral spirits appropriately. Ensure that your skin does not get in touch with these spirits, and especially in large quantities, since it can cause serious skin burns that can result in scarring.
It is also important to avoid inhaling or swallowing mineral spirits since most of them contain hydrocarbons. Some of the symptoms of inhaling mineral spirits include swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, burning, or severe pain in the nose, tongue, ears, or eyes. The poisoning can also cause loss of vision. If you ingest mineral spirits, you can experience symptoms like severe abdominal pain, burning sensation in your throat, vomiting, or even blood in the stool. It is recommendable to see a physician before these symptoms grow worse. Contaminated mineral spirits are still usable for certain jobs like cleaning engine parts and old tools. You can also use them for degreasing. However, if you decide to keep the contaminated mineral spirits for later use, you should be careful how you store them. Ensure that you store them in a safe place and label them appropriately to avoid using them to thin paint or to clean brushes. For better results when it comes to reusing the contaminated spirit, you can allow it to sit on a container for some days or a week and see if the spirit separates from the paint mixture. You can then decant the clean spirit. Get rid of the mineral spirit as explained above if it gets too dirty to continue being used. Reusing mineral spirits can help you to save money.