How do I dispose of oil paints?

I tried oil painting for the first time last night and I didn't know how to dispose of the paint already on my palette. So I poured baby oil over it, scrubbed it until all the oil paint was loose. Then I took Palmolive dish soap and scrubbed again until everything was completely loosened up. Then I washed things out in the sink. My mom says I shouldn't have done this. What did I do wrong? What do I do? What about next time? Also I didn't use any turpentine or paint thinners or anything.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Oil paint is not water-soluble, as I'm sure you are aware. I use turpentine to thin it when painting, and also to wash brushes. You can also use methylated spirit, but it's not as effective. Cleaning palettes I also use turpentine, but you can't pour that down the drain as it is very bad for the environment (it contains CFCs and insoluble chemicals that seriously damage aquatic ecosystems). Store used turps in a sealed jar or bottle and dispose at a recognised disposal site, like a local recycling centre. Use kitchen roll to clean up palettes and a little turps to wash off what you can't remove with kitchen roll. Oils are very slow to dry, so you can work different shades of colour into the area's you have just applied, and blend them on the paper/card/canvas without mixing first if you like. Hope this helps!

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What Guys Said 1

  • Essentially you never want to put paint down a drain. If it's wet, it can harden attached to the inside of the pipe where it's hard to clean, and if it's solid it can catch and cause build up. Either way, paint is going to increase the likelihood of a clogged drain. Trash is fine, even for flammable paints, as long as it's not entire containers of it.

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What Girls Said 2

  • Take it to the local dump and put it with the solvents

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  • I usually scrape it off and throw it out. since it’s more solid and usually comes out in globs they’re easy to just pick up and remove.

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