Thinner : how to get rid of it?

How do you dispose of your thinner and other solvents after a painting session be it airbrush or paintbrush??

I put all my chemicals in a sealed can. My town has a hazardous waste drop off location every first Saturday of the month.

I save it for the next time.

  1. clean thinner used for final clean
  2. slightly dirty thinner which has been used for final clean is saved and used for initial clean
  3. when it gets really murky it can be used for washes, filters and other weathering.

Dirty thinner left in a jar will eventually settle, the paint particles will fall to the bottom and become a murky sludge, the thinner above the sludge can be used for initial clean.
Eventually the thinner that has not been used will evaporate.


I pour it in my neighbor’s dog’s water bowl.

I was gonna say lol…… no dumping in the woods, or down the sewers, storm drains etc?

I never have enough dirty thinner to dump or even store in an empty paint bottle.

Using paint pipettes to measure thinner and use sparingly even cleaning airbrush, I don’t end up with left over dirty thinner. Any residual thinner ends up sprayed through the airbrush as part of the final clean up of the airbrush and into the paint booth and out the window. We’re talking less than 1cc/1ml of thinner.

Yeah Wade I use pipettes to measure out paint and thinner when airbrushing as well and end up with very little at the end of a session also. I may end up with a couple of ounces if that. I use a gallon size plastic container to dump it in. Takes forever to fill up especially since I build so few models a year.

Jeez, gave me a flashback to when I grew up in the early 70’s, the storm drains in the neighborhood saw all kinds of stuff run down them before everyone realized how bad that was. Old thinner, paint, old motor oil…

Yes I recall the same thing in my neighborhood growing up. Some of the things we did were just plain stupid lol.

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…clowns offering free balloons.

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Anything in the sewer out front of my parents old house would have dissolved. Including Pennywise! No amount of evil would have withstood what the neighbors flushed down the storm drain. Looking back it was innocent enough, none of us were truly aware how bad that activity was for the environment.

I either kept it for the next session. Dirty thinner was always good enough to clean the airbrush.

It starts with careful measuring/ quesstimating the amount of paint needed. When done I wipe up all of the excess paint with paper towels. I then put some thinner on a paper towel.
and wipe any excess. I have a jar with thinner I use to clean my brush but the paint does settle and i just keep using it.

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