Paint and Solvents

Clean paint brushes and rollers by rinsing them in water or solvent in a container. Do not pour the rinse water or solvent into the street gutter or down the drain. There is an erroneous assumption that once the liquid dries in the gutter, the paint or solvent won't go anywhere. The reality is that the next time it rains, runoff will carry these pollutants into the storm water system.

Water-based paints are safer to the environment than oil-based paints, but all paint should be kept out of the storm water system. There are coloration pigments in some paints that contain heavy metals. These metals can be very toxic to water supplies and aquatic life.

BMPs for Paint:

  • Use water-based paint whenever possible
  • Dispose of all old paint only at household hazardous waste collection event. Never dump it down the drain or into the street gutter.
  • Purchase only the amount of paint needed for the job.
  • Store paint safely. Prevent spills and leaks.

Best Management Practices for Solvents:

  • Use minimal amounts of water or solvent to clean brushes and rollers.
  • Reuse cleaning solvents and water.
  • Store cleaning solvents and water safely. Prevent spills and leaks.
  • Dispose of all cleaning solvents and rinse water only at household hazardous waste collection event.
  • Purchase only the amount of solvent needed for the job.

For more information on local household hazardous waste programs, please contact your community by visiting our Members and Sponsors page and clicking on the appropriate municipal member logo.