How to Safely Dispose Of Brake Fluid

Automobile brake fluid gets potentially toxic and is always flammable. Thus the need to safely dispose of brake fluid at home, waste treatment facility or a recycling center

Yes maintaining your vehicle’s brake system is greatly important to car safety. Brake fluid assist transfer the pressure from a driver’s foot to the brake pedal to move the vehicle to a halt. Its levels must be kept full and in good condition. Low fluid levels or fluids that are in poor condition will not allow the brakes help you stop the vehicle. Brakes are often serviced by a mechanic, but oftentimes you require bleeding the brakes to remove trapped air and flush out the old or contaminated fluid. This implies that you’ll also have to return the brake fluid reservoir to acceptable levels — most car designs include a “min” and “max” line for easy reference.

You will have to be extra careful when handling new or old brake fluid. Since it it is alcohol-based it is always highly flammable. It is actually not toxic on its own but quickly gets so when contaminated. While sitting in a vehicle, it absorbs heavy metals that make it poisonous if ingested by humans or animals. Even new, uncontaminated brake fluid preserved in a jar that’s been opened tends to absorb enough water to dangerously lower its boiling point, further increasing its flammability. It should thus never be poured down the sink, storm drain, into a septic tank, or onto the ground.

Unused brake fluid can be left behind in a container opened for refilling fluid levels. Old brake fluid taken from a vehicle counts as hazardous waste and has to be taken to a treatment facility. Small spills and amounts left in new bottles can be taken care of at home. Whether you are dealing with fresh or tainted brake fluid, you should know how to properly dispose of it after use.

How to Dispose Brake Fluid at Home

Smaller quantities of brake fluid don’t always need the trip to an automotive shop or a waste treatment center. If you have a kitty litter, a bucket or pan of some kind, and a sealable garbage bag, brake fluid get be absorbed, evaporated, and disposed of in 3 easy steps:

  1. Empty the brake fluid into a pan of clean kitty litter. Fill the large, flat-bottomed bowl or tray, or a metal pan that you’d use for catching vehicle fluids, with about a half-inch of kitty litter. Then, pour the brake fluid over the kitty litter, or, while draining old fluid from the vehicle, have the bowl set up to collect it all.
  2. Allow the pan uncovered and sit it for 3-4 days. Ensure the pan is kept somewhere away from pets or children because of its toxicity, and far from sources of heat or flame since it is flammable. It will be absorbed by the kitty litter and, because it is alcohol-based, it will evaporate over the course of some few days.

Dispose of the litter once all the fluid evaporates. After some days, shake the tray to inspect for leftover brake fluid, and allow it to sit longer if any remains. Once it gets completely dry, pour the litter into a plastic garbage bag, seal the top, and throw it out with the rest of your trash.