Can You Pour Antifreeze Down the Drain? (Safe Disposal Tips)

Can You Pour Antifreeze Down the Drain?

Antifreeze is a common household item that is used to keep engines from freezing in cold weather. However, many people are unsure about whether it’s safe to pour antifreeze down the drain.

It is not safe to pour antifreeze down the drain. Antifreeze is toxic to both humans and animals and can contaminate the water supply. Instead, it should be properly disposed of through a recycling center or a hazardous waste facility.

Antifreeze needs to be disposed of with great care, or you could run into a hefty fine from the EPA. In this article, we’ll look at why antifreeze is hazardous and how you can responsibly dispose of it.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Antifreeze is only one of several liquids that are required to keep your car running. All of these liquids could be considered hazardous and need to be disposed of with great care and responsibility.

Here are the top products for your next car service from Amazon

1. Antifreeze– used to regulate the temperature of your car engine.

2. Motor oilused to lubricate the engine parts.

3. Brake Fluid – used to amplify braking force.


Antifreeze is usually used to regulate the temperature of your car’s engine during extreme outside temperatures. When you mix it with water, it lowers the freezing point, which is extremely helpful in the winter when temperatures drop below freezing.

Most manufacturers agree that you should change your antifreeze every 30,000 miles. That sounds easy enough, but disposing of antifreeze is a challenging task.

Proper Methods of Antifreeze Disposal

There are endless ways to dispose of antifreeze. Simply pour it down the drain, right? Well, actually, not.

You can’t pour antifreeze down the drain, toilet, or sewer. This is due to the main ingredient in antifreeze, ethylene glycol, being extremely toxic. Antifreeze can also not simply be thrown into the trash.

The best method to dispose of used antifreeze is with other hazardous products. 

Where to Dispose of Used Antifreeze

Auto shops and service stations obviously deal with used antifreeze and motor oil more frequently than you or I do. They know how to dispose of these liquids properly.

So, if you have a local auto shop near you, you could ask them if they would be willing to dispose of your antifreeze. They are under no obligation to do this for you, but in most cases, they won’t mind.

This is the safest way to dispose of antifreeze since you can be completely sure that they will follow the correct methods to dispose of it. You can also contact the EPA and inquire where and how you can dispose of hazardous waste in your area.

Antifreeze is biodegradable and will break down into water and carbon dioxide within days. If you spill antifreeze onto your lawn or other soil, it will hinder plant growth or even kill any plants in the immediate area.

How to Avoid Illegal Dumping of Antifreeze

Illegally dumping antifreeze refers to simply throwing your antifreeze in the trash. Antifreeze is extremely toxic to humans and animals when ingested, so it would not be safe to have it lying around on a landfill Antifreeze is also extremely flammable, so it would be a massive fire risk if anything hot is placed near it. 

To avoid getting in trouble, you should inquire about the hazardous waste methods in your community. You can contact the EPA or simply ask your local county clerk.

Cost-Effective Ways to Dispose of Antifreeze

So this article has explicitly detailed how you cannot dispose of your antifreeze waste, so what can you do?

You can recycle antifreeze, although not how you might think. You can’t throw antifreeze into the recycle bin with your milk cartons. There are specific companies that specialize in recycling antifreeze for reuse.

Recycled antifreeze is cheaper than virgin antifreeze and can still be used by consumers in their cars. During the recycling process, the contaminants in the used liquid are filtered out, and critical properties are added to the liquid via additives. This recycled antifreeze can then be sold to consumers again – clearly marked as a recycled product.

If you approach a company to dispose of your antifreeze waste or recycle it, you can expect to pay at least $200, depending on the quantity you offer.

You might also enjoy our post on Whether it is Safe to Put Antifreeze in Toilets

Final Thoughts

You can’t pour antifreeze down a drain, sewer, or toilet. The best way to dispose of used antifreeze is to take it to a hazardous waste company or an antifreeze recycling company. In both cases, you can rest assured that the toxic chemical will not cause harm to other humans.

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