Recycling white spirits or turps

After painting for many years I recently had a brain wave!!! I always recycle the white spirit ( I use it in preference to Turps because of the odour). I use glass bottles and when the liquid is full of paint I let the bottle stand until all the paint has sunk to the bottom of the bottle, then I pour the clean spirit into another clean bottle. My problem was how to then dispose of the contaminated bottle? So now I use paper towels which I push into the bottle and with the back of a paint brush I clean the bottle. I throw the paper into a plastic bag and tie it up and throw it into the trash. No more dirty bottles to dispose of!!! Just a tip!!!

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When my jar is full of paint, I bring it to my town’s Ecocentre. It’s paint, so it’s not supposed to go into the trash. They know how to dispose of it safely :slight_smile:

Thank you Jacinthe. I wish we had an ecocentre here in South Africa!!!

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I used to do the pour off the clean method. I use the metal can with the lift out screen so now, about once a week, I lift out the screen and, with a flat straight ended painting knife, I scrape the bottom and lift out the scum and wipe on a paper towel. Then put the screen back in and add a bit more Gamsol. Works for me.

Thanks Andrea, sounds similar to what I do. Paper towels are the most useful thing for artists, I think!!!

Gamblin just did a post about doing this very thing on their FB and IG pages. Reading (actually mis-reading) your post gave me an idea. I wonder what would happen if you put a couple of paper towels on the bottom of the jar before you poured in the mineral spirits to settle overnight? That way maybe all the gunk would stick to the paper towels and be easier to remove after pouring off the clear liquid. I’m going to try that and see what happens. According to Gamblin’s article, the gunk remaining can also be reconstituted into paint by adding oil and can be used as a neutral gray paint. Personally I can only reuse once if that because the bit of oil that remains in the spirits becomes rancid and smells bad to me. Gamblin assured me it’s not toxic, just unpleasant to those with a sensitive nose.

Jana that sounds interesting, please let us know how it goes, thanks.

Do not put the soaked paper towels in a plastic bag then in the trash. You are asking for spontaneous combustion! Fire! Let them dry out first or soak them in water and put in a metal can with lid.

Thanks David for that tip. To soak them in water contaminates the water system and that is what I am trying to avoid. So drying them out is the better option I think.