How to Dispose Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a toxic, flammable liquid that should be disposed of properly. Improper disposal of brake fluid can contaminate groundwater and soil. Used brake fluid must be properly disposed of to avoid causing harm to the environment or people. If you have brake fluid to dispose of, follow these steps to do it safely and responsibly.

How to Dispose Brake Fluid Safely?

Brake Fluid of car
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If you have never handled brake fluid before and know nothing about the liquid, you may not be sure how to handle the waste correctly. Should you pour brake fluid down the drain, dump it in the toilet, or wait for trash pickup? To be clear – none of those are advised options.

Because brake fluid is an alcohol-based and flammable substance, proper handling is necessary. If you have a small brake fluid to dispose of, do so at home. For larger amounts, take it to a waste management facility that can handle this type of waste properly.

1. Disposing Brake Fluid at Home

If you don’t have much brake fluid left, there’s no need to go to a waste management facility. You can safely dispose of it using kitty litter following the steps below.

  • Cover a pan or container with unused kitty litter: A 9 by 12-inch container is fine. You may also use the metal pan to collect mechanical fluid while repairing your car. You may get it online or at a pet store if you don’t have any.
  • Pour the brake fluid on the kitty litter: After you’ve poured it over the kitty litter, make sure it’s out of reach of your pets or children since it can be harmful if ingested. Keep it away from flames and heat sources because brake fluid is combustible.
  • Let the container sit for 3 to 4 days: You want to do this because brake fluid is alcohol-based. With time, the alcohol will evaporate; however, most of it will be absorbed by the kitty litter. If there’s still some liquid present after shaking the pan, wait a few more days until all of it has gone.
  • Remove the kitty litter: Pour the remaining kitty litter into a trash bag, wrap it tightly, and throw it away as you would any other waste.

2. Use a Waste Management Facility

If you’re left with a hefty amount of brake fluid and can’t get rid of it yourself, follow these steps to contact a waste management facility for help.

  • Research: The initial step is to research whether there’s a public waste disposal center near to you. Be sure to determine if they’re willing to accept hazardous fluids, like brake fluid, before going and giving them your waste. Their website should have this information available.
  • Get clarification: Call them up if the information on their website is unclear or there is no information about handling hazardous waste. If they do, inquire as to how they accomplish it. Do they use pickups, or must you bring the garbage personally?
  • Drop off the brake fluid: Many waste management firms will demand that you deliver your garbage to their facilities. Find out when they’re open and store the brake fluid in a sealed container, so it doesn’t leak while you transport it.
  • Pay the waste disposal fee: The cost is around $15. However, the price varies from one location to another. The plant will sometimes recycle the material for free, but you must donate in return.

Tips To Follow

When it comes to dealing with brake fluid, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Always wear gloves when handling brake fluid, as it can be very corrosive.
  • Make sure to dispose of any brake fluid properly-never pour it down the drain!
  • Always check your owner’s manual before adding brake fluid to your car, as some cars have specific requirements.


So, properly disposing of toxic fluids, such as brake fluid, is critical. When dealing with brake fluid, stay away from fire and heat-emitting devices since it is inflammable. Always tight seal your container and position it upright in your vehicle to avoid spills when you’re ready to dispose of the liquid. If you aren’t experienced, seek out a mechanic’s help to bleed your brakes or fix brake fluid leakage.


Is brake fluid hazardous?

Diethylene glycol (DEG), sweet-tasting yet odorless and colorless alcohol, is often present in brake fluids. With a boiling point of 470°F, DEG is highly toxic. It can be fatal if patients do not receive immediate medical attention if ingested.

Can you pour brake cleaner down the drain?

Do Not dispose of brake or carburetor cleaner down any storm drain, septic system, sanitary sewer, dumpster, or on the ground. Do not use chlorinated brake or carburetor cleaners in conjunction with other solvents.

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