How to Dispose of Hair Bleach

Hair bleach is a common household chemical used to lighten hair color. It can be dangerous if not disposed of properly, so it’s essential to know how to get rid of it safely. This blog post will discuss how to dispose of hair bleach and keep your home and environment safe!

What is hair bleach made of?

Hair bleach is a chemical solution that lightens the color of hair. It’s composed of hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and water. When it is exposed to air, it emits hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. This makes it an unsafe chemical to dispose of carelessly.

These chemicals can be hazardous if not handled and disposed of properly. Hydrogen peroxide emits oxygen and hydrogen peroxide when exposed to air, making it potentially dangerous. Ammonia, used in various applications, including hair bleaches, fertilizers, explosives, and dyes, can also be toxic if inhaled or ingested. Disposing of hair bleach safely is crucial to protecting your home and the environment.

How long is hair bleach good for?

Hair bleach has an average shelf life of two years. However, before using it, be sure to verify the expiration date. Using expired hair bleach can be dangerous. It may not work as intended and result in your hair being damaged.

How to Dispose of Hair Bleach

Hair bleach deteriorates rapidly in the light. Its effectiveness fades within 20 minutes. If there is any bleach powder, developer, or other chemicals in the product, its life span may differ significantly.

Hair bleach is available in various formulations, including bleach powder and developer. Due to varying claims by manufacturers on how long their products will last, it may be hard to provide an accurate shelf life. Some makers suggest that their hair bleach powder will keep for a year after being combined. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case for most producers.

Is the Hair Bleach Acidic or Alkaline?

Hair bleach is an alkaline substance. The bleach powder contains alkaline agents such as ammonia and sodium or potassium hydroxide, which raise the hair’s pH level, making it more alkaline. When mixed with hydrogen peroxide, the alkaline powder creates a chemical reaction that breaks down melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color.

The alkalinity of hair bleach is necessary to open the hair cuticle, which is the outer layer of the hair shaft. This allows the bleach to penetrate the hair shaft and lighten the natural pigment. As a result, hair bleach can damage hair if not used properly.

To minimize the potential damage caused by the alkalinity of hair bleach, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Using a good quality developer with a proper pH level is also essential to ensure the bleach mixture remains alkaline throughout the application process.

How to dispose of hair bleach properly?

While the process of hair bleaching isn’t complicated, how you dispose of hair bleach is very important. Improper disposal of hair bleach can lead to environmental contamination and harm your health.

The first step in disposing of hair bleach is to read the label. Many products will have specific instructions on how to dispose of them safely. If there are no instructions on the label, follow these general guidelines:

1. Take it to the local hazardous waste disposal center

Taking it to your local hazardous waste collection site is the best approach to getting rid of it. These facilities are generally located near most major cities and are designed to handle dangerous chemicals. They should be able to dispose of your extra bleach for you properly.

When disposing of hair bleach, it is essential to read the label for specific instructions on how to dispose of the product safely. If there are no instructions on the label, follow the general guidelines outlined in this article. Do not dispose of hair bleach down the drain, as it can contaminate water sources and harm the environment.

Remember to handle hair bleach carefully, wear protective gloves and clothing, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Properly disposing of hair bleach is crucial for protecting the environment and ensuring the safety and well-being of yourself and those around you.

2. Donating or sharing excess hair dye

If you can’t get rid of the excess hair dye on your own, consider giving it to a friend, neighbor, or family member. Perhaps you know someone who would also want to color their hair in the same hue as yours! You may ensure that any leftover pigment is used up and doesn’t pollute the environment.

You may also dye each other’s hair to ensure you don’t miss any spots! However, please be advised that the new, mixed dye (dye combined with the developer) should be used immediately after one hour. Opened hair dye degrades rapidly and is no longer effective after an hour; additionally, it’s unsafe to store. After you’ve used up the hair color, rinse the container and recycle it.

3. Call the local recycling center

If there is no hazardous waste disposal center in your area, you can ask your local recycling facility if they will take hair bleach. If you can’t find a safe way to eliminate hazardous waste in your region, call your local trash collection firm. Waste facility employees will almost always be able to tell you how to handle hazardous materials properly.

You may also recycle your empty hair bleach bottles if they are empty. Most recycling centers take plastic bottles, but it’s good to double-check whether they’ll take them if they’ve been used to hold hazardous chemicals like bleach.

Properly disposing of hair bleach is crucial for your health and the environment. Neglecting to do so can have serious consequences, including environmental pollution and harm to human health. Following the guidelines above, you can safely and responsibly dispose of your hair bleach and contribute to a healthier planet.

Can Hair Bleach Go Down the Drain?

Hair bleach should not be casually poured down the drain, as it can cause harm to both the environment and the plumbing system. Although hair bleach is generally safe to dispose of in the gutter, it should be diluted with plenty of water to minimize any harm it may cause. 

Ensuring that the bleach is not combined with other substances is critical. When hair bleach is flushed down the toilet, it can cause harm to septic systems and eliminate helpful bacteria that aid in waste breakdown. Moreover, it can hurt aquatic life if it enters the water supply.

To avoid these risks, it’s best to contact your local hazardous waste management facility to dispose of new bleach properly. This is particularly important for those who live near bodies of water or where waste can easily flow into the water supply. By taking care of your bleach disposal responsibly, you’re helping to protect the environment and ensure the safety of your plumbing system.

Try a natural, harmless alternative

Consider using a natural hair dye if you don’t want to deal with hazardous traces of previous hair color. There are several plant-based hair dyes on the market. These dyes are less harmful to the environment and one’s health than traditional chemical ones.

Henna is a fantastic natural dye alternative that you can certainly try if you want to color your hair. It’s a safe and environmentally friendly option you may consider when dying your hair. You may conveniently compost the leftover henna rather than throw it in the garbage. Reach out to your hairdresser or colorist to learn about these incredible natural or less damaging alternatives.

How to use hair dyes safely

Now that you know how to dispose of hair bleach, it’s essential to learn how to use it safely. Hair dying is a highly creative, gratifying, and enjoyable process. You should, however, use them with caution since they’re manufactured with artificial chemicals.

How to use hair dyes safely

You must follow the instructions on the product box to safely handle the color. An allergic response can be caused by mishandling the color. When it comes to hair dyes, here are a few safety precautions you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure to do a test patch to see whether or not the dye causes an allergic response. Apply a dab of the color behind your ear and leave it there for the recommended time to check for product efficacy. Don’t use it if you experience any allergy symptoms, such as redness, itching, or burning when applying the dye to your scalp or hair.
  • When working with hair dyes and bleaches, wearing latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves is a must. The gloves will keep your hands safe from direct contact with the substance. If you get dye stains on your hands or fingernails, remove them as soon as possible using a high-quality hand cleanser.
  • All hair dyes and other hair products should be out of reach for your kids and pets. Accidental ingestion can have severe consequences. Always work in a well-ventilated area when using hair dyes. This is because the smell of synthetic dyes can be pretty solid and disgusting, so working in a ventilated room is not necessary.
  • Wear a face mask if you can’t tolerate the pungent odor of hair dyes. Never leave the hair dye on your hair for longer than the recommended time on the box. Hair bleach is equally harmful to your locks and scalp, so don’t apply it unless directed by a professional.
  • Do not mix different hair dye types. Rinse your scalp with water as soon as possible after applying the hair color. Never use hair color on your brows. The dye can cause eye swelling and vision problems if you are allergic to it. It can also induce eye infections and eventual blindness.


Disposing of hair bleach properly is crucial for your health and the environment. Always read the label and follow specific instructions, and if none are provided, take it to your local hazardous waste disposal center or call your local recycling center. You can also consider using natural and less harmful alternatives, such as plant-based hair dyes like henna.

Use hair dyes cautiously and follow the product instructions to avoid mishaps or allergic reactions. By taking these steps, you can safely and responsibly enjoy the benefits of hair coloring while protecting yourself and the world around you.


Is hair bleach safe to breathe?

No, hair bleach is not safe to breathe in high amounts. It can cause lung irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath.

It is essential to use hair bleach in a well-ventilated area and take breaks during the application process to avoid prolonged exposure.

How long does it take for bleach to evaporate?

Bleach does not evaporate, but its potency decreases after 24 hours when mixed with water or exposed to high temperatures.

The efficacy of bleach is highest when it is diluted with water, and it loses its effectiveness when the water evaporates.

Does bleach react with water?

Yes, bleach reacts with water. When bleach (which contains chlorine) reacts with water, it produces hydrochloric acid and atomic oxygen. The oxygen then reacts with the chromophores in hair to remove the part of its structure that causes color.

While chlorine in drinking water has been debated, the amount of bleach used for hair bleaching is typically much lower and more diluted than that used for disinfecting water.

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