P2 for Ag Educators-Technical Assistance

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Laboratory Self Audit
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Ag & Vo Ed Home

Last updated:
June 26, 2001




Pollution Prevention (P2) for
Agricultural and Vocational Educators

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will be periodically updated with common questions submitted by agricultural and vocational educators using this resource.  Emerging issues will be addressed here first, and integrated into the audit if necessary. 

Question  re: latex paint clean-up
I understand latex paint is a better option than oil, but even then, how do I clean up my brushes and equipment?

Water-based (latex) paint:
If you're not quite done with your project yet, save cleanup time and trouble. Wrap paint-soaked brushes and rollers in airtight aluminum foil or plastic bags and store them in the freezer. To use again, just let them sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

After your project
When you've finished your paint project, brush excess paint onto newspaper or cardboard. Let the newspaper or cardboard dry out and throw it into the garbage. Wash brushes and rollers in inside drains with soap and water. Never clean them on the lawn or street, since the paint can end up in groundwater or a stream.

Storing paint
If you store paint for future projects, do it properly. Make sure the lid is on securely and store the paint can upside down. The paint will create a tight seal around the lid, keeping the paint fresh until you need it for another project.

answers courtesy of:
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County
130 Nickerson St,Suite 100, Seattle WA 98109
voice: (206) 263-3051 | fax: (206) 263-3070
e-mail: haz.waste@metrokc.gov | TDD: (206) 263-3413
1998 King County LHWMP - all rights reserved


Another paint question:  I have multiple cans of various color paints I do not need and do not wish to store in my workshop.  Most of the cans are less than half full and are of various sizes, including quarts, half gallons and 5 gallon buckets.  How do I get rid of these?

The best answer is to find someone who can use the paints for their intended purpose, check around and offer the paint free to any takers.  If the paints are of the same type, they can be consolidated into a few larger containers.  Usually mixing multiple paint colors results in a dull utility gray, which is perfect for painting farm equipment or other items you just want to protect the finish on.  As for cans, most landfills require the entire contents of the can to be dry before they may be thrown away.  Find out if there are any special waste collection days in your community coming up.