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How to Dispose of Methylated Spirits

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by All Gone Admin
aMethylated Spirits

Methylated spirits are a form of alcohol comprised of harmful or bitter substances, making it unsuitable for drinking. They are a colourless liquid mostly used as fuel and solvents and have become a favourite chemical used in every Australian household for cleaning products.

Also known as denatured alcohol, this hazardous substance is usually used to fill up gas stoves and thinner to remove paint and cleaning glass. Its characteristic pungent odour makes it unsuitable for drinking and can be fatal when ingested, even in small quantities.

However, we must know how to properly dispose of such a dangerous chemical to protect the environment and our well-being and not treat it as regular trash.

Significance of Proper Disposal of Methylated Spirits 

Methylated spirits have become one of the most frequently used chemicals whether for household or commercial use. 

Improper disposal could cost our lives, including the considerable environmental damage it can cause. 

According to the Poisons Information Centre, under the law, Australian methylated spirits must not contain over 5% methanol, and a majority of them should not contain methanol at all. 

Adverse Impact of Improper Methylated Spirits Disposal to the Environment

There’s no question that improper disposal of methylated spirits can adversely affect the environment. Irresponsibly disposing of them on the ground or drain can pollute water and soil. Here is what will happen when you improperly dispose of methylated spirits:

Water Contamination: Methylated spirits are made of ethanol combined with various substances, including methanol, which can harm water-dwelling organisms. 

Know the dangers of careless disposal, like dumping it down the sink. This can pollute water sources and contaminate the natural balance of aquatic environments. 

Soil Contamination: When methylated spirits are spread on the earth, they can infiltrate the ground and into groundwater, damaging vegetation and tiny living things. 

This can disturb the native plants and animals and possibly find its way into the water sources underground.

Air Pollution: Transforming methylated spirits into vapour may release harmful fumes into the air, resulting in respiratory issues and health problems for individuals, particularly in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces. Moreover, it can cause an explosion when used near fire or open flames.

Bioaccumulation: It refers to the process in which certain toxic substances, such as heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, accumulate in an organism over time at a rate faster than they can be metabolised or excreted.

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Appropriate Methylated Spirits Disposal

Proper disposal of methylated spirits is crucial to the environment and to protect human health. Here are the correct ways to discard the hazardous waste:

Understand Local Regulations: Different regions have specific regulations regarding hazardous waste disposal. Contact your local waste management authority or environmental protection agency (EPA) to inquire about the regulations and disposal options.

Focus on Reusing and Reducing: Some recycling centres accept methylated spirits and other chemicals. They can often repurpose these substances for industrial use. Check with local recycling facilities to see if they accept denatured alcohol.

Evaporation (if Allowable): In some cases, small amounts of methanol spirits can be disposed of through evaporation. Air-dry the chemical in a well-ventilated area, ensuring that it's far from any potential fire risk.

Solidification System: After completely evaporating solvent, remove any leftover solid substances by treating them as dangerous waste.

Refer to Hazardous Household Waste Collection: Transport the methylated spirits to a nearby hazardous waste collection centre. These centres have the necessary resources to manage and eliminate of dangerous materials securely.

If you are unsure how to dispose of methylated spirits, just put them in a container and label them as household hazardous waste. Our experienced All Gone Rubbish Removal crew will take care of it for you. 

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How to Effectively Clean a Methanol Spill?

Pure methanol is highly toxic because even a small amount, as little as 2 tablespoons (30 ml), can be lethal to a child, while it takes 2 to 8 ounces (60 to 240 ml) to be deadly for an adult. This could result in methanol poisoning.

Vision loss is frequent and frequently irreversible, even with medical intervention. Consuming methanol impacts various organs in the body, and the damage can be irreversible. 

The outcome for the individual is determined by the quantity of methanol ingested and the promptness of medical attention.

In case of a methanol spill, there are safety precautions you need to follow to prevent harm or injury while cleaning the splatter:

Personal Safety: Wear gloves and appropriate protective clothing, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to protect your skin, eyes, and other body parts from getting in contact with chemical hazards.

Immediate Control: Use absorbent materials such as socks or pads to guard the spill area to prevent the spill from spreading immediately.

Don’t Scrub the Spilled Area: Rather, soak up the affected area to absorb the spill to prevent it from spreading and dry the area faster.

Proper Cleaning: Since methanol is a water-soluble chemical, use water and a proper detergent to clean the surface. Thoroughly rinse the affected area with water to remove the detergent and any methanol residue.

Proper Disposal of Contaminated Materials: Don’t just dispose of the contaminated materials you used for cleaning the methanol spill. Put them in a sealed container and label it as household hazardous waste.

Don't wait for a methylated spirit spill to occur; contact us today at 0427 783 277 for a rubbish removal quote. Our efficient rubbish removal service will safely dispose of your toxic waste and clean your kerbside.


Methylated spirits are highly toxic chemicals that can be fatal to all living things if not used with caution. 

Proper disposal is also necessary to safeguard the environment; referring to specified hazardous waste facilities and adhering to regulations can help assuage the risks of harm and injury from methanol contact. 

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