For the avid biker, brake fluid is something they deal with on a daily basis. Still, despite its common occurrence, brake fluid is considered as a toxic substance. Therefore, it is important to dispose of this compound properly. If you are uncertain how to deal with brake fluid, be sure to read through our convenient guide.
What Are The Dangers Of Brake Fluid?
There are several reasons why brake fluid is characterized as a dangerous substance. However, the two most important properties that make brake fluid hazardous are toxicity and flammability. So, improper disposal of this compound can have serious consequences.
When you try to dispose of brake fluid without taking any special measures, you may be fined. This is the best-case scenario, because it can also lead to accidents and even the contamination of ground water. It is therefore important to dispose of brake fluid in the proper manner. Below, we will discuss various methods you can use.
What Is Brake Fluid Used For?
Before we elaborate on the disposal process for brake fluid, it is important to know what brake fluid is used for. Brake fluid is a special compound that helps to transfer physical pressure to the brakes; this enables a vehicle to stop. You can find brake fluid in motorcycles, but also in cars and other motorized vehicles.
Brake fluid is something that needs to be checked on a regular basis; this can be done at the garage. However, brake fluid can be contaminated, in which case brake fluid must be replaced as soon as possible.
When dealing with any kind of brake fluid, it is important to remember that this compound contains alcohol, which makes it quite flammable. Contaminated brake fluid can also become toxic, this through the absorption of heavy metals. So, bikers should take additional care when removing and disposing of contaminated brake fluid.
Can I Get Rid Of Brake Fluid At Home?
Before we provide you with a method to dispose of brake fluid at your home, it is important to realize that environmental laws can be different by the area you live in. In some areas, home disposal of brake fluid is not allowed. If this is the case, please refer to the other brake disposal methods below.
When you are allowed to dispose of small amounts of brake fluid inside your home, then you can use the cat litter method. First, grab a wide box and fill it with cat litter. You should at least have a height of half an inch of cat litter before proceeding. Once you have filled the box, pour the old brake fluid over the litter.
Once the brake fluid has been added to the litter box, always keep this box away from children or pets. You should also keep this box away from any open flames, as the fluid is still flammable. Then, let the cat litter and brake fluid stand for at least four days; this causes the alcohol to evaporate and the remaining fluid to be absorbed by the cat litter.
When four days have passed, check the litter box for any remaining fluid. If no fluid remains, you can discard the litter with your regular waste. However, always check carefully before you add litter to the garbage bag.
How Can I Recycle Brake Fluid In My Area?
Recycling brake fluid is always the better choice, as most areas require you to do so. In some states, home disposal of brake fluid is illegal. Therefore, be sure to use the recycling method if this applies to your area.
Before you can take the brake fluid to a recycling center, you will need to store it safely; this makes the compound suitable for transport. Ideally, you want to store any additional brake fluid in a plastic bottle or jar. The bottle or jar should also have a suitable lid, which can be closed securely to prevent any spillage.
Once you have stored the old brake fluid properly, you will need to find a local recycling center that accepts brake fluid. If you have no idea where you can recycle brake fluid in your area, simply visit Earth911 and enter your zip code to see the available recycling centers. Please note that the recycling of brake fluid is usually accompanied by a fee; this is usually mentioned on the website of the respective recycling center.
Even though a fee is usually charged at recycling centers, there are some rare occasions where the recycling center offers free collection. If such an event is scheduled in the nearby future, you can enquire by contacting your local recycling center.
So, what do you do if there is no recycling center nearby? In this case, you can inform about recycling services offered at your local car repair garage or auto part stores. Not all take old brake fluid, but there are some that do for a small fee. It is also important to remember that these locations will not accept old brake fluid if it is mixed with other discarded compounds.
Please note that some states will require you to transport old brake fluid in a special container. If this is the case, you should be able to pick up such a container from your local recycle center.
Cannot find a recycling center or a car repair location that takes old brake fluid? You can still find a suitable recycling spot by using Google. Simply look for locations that take and recycle hazardous waste.
How Much Will I Pay For Brake Fluid Disposal?
The price for brake fluid disposal can be quite variable, as this once again depends on the area you live in. The average price for brake fluid disposal is determined at $15, but this can be significantly more in urban areas. If you are uncertain, you can contact the recycling center beforehand.
Most recycle centers provide you with several possible payment methods; this includes cash, credit card, debit card and in some rare cases cheques.