How to Dispose of RV Antifreeze?

Adventure enthusiasts don’t let any challenge or weather stop them from enjoying themselves, and winters are the toughest time when RVing becomes challenging. Having a mechanically fit RV is the first step of setting out on a successful trip, and preparing it for the winter season is even more important.

Are you planning to go boondocking or Overlanding this coming winter? You must winterize your RV and the most important part of that is the RV antifreeze. It prevents the water and coolant in your RV’s pipelines from freezing and ensures that it runs perfectly fine.

Disposing of the old RV antifreeze is a concerning matter as it is a highly toxic chemical and causes serious health and environmental hazards. Despite strict government regulations and enforcement of the law, most people are unaware of hazards related to the careless disposing of RV antifreeze.

If you’re concerned about how to dispose of RV antifreeze? Can it be dumped on the ground or a nearby water stream? And what hazards can it cause to human and animal life? We have got all the answers in this detailed piece, so familiarize yourself with the important drill of RV antifreeze disposal.

How Can I Properly Dispose of the RV Antifreeze?

Are you concerned about getting rid of your RV antifreeze and not sure how to do it? There are different ways you can dispose of an RV antifreeze, keeping in line with the guidelines set by authorities.

Recycling and Reusing
The best idea would be to reduce this toxic chemical from the environment and the ideal method of doing so is to reuse and recycle it. If you’ve extra RV antifreeze stored at home, either give it away to your friends or exchange it for some other item at a nearby store. You could also use it in the next season, without damaging your precious RV.

Another idea is to recycle it at home using various treatment equipment. This way, you don’t need to dispose of it at all and can save yourself from monetary and health damages.
Getting it Disposed at a Designated Facility
Certain private and government facilities let you dispose of certain harmful chemicals. These setups either waste them properly via a proper drainage system or treat them for reuse.

Both ways, you would be getting rid of the RV antifreeze, without causing any damage to the environment.
Recycling at a Government Plant
The government has installed various facilities in all the states that recycle hazardous waste material, such as antifreeze. You could hand over your containers of used RV antifreeze and collect them once properly treated for safe usage.

No matter what, the reduction is better than wastage and must be the preferred choice of action.

How to Dispose of RV Antifreeze

Step by Step Guide
Follow these steps for safe disposal of your RV’s antifreeze, without harming yourself or the environment.
Prepare your RV
Park your RV on leveled ground, engage the parking brakes, and switch off the engine. you don’t want the coolant and water flushing through pipes when you are draining the system. Locate the drainage plug and valve, and place the container under it.
Wear the Personal Protective Equipment
Don’t let the toxic chemical harm you, so wear gloves, goggles, and other protective gear that you have. Slowly open the valve and undo the drainage outlet slowly for safe drainage of the antifreeze. Also, keep your children and pets at bay when doing this drill.
Get a Big – Non-Reactive Container
Get a container that’s big enough and doesn’t get overflowed after a while. This way, the antifreeze would fall on the ground or could harm you as well. Also, ensure that the container is inert and doesn’t react with the chemicals in the fluid, which could release toxic gases or byproducts.
Dilute the Antifreeze
To curb the toxic effect of antifreeze, add water to it as you drain it. This reduces the potency and release of harmful byproducts into the environment.
Dispose of at Designated Facility
After safely draining the RV, you must carefully take your container to a designated wastage or recycling facility. Do not throw it in the nearby lake or dump it on the ground.

How is the RV Antifreeze Dangerous?

RV antifreeze is a non-biodegradable and toxic fluid that contains harmful chemicals like Propylene Glycol and Ethylene Glycol. If it comes into contact with drinking water or ground, it can be very harmful to plants, humans, and aquatic life.

Can Cause Serious Diseases in Humans and Animals

If it gets mixed up with the drinking water and food products, it can cause serious diseases related to blood, such as hemolysis and acidosis. If ingested in large quantities, it can even lead to kidney failure and become fatal.

Wild animals and pets are equally susceptible to such diseases which can prove fatal.

Harmful for Plants and Crops

Ethylene Glycol present in antifreeze mixes up with water and instantly metabolizes, reducing the concentration of oxygen in the water. It also causes chlorosis in the plants and affects the growth of crops if mixed with the groundwater in that area.

It Melts the Permafrost

Permafrost is an area of frozen water underground that is mostly present in the artic areas and cold regions. If antifreeze is dumped on the ground and seeps underneath, it can melt the permafrost which leads to severe destabilization of the ground and cause flooding, land cutting, and occurrence of huge sinkholes. It is highly unsafe for huge buildings and other constructed areas in that region.


It is not advisable to dispose of the antifreeze in the sink, as it can get leaked from the pipes and mixed with consumable water.

it can cause serious burning of the eyes and even damage if not managed immediately. Wash your eyes with cold water and keep rinsing until the burning sensation subsides. Must see a doctor afterward and get the necessary treatment.

Final Verdict

Prepping your RV for the winter is very important as it ensures a safe, fun-filled journey. Replacing the antifreeze is a crucial part of that but the more important aspect I how you get rid of it.

It is a harmful chemical that contains toxic resides and other substances. It is ideal that you reuse or recycle the antifreeze, instead of throwing it away but if it cannot be salvaged for use, you must dispose of it properly and not just throw it away into the sink or ground.

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