05/03/2012 08:31 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

The Key To Proper Paint Disposal? Cat Litter

You already know how to dispose of paint properly. But just in case, here's a quick reminder: Oil-based paints should be delivered to hazardous waste centers. And, most states allow you to throw out solidified water- and latex-based paints out with your other trash. But if you have a lot of paint left in the can, what's the fastest way to dry it out?

Surprisingly, just mix cat litter into the paint can to absorb the liquid. Then, leave the can out in the sun to completely dry out. (Normally, it can take up to a day or two for paint that is left out to fully dry, but this process using cat litter will definitely speed up the process). Next, discard the can with the rest of your household trash. For extra measure, avoid possible fines and leave the can uncapped to show sanitation officers that you're in full compliance with state regulations.

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CORRECTION: The image in a previous version of this article has been cropped to reflect the statements made in this post.