Used coolant storage

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Sep 12, 2012
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
I have several gallons of used Dexcool in my garage from when I replaced the water pump on the Burb and coolant elbows on the GP (did a full flush with distilled water at that time as well). It is currently in the original Dexcool concentrate jugs, distilled water jugs, and two open catch pans. I am looking to consolidate all of the fluids for storage and ease of transport for disposal. I am also not too comfortable with using the single gallon distilled water jugs as they are rather thin. Is there any issue with using the orange Home Depot 5 gallon buckets for storage? If I cannot use those, does anyone have any suggestions for suitable, closable, large capacity (don't want to have to haul around a bunch of small containers) containers?
Use the distilled water jugs, they are fine. Better if they have screw caps vs pop caps but still fine. 5 gal buckets are hard to seal. And why spend money on this?

Once you clean out the catch pan you can store the gallon jugs in it as a "berm" in case one tips over or the plastic mysteriously fails.
The distilled water jugs have pop caps and I am not too worried about a water tight seal on the buckets, especially because I will not be filling them up all of the way (no need to make them so heavy). I am looking at $15 or less for three buckets with lids, which I figure is worth the reduced hassle of trying to pour the pan contents into the jugs vs buckets and piece of mind that the containers are more solid and easily storeable and stackable.
I'd just use the HD buckets - they seal well with the standard lids, or you can get collars and threaded lids that are easier to remove. After the coolant transport, those buckets make great carwash containers, especially with a gritguard in the bottom. I've got 2 set up that way, plus another 5 or 6 in use in the basement for storage and whatnot.
Don't do what I did.
Have a 5 gallon bucket 1/3 of the way full.
Sitting on passenger floor with NO cover.
No matter how careful you drive, it splashes out (ALOT).

Now my Highway Dept. does not accept it anymore.
I have to find a new drop off location.

I hope the local DIY are not dumping down the drain.
Originally Posted By: larryinnewyork

I hope the local DIY are not dumping down the drain.

This is legit for most sanitary sewers. Don't do it to a storm drain or septic.
I use old two-gallon laundry detergent jugs for this sort of thing.
In a lot of places it's fine to dump it down the sanitary sewer (not the storm sewer). You might be able to just get rid of it instead of holding on to it for later disposal.

Coolant biodegrades and is fine for many sewage treatment plants.

There was a discussion of it here:

I had a really good article by a sewer system manager explaining how it's just fine, but I can't find it now. In his system they even allowed mechanics to just dispose of it down the drain.
What if you were to take it to a public restroom or something and dump it there? Dead serious. Finding places that will accept used coolant is difficult. And if they can process it, I see no harm.
I use a 5 gallon bucket, it works really well for this situation. As for a place to dispose of it, do you know of an auto repair shop that might accept it? Maybe if you are good friends with somone at that repair shop, they may let you dispose of it for free.
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