How to Dispose of a Used Oil Filter

Various car or automotive parts on black background with reflection and copy space around products

Is it time for your oil filter to be replaced but you’re not sure how to dispose of it? We’ve done the research and know the safest ways to legally dispose of your used oil filter.

Dispose of a used oil filter by puncturing and hot-draining the oil filter, purchasing an oil filter crusher and crushing it, or by taking the filter to a car shop or local recycling center that accepts them. These three options are the safest legal ways to dispose of a used oil filter.

If you want to know more details about how to get rid of your used oil filter, keep reading. We have all the information you need!

Puncturing and Hot-draining

If you want to dispose of your used oil filter and want an easy way to do it, the hot-draining method might be best for you. To do this method, you first need to carefully take out the filter from your car while it is still hot. It may be very hot so I would suggest wearing gloves. Next, you should puncture the can at the end of the filter and put it upside so the liquid drains into an empty container. Once inverted, it could take up to 24 hours of gravity draining to really empty it.

After you do this, you can recycle the contents of the container with liquid and the now empty can. The can is recyclable and the oil can be taken to drop-off sites like AutoZone, Jiffy Lube, or O-Reilly Auto. This method of disposing of your used oil filter is easy and shouldn’t be much of a hassle. Who doesn’t love easy?

Crushing the Filter

Another option for you if you want to safely dispose of an oil filter is to purchase an oil filter crusher. This process will cost a bit more, but it will be quite easy. All you do is purchase the crusher, stick the can inside, and it will crush it for you. You can then recycle the crushed contents. This option would be great if you have a lot of oil filters that need to be crushed. This method is good for the environment too!

Taking Filter to Shop or Recycling Center

Used oil purification filters on the dirty surface of the barrel with a shallow depth of field

If you don’t want to deal with disposing of your oil filter yourself, you can take it to a local shop or recycling center. Certain car shops and recycling centers will allow you to bring in your used oil filters and they will empty and recycle them for you. Places like Jiffy Lube and AutoZone have programs where they allow this to happen. Make sure to call ahead of time to make sure the locations accept used oil filters.

This method is easy if you don’t want to get your hands dirty but want to dispose of your oil filter safely and legally.

Be Careful to…

There are certain things you should be aware of when dealing with oil filters. First off, if you decide to drain or deal with your oil filter yourself, you should wear gloves and protective glasses. Hot oil can burn you easily, so be very careful when doing anything with the filters. Make sure the oil doesn’t mix with other liquids otherwise it could be hazardous. Just be smart and be careful!

Why Dispose of Filter Correctly

Disposing of your oil filters properly is very important for the environment. This is because the leftover oil in the can could possibly contaminate our world, especially our water and oceans. Disposing of it the right way keeps the oil from polluting our soil and water. Take the few extra steps and help save our planet!

How to Know When to Change Oil Filter

In order to correctly dispose of your oil filter, you need to know when it needs to be changed. Oil filters generally last every 8-5 thousand miles.

There are certain signs you can look for that will help you know when it needs to be changed. If your engine is overheated, this is a sign that your oil filter needs to be changed. If the exhaust fumes of your car are a dirty, dark color this is another sign your oil filter needs to be changed. If your oil pressure decreases, this is another big sign that your oil filter needs to be changed.

Lastly, if your car just doesn’t seem to be driving and doing well, this is another sign that your oil filter needs to be changed as soon as possible.

Things you can do to Lengthen Your Filters Life

Are you changing your car’s oil filter way too much? Well, there are certain things you can do to decrease the number of times you are replacing and disposing of your oil filter. Some examples of things you can do to decrease this are to make sure you aren’t driving too aggressively, and try not to stop and go too much if you can prevent it. Sometimes you can’t control these events like harsh weather conditions, driving under heavy loads, and towing. If you can’t prevent it, just do your best to pay attention to your oil filter and change it when it needs it.

What Happens if I Don’t Change My Oil Filter?

replacement of oil filter

Are you wondering what will happen if you just don’t change your oil filter? Well, we’ve got the answers for you! If you don’t change your oil filter or take too long to change it your car could be negatively affected.

No Oil Filtration

The first thing that could happen is that there would be no oil filtration if you don’t change the filter. Who knew! Make sure to change the filter so your car gets a new and current oil filter to help filter out your car’s oil.

Oil Changes to Sludge

If you don’t change your oil filter consistently, your oil will begin to change to sludge. Which then changes the condition of the oil that you put inside your engine. This could also cause the engine to accumulate sludge as well which would make your engine work harder than it should be.

Engine Replacement

If you take too long to change your oil filter, you may have to replace your engine. Because of that sludge, and the harder work the engine is doing, your engine might die and therefore have to be replaced. Which is expensive and stressful. Make sure to replace your oil filters consistently and to dispose of them properly!


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