Auto body shops

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Applications open for auto degreaser replacement program

Our auto degreaser replacement program is open and accepting applications from Washington businesses to receive reimbursement for switching from solvent-based to safer auto degreasers.

Auto body shops regularly generate dangerous wastes that are harmful to human health and the environment. Learn how to:

Common types of dangerous waste at auto body shops:

What laws do auto body shops have to follow?

Auto body shops must follow the laws under the:

What shops need to follow the Auto Body Rule?

Any auto body shop that provides paint stripping or surface coating must follow the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Auto Body Rule. This rule ensures employees and surrounding communities are protected from inhaling toxic chemicals.

Paint stripping, coating, or spray materials with any of the following are considered toxic:

  • Cadmium.
  • Chromium.
  • Lead.
  • Manganese.
  • Methylene chloride.
  • Nickel.

How can your shop stay in compliance?

Follow these tips to ensure your shop runs efficiently and within the law:

What are pollution prevention (P2) best practices for auto body shops?

There are a variety of recommended P2 best practices for auto body shops. Here are a few ideas:

  • Buy only what you need. Less inventory means less chance of waste, contamination, or spills.
  • Recycle shop towels. Industrial laundry services can replace the need to buy rags, and decrease waste, costs, and contaminants coming from your shop.
  • Mix the smallest amount of paint for a job.
  • Replace chromium and lead paints with less toxic versions. Our technical assistance staff can help you switch out your products for safer alternatives that are just as effective.
  • Reuse solvents. Clean parts with used solvent, then a cleaner solvent.
  • Recycle materials when possible.

What are some ways your shop can lower costs?


Recycling materials on-site is one of the best ways to increase material use and lower costs over the long run. These materials can all be recycled yourself or by someone else:

Invest in your own equipment

Having your own equipment can reduce costs by allowing you to recycle on-site or use your materials more efficiently: 

  • Stills (to recycle solvents).
  • Electronic paint systems (to mix and match paints more efficiently).