Utility knives find their place everywhere from the greatest of workshops all the way down to the kitchen clutter drawer. These knives find their use in cutting material like cardboard, vinyl, asphalt, and more. However, a time comes in the life of the blade when we must dispose of it, and doing this safely is a necessity.
I would imagine that the main approach of most is to simply throw their blades into the trash can or a trash bag. Sometimes we can tend to do things out of habit and not really consider the consequences. Understanding why we should dispose of our blades safely could be helpful.
Why It’s Important To Dispose of Your Old Utility Knife Blades Safely
A number of reasons emerge as to why we should dispose of utility knife blades safely. For starters, trash bags are not made to properly hold sharp objects. The slightest amount of friction between the plastic and a sharp object can cause the plastic to tear.
Risk of Accidently Getting Cut
This can result in blades falling on the ground and being left behind in various places. This can also result in getting cut while taking out the trash if we simply brush the bag across our leg.
Old Blades Are Dirty and Contaminated
Utility knife blades come in contact with a lot of different materials and chemicals. Getting cut with a blade can lead to more than a little blood. Being careful and approaching their disposal wisely is an important part of using them appropriately.
Curious Children Will Find Them
Children also have a tendency to get into places that we do not want them to. For any of you who have children, making sure that your blades are properly disposed of will be important so they do not get a hold of them.
Animals Can Also Get Injured
Animals such as cats and dogs seem to get into places we wish they wouldn’t as well. They can rip through bags quickly looking for food or simply playing. For these animals to find a sharp blade while they are chewing through the plastic could mean great harm or even death.
These reasons and more abound as to why we should dispose of our blades properly, but I imagine you probably get the point by now. A number of easy and effective ways exist for you to avoid some of the dangers that can arise. Some of these ways consist of, but are not limited to, using a water bottle, using a laundry soap bottle, using a shoe box, or using a sharps container.
How to Dispose of Old Utility Knife Blades
1. Use a water bottle
For those of you who drink bottled water, a good approach to disposing of your blades safely could be to use your bottle after you drink its contents. After you finish your water, cut a slit at the top of the bottle where it bends toward the neck. This slit should be big enough to slide your blades through but near impossible for them to come back out (It should resemble that of a piggy bank).
The typical 16.9 oz water bottle will also have a small drinking hole. This will keep the blades from coming back through the hole in the event that the lid is taken off. (A lot of other bottle options can also be used instead of a water bottle such as a soda or juice bottle or something similar.)
This is a good method to be able to throw both your bottle and blade away when you are done. The other methods may be more of a long-term approach to disposing of blades.
2. Use a laundry soap bottle
The hard plastic of a large laundry soap bottle could be a better fit than that of a water bottle. For this method, you could unscrew the top of the lid and place your blade inside. When you are done, screw the lid back on, and keep your bottle in a safe place.
Another way to go about this approach is to seal off the lid with strong adhesive tape. Then cut a slit in the side of the bottle. This slit will be done in the same way in which it was described for the water bottle.
3. Use a shoe box
If you have an old shoe box lying around, another approach would be to use a strong adhesive tape to secure the lid to the box. Make sure that you tape it well and that it is firmly secured. Then once again, you can cut a slit in the top of the box.
The cardboard will be strong enough to withstand the blades being pushed against it from the inside. However, like all the other methods, you do want to make sure that your box is in a safe place and out of reach of children.
4. Use a sharps container
Containers exist in the medical field to dispose of sharp objects such as syringes. These sharps containers are made to put sharp objects in, as the material is usually hard plastic and will not allow a blade to puncture its walls. Investing in a sharps container like this one could be the best approach for many, but like the other methods, keeping the sharps container in a safe place is important.